The news that Pauley Perrette is leaving NCIS at the end of Season 15 was already too much to take — the MCRT is nothing without Abby Sciuto! But now fans are starting to wonder if she won’t be the only one to exit the long-running CBS series this year. Could David McCallum be following her out the door?

The Scottish-born actor has played chief medical examiner Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard from the show’s beginning. In recent weeks, the 84-year-old’s character hinted that he could be leaving the team for good, opting to pursue a career as a university lecturer. So, it’s time to examine the facts and see if these concerns are warranted. Read on for the truth about Ducky’s future on the show!


How long has David been on NCIS?

David’s character Ducky was first introduced to viewers way back in the first season of the CBS show in 2003. Over the last almost 15 years, the eccentric coroner — a close friend of the MCRT team leader, Leroy Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon) — has grown to be one of the show’s most popular characters.

Why do people think Ducky is leaving the show?

The first signs that this year could be Ducky’s last came in the third episode of Season 15 when he guest lectured at his former school and left a lasting impression on the students — so much so that he was offered a full-time lecturer role, which he took. After that, actor David was glaringly absent from the show for a few weeks, before returning in the seventh episode of the season. Still, many fans have posited that this could be a sign he’s testing out the waters of a true exit.

Is David really exiting the series?

The verdict is still out on what’s in store for Ducky, though we can make a solid prediction. When fellow franchise favorites Michael Weatherly and Pauley Perrette left NCIS, CBS announced months in advance that the actors wouldn’t be returning. As of publication, no announcements have been made, so it doesn’t seem like this is it for the doctor. At the very least, his IMDB credits him as appearing in many more Season 15 episodes, so he’s clearly not going anywhere before the finale.

Has David addressed the rumors?

David has yet to address rumors that he’s leaving the show, either through an official statement or via social media — which he doesn’t even use. Hey, the guy is in his 80s, after all! Still, you should stay tuned to CBS’ handles, just in case.