NCIS season 19: Why has Ducky been missing in NCIS?

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NCIS season 19 is nearing its end with just a couple more episodes left to air. The CBS police procedural has seen some new faces welcomed to the cast this time around, as well as some exits, including that of Agent Leroy Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon). Following his departure, there are no original cast members left in the show full-time but Donald “Ducky” Mallard (played by David McCallum) will be showing up once again.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from NCIS.

NCIS has pretty much an entirely brand new team as one by one, its cast members have made their exits.

Even Agent Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) who is widely considered as part of the original cast, was actually welcomed in season one, episode seven.

Season 19, episode 20, All or Nothing will be airing on CBS on Monday, May 16, and will welcome back former chief medical examiner Ducky to the show.

He was last seen in the drama season 19, episode 11, All Hands.

Why has Ducky been missing in NCIS?

Ducky actor David McCallum has been with NCIS since 2003, acting as both a colleague and friend to Agent Gibbs and the rest of the team.

But when season 16 was airing in 2019, McCallum decided he wanted to lessen his hours working on the show.

At the time, he tweeted, alongside a picture of his cat: “I am delighted to say that I have reached an agreement with CBS for Dr Donald Mallard to stay with NCIS for Season 16.

“Once again it will be a limited schedule. That arrangement will allow me to spend time with Katherine, our children, six grandsons and Nickie, pictured below!”

Since then, Ducky has been popping up in random episodes of NCIS to lend the team a hand when needed.

To ensure he still had a role to play, in the drama, Ducky did initially intend on retiring altogether.

He felt confused though, as while he knew he no longer wanted to be the chief medical examiner, passing on the torch to his assistant Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen), something was holding him back.

This is when Director Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll) stepped in with an alternative.

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Director Vance appointed Ducky the newfound position of NCIS historian, looking through the archives to see if any key moments from the past could help with the investigations of today.

It was agreed he would return on a part-time basis so his position would be nowhere near as intense as his time in the medical department.

So while Ducky hasn’t been regularly onscreen, he does remain part of the team, just in a limited capacity.

He will be showing up just before NCIS season 19 comes to a close.

Season 19’s penultimate episode All or Nothing will air on Monday, May 16, on CBS.

The description reads: “NCIS investigates the unexpected death of a Navy reservist who was an investigative journalist.

“Also, Knight and Jimmy’s budding romance is put on hold when a vital organ transfer goes fatally wrong,”

NCIS season 19 is available to watch every Monday on CBS.

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