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Jennifer Esposito Leaving ‘NCIS’ After One Season, Joining Feature ‘Speed Kills’

EXCLUSIVE: Jennifer Esposito is exiting veteran CBS drama NCIS after one season as a series regular. She remains in the CBS family via her ongoing recurring role on Showtime’s The Affair as Nina Solloway, Noah’s (Dominic West) sister. Additionally, Esposito has booked a co-starring role opposite John Travolta in the feature Speed Kills for Hannibal Classics.

CBS

Esposito was introduced in the NCIS Season 14 premiere last fall. She played NCIS Special Agent Alexandra “Alex” Quinn, an experienced agent who left field work and became an instructor at the Law Enforcement Training Center. Gibbs (Mark Harmon) lured her back into the field as part of his team, taking advantage of her sharp wit, quick mind and immense talent as a federal agent.

“It was a great experience,” Esposito said in a statement to Deadline. “I could not have asked for a better opportunity than to work with the NCIS cast and producers.”

The character of Quinn was conceived by former NCIS showrunner Gary Glasberg shortly before his death last September. I hear the show plans to go in a new creative direction next season.

Quinn was involved in one of the Season 14 finale cliffhangers, taking two calls from her mother whose contents were not revealed. They could presumably be used to explain Quinn’s exit from the team.

This was Esposito’s second series regular gig on a CBS drama following a stint on Blue Bloods whose end made headlines. She also starred on ABC’s Mistresses for one season.

The John Luessenhop-directed Speed Kills is based on the true story of speedboat racing champion and multimillionaire Don Aronow, who leads a double life that lands him in trouble with both the law and Drug Lords. Esposito will play Aronow’s (Travolta) wife. Saban Films has acquired the rights to the film for U.S. distribution.

Esposito, who authored the best-selling book Jennifer’s Way, has a cookbook, Jennifer’s Way Kitchen, coming out in September from Grand Central Publishing.

She’s repped by CAA and managed by Carissa Stewart at GSA Entertainment.

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69 Comments

  1. Pedroon Jun 9, 2017 3:20 pm

    At this point, why cast her on regular roles, if she can’t commit long-term?

    I get she has health issues, but then, perhaps, it would be better even for her that she remained in film, where commitments are shorter and can be paced with considerable breaks between them.

    • on Jun 9, 2017 10:35 pm

      I agree

    • on Jun 11, 2017 9:40 pm

      True.

    • on Jul 4, 2017 11:58 pm

      This article didn’t say anything about her health issues. That was on Blue Bloods. “The character of Quinn was conceived by former NCIS showrunner Gary Glasberg shortly before his death last September. I hear the show plans to go in a new creative direction next season.” This implies that the decision to discontinue the character was a creative decision.

    • Bob Juddon Jul 7, 2017 4:50 pm

      What an ignorant posting !!! The new Showrunners want to go in a “NEW?” direction !!!

  2. EKon Jun 9, 2017 3:20 pm

    Tough fit into a crowded cast post Ziva.

  3. on Jun 9, 2017 3:44 pm

    Interesting fact: Once married to Bradley Cooper

  4. DEon Jun 9, 2017 3:46 pm

    This NCIS role was a “make-up” gesture from CBS for the bad blood from Blue Blood. It worked out for a season, so the “make-up” is “complete.”

  5. johnon Jun 9, 2017 3:46 pm

    The show took on three new regulars last year to replace one Michael Weatherly? Sliding the british guy in would have been fine, the other two were unnecessary, so one down and one hopefully to go, as they had no positive impact on the show last season.

    • on Jun 9, 2017 9:07 pm

      Would rather see Valderama stay and the british guy go.

      • Rex the Wonder Dogon Jun 11, 2017 7:28 am

        Agree. The British guy is too wooden. Torres has Tony’s sassiness.

      • Mak Makion Jun 11, 2017 9:51 pm

        I disagree. They dont use the British guy enough, so he gets lost. His role were to be a liason like Ziva. Being a British spy his skill set should be even better than the other team members, with the Gibbs. I mean I like McGee, but he has no hand to hand combat skills. My understanding were, that the British guy was gonna take over for Toni like the above post stated, but makes no sense to add Wilmer, bc it kinda make there roles redundant. Keep the Brit and let Wilmer go back under cover, since he loves it so much.

  6. Hazon Jun 9, 2017 4:02 pm

    Thank God! I like Esposito but the show had way too many characters and she was under utilized. I dropped the show in February and I’m really not sure if I’ll end up going back to watching it or not. It’s just way too forced now.

    • Mak Makion Jun 11, 2017 9:53 pm

      Just like with the British guy. I like him. I was hoping they were gonna have him in more physical scenes, more hand to hand combat like the LA and New Orleans cast does.

    • Terrell L. Howardon Jun 12, 2017 4:44 am

      I drop that show when they added that Airhead Bishop”

  7. D.Fon Jun 9, 2017 4:16 pm

    “Nooooooo!” –Said no one

    • on Jun 10, 2017 3:38 am

      LOL. Agreed.

  8. on Jun 9, 2017 5:34 pm

    Hate to be harsh, but won’t miss her. Her character never jelled.

  9. DZkat71 (@kguazzo)on Jun 9, 2017 5:42 pm

    Too bad. She and Bishop were the only reason to watch now.

    • on Jun 12, 2017 1:59 pm

      I agree, I loved her on the show. Thought she was a great fit. She’s also an amazing actress. I agree the cast was a bit crowded, but would not have let her go…

  10. bgon Jun 9, 2017 5:54 pm

    She was the only reason I started watching…BTW if you watch The Affair…She may get an Emmy for guest starring this past season. She was amazing. #NCIS can keep adding cast but it’s just sort of done.

  11. on Jun 9, 2017 6:14 pm

    No one can replace Ziva David and Tony DiNoso. Dont kmow why they even try.

    • Carl D'Agostinoon Jun 9, 2017 7:30 pm

      You are right. Wished it would have lasted forever.

    • Darleneon Jun 10, 2017 7:03 pm

      100% corrct! Ziva and Tony were great working together!

  12. Rickey Lee Joneson Jun 9, 2017 6:41 pm

    She’s amazing on the Affair and just wasted on NCIS. I mean her talents were wasted lol.

  13. on Jun 9, 2017 6:49 pm

    Too many characters on the show. Losing interest in it.

  14. Erinon Jun 9, 2017 6:52 pm

    As a long time fan, I have finally accepted the fact that the show is no longer a must-see. I’ve lost interest and the remaining characters seem tired. It really went downhill when they replaced Ziva with that blonde.

    • Debi Bonett Houseron Jun 9, 2017 7:43 pm

      I agree. The blonde has no chemistry with the other characters and she doesn’t bring anything to the show; she’s really kinda boring.

      • on Jun 10, 2017 7:25 am

        I agree!!

    • Jennifer Morgan Dowon Jun 9, 2017 8:23 pm

      I agree..Bishop is annoying and needs to go her character has no substance

    • Rex the Wonder Dogon Jun 11, 2017 7:30 am

      I’ve been watching The Flash the last three seasons and only watch NCIS OnDemand.

  15. Sherryon Jun 9, 2017 6:59 pm

    Didn’t like her on the team. She didn’t bring anything interesting to the role. Yes I miss the old team but the new characters (Quinn, Bishop and Torres) are extremely boring. I continue to watch because I’m a fan of the show, however if NCIS could bring back similar characters like Ziva and Tony then I’ll watch it the day it comes on instead of days later.

    • Terrell L. Howardon Jun 12, 2017 4:48 am

      I agree- I stopped watching when the added that dumb blond stupid worthless role This show is on its way out’.:

  16. Mikeon Jun 9, 2017 8:17 pm

    Too much gluten on the set, probably.

  17. on Jun 9, 2017 8:22 pm

    I love Jennifer Esposito she is a wonderful actress..what happened to her during bluebloods was wrong but I liked her character on ncis..her n Wilmer valderamma had great chemistry while is was no Tony and ziva it was there I wished she stated n the other one left she is just ok..i Wilmers role and the British guy along with Jennifer and McAfee n Abby would be awesome…hell still drop Bishop….

  18. Jennifer Morgan Dowon Jun 9, 2017 8:27 pm

    Bishop should be gone not Jennifer Esposito she is a wonderful actress and what happened on bluebloods was wrong I like her character here while her n wilmer hav a great chemistry it is no Tony/ziva but it was there..her Wilmer McGhee Abby n the British guy would’ve been great bishops character has no substance n all she does whine…just 1 fans opinion

  19. on Jun 9, 2017 8:36 pm

    How about replacing her with Catherine Bell from JAG?

  20. Konaon Jun 9, 2017 8:39 pm

    How about replacing her with Catherine Bell or Drew Barrymore?

    • Rex the Wonder Dogon Jun 11, 2017 7:32 am

      Or not replace her. The cast was starting to get too bloated.

  21. on Jun 9, 2017 8:47 pm

    So glad she’s leaving!

    • Darleneon Jun 10, 2017 7:01 pm

      Agree

  22. on Jun 9, 2017 9:13 pm

    They already had the BEST characters for the show. Tony DiNozzo Jr. & Ziva David. They will never even come close to ever replacing them. Those are some awful big shoes to fill. I’ll just keep watching the reruns. So I can see Tony & Ziva together. And wishing what it could’ve been.

  23. John Meadon Jun 9, 2017 9:18 pm

    I wonder if we’ll see Zoe McLellan as Meredith Brody return? They wrote her character off NCIS:NOLA but they didn’t killer her off…

  24. Jim Snyderon Jun 9, 2017 9:25 pm

    Very talented actress waiting for her to move to the big screen.
    Loved her on Blue Bloods the attitude was dead on for a female NYPD Detective.

  25. on Jun 10, 2017 12:44 am

    :( really sad to hear she is leaving, good luck to her!

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