NCIS dropped 25 percent of its viewers from Pauley Perrette's exit episode, the new Tuesday TV ratings reveal.
According to TV Line, the penultimate episode of season 15 drew in 12.5 million viewers, which is down from the nearly 15 million viewers that tuned in for the final episode featuring Perrette.
Even still, the 12.5 million people who tuned in were enough to make NCIS the biggest show of the night, topping Roseanne's 10.6 million viewers, and NCIS: New Orleans‘ two-hour finale, which averaged around 9.5 million watchers.
Perrette played forensic scientist Abigail "Abby" Sciuto on NCIS from the very beginning, so it stands to reason that her final episode would compel many to watch.
Prior to the show's airing, many of Perrette's friends and fans shared heartfelt messages about her on social media. Her co-star Wilmer Valderrama is one person who sent out a tribute to the actress, suggesting that everyone "bring the tissues" for Abby's goodbye.
We say goodbye to our @PauleyP ... her final farewell episode is tonight at 8pm on @CBS #NCIS BRING THE TISSUES!— Wilmer Valderrama (@WValderrama) May 8, 2018
Dear Pauley, you were a light and made me feel like family from the first day and everyday for the last two years.. love you sis! pic.twitter.com/BPVdxEH5V5
"We say goodbye to our [Pauley Perrette]... her final farewell episode is tonight at 8pm on [CBS.] [NCIS] BRING THE TISSUES," Valderrama wrote in a tweet that also included a photo of the two on set of their hit series.
Valderrama then included a personal note to Perrette, writing, "Dear Pauley, you were a light and made me feel like family from the first day and everyday for the last two years.. love you sis!"
Many of Valderrama's followers commented on his heartfelt post, with one saying, "It's hard to imagine that she's already gone from the show! Tonight being her goodbye from a family & life she helped through & develop is a tough one!! Can't wait to see what everyone does next in show life/life."
"I'm going to be so sad!! It's hard to imagine [NCIS] without her! You all work so well together and I've been sad ever since she announced that she was leaving! I wish her all the best! We'll miss you and thank you for 15 years of Abby," commented another.
Additionally, the real life NCIS also showed her some love, tweeting their thanks at her for 15 years of "portraying Abby."
Today we say Goodbye @NCIS_CBS forensic scientist, Abby Sciuto.
Thank you @PauleyP for portraying Abby the last 15 years, and your efforts in highlighting the important aspects of the real #NCIS as well as your involvement with our team: https://t.co/jKillVpiPI pic.twitter.com/QazTaaGTKo— NCIS (@RealNCIS) May 8, 2018
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service's message also thanked Perrette for her "efforts in highlighting the important aspects of the real [NCIS]," as well as her "involvement" with their team.