Pauley Perrette left her job on NCIS in the spring after 15 consecutive years, and as fall premiere season kicks off, fans are wondering what she will get up to next.
Perrette became a TV icon with her distinct yet familiar portrayal of Abby Sciuto, the forensic scientist for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service headquarters in the CBS series. She was known for her quick wit and banter with her co-workers, and also for her keen observational intelligence. She was lauded as a groundbreaking character, showing that people who dress in an "alternative" aesthetic can still be smart and successful.
After 15 years, however, Perrette has finally left Abby behind. The role brought her to another level of TV stardom, and now expectations are high for her next project. Just this week, her former co-star Micahel Weatherly told PEOPLE that he believes she will be back on the air soon — and in a major way.
“I know that Pauley Perrette will be back in some capacity,” he said in an interview. “I’m just saying. And I think that she’s gonna be — I think everyone misses her already, and she’ll be back and funnier than ever. She’s a fierce lady and one of my favorite people on the planet.”
Perrette has far more options to choose from now than she did back when she got hired on NCIS. There have never been more jobs available in the TV industry, with networks, and streaming services competing for advertising and subscription dollars.
Speculation about Perrette's next project is ongoing, but there is no official word yet. Still, here are some of the shows we would most like to see her on.
The CW's reboot of Charmed finally premieres next month, bringing witches back to primetime. Perrette has already made Abby's "goth" look palatable to a national audience — who is to say she could not do the same for a more magical character? Admittedly, this is a bit of type-casting, but Perrette is a fan of alternative culture herself, and it could be a good fit.
DC Entertainment is currently developing a TV adaptation of Batwoman to join their Arrowverse shows, as they transition onto the DC proprietary streaming app. The series is in its very early stages and has not officially been picked up to series yet, but it seems that Perrette would fit right in on its new cast.
Following the format of DC's other shows, Batwoman — played by Ruby Rose — will need at least one "person in the chair," helping and directing her from some kind of central location. Perrette has experience with this kind of role, and could even play a known DC character from deep in the bench, such as Oracle.
The Big Bang Theory is in its final season, and it seems like the perfect time to call in Perrette for one of its famous celebrity cameos. Perrette left CBS on great terms, and it seems the network would be wise to cash in on her Abby cred one more time.
In addition, Weatherly said that Perrette would be "funnier than ever" when she returned to TV, possibly hinting that she was looking to stretch her comedy legs after a long stint on a drama series.
On the other hand, if Perrette was open to working on another procedural, there is a huge one starting up this season on CBS. Dick Wolf's new series FBI will follow agents from the New York office on high-profile cases, and could be a great new home for Perrette. As a veteran of NCIS, it would be rewarding to see Perrette work with the godfather of the procedural genre.
On top of all that, she has she said in interviews that she had always been obsessed with crime, with a legitimate degree in sociology, psychology and criminal science. In 2011, she told the Asociated Press that working for the FBI was one of her childhood ambitions.
Perrette has enjoyed unusual job security in the entertainment industry for a decade and a half. In order to continue that trend, she would need to find a new series destined for massive success — such as The Good Doctor. Perrette would be right at home amidst the hospital gore, and if she made it onto the show, she could go another 15 years in the same role, judging by how well the first season of The Good Doctor went.
Perrette could go right from one leather outfit to another if she were to move over to FX's new biker drama. Mayans M.C. is doing a whole lot of world-building, and it would be great to see a woman get in on the action. Perrette could certainly rock a Cutte, and it would be nice to see her take on a more active role rather than working in the lab all the time.
Keeping in mind Weatherly's statement about Perrette being "funnier than ever," it is a no-brainer to consider Perrette for (arguably) the best comedy on television right now. The Good Place is all lined up for a serious reset in the upcoming third season, and Perrette could easily slip right into the cast. As Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani and Jason enter a new reality, there is no telling who they could meet on the other side, but whoever they are, Perrette could play them.