Emily Wickersham Announces Departure from 'NCIS' After Season 18 Finale: 'A Great Ride'

The star's NCIS character, Ellie Bishop, left for a top-secret mission during Tuesday's season 18 finale

Emily Wickersham
Emily Wickersham in NCIS. Photo: Bill Inoshita/CBS via Getty

Emily Wickersham is leaving NCIS.

The actress, 37, announced her departure from CBS' hit long-running series in an Instagram post Tuesday following the season 18 finale, which saw her character, special agent Ellie Bishop, leave for a top-secret mission. CBS confirmed Wickersham's exit to PEOPLE.

"Hangin this hat and jacket up. What a great ride it's been," Wickersham, who joined the show during season 11 in 2013, wrote alongside a series of black-and-white photos from the set.

"This cast, this crew, are top notch," she continued in her post. "I can't say enough kind words about this group that I've had the pleasure of working with for close to 8 years now and 172 episodes later. This business is finicky and weird and consistency is a rarity. I've been lucky enough to be a part of a show where I got to show up and act and laugh and learn with wonderful people. A moment in time I surely won't forget."

"Thank you CBS and NCIS for including me in a part of television history," Wickersham concluded. "Time goes fast. Eat it up but chew slowly. ❤️#ncis #cbs."

Several of the star's castmates commented on the post with sweet and supportive messages.

"So damn proud of you my friend. Also, I'm gonna miss the hell outta you on set. I can't wait to see what you do next. Whatever it is, I'll be there in the front row. Thank you. ❤️," wrote Brian Dietzen, who plays Jimmy Palmer.

Diona Reasonover, who plays Kasie Hines, said to Wickersham, "❤️ Thank you for everything, friend."

Even CBS TV's official Instagram account chimed in, writing, "Thanks for making history with us 😭❤️." In a second comment, the account posted "Our one and only Ellie Bishop ❤️."

Emily Wickersham
Emily Wickersham in NCIS. Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty

Wickersham's departure from NCIS comes after the hit crime procedural was renewed by CBS for a 19th season last month. The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline reported that series star Mark Harmon would return for season 19.

The action drama's current cast includes Harmon, Dietzen, Reasonover, Sean Murray, Wilmer Valderrama, Rocky Carroll and David McCallum.

Maria Bello, who played Jack Sloane, departed the show this season after the eighth episode.

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