Will Emily Wickersham Be Back on NCIS?

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click one, I may earn a commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Key Takeaways:

  • Emily Wickersham left NCIS after Season 18, and her character’s departure left the door open for a return.
  • However, Emily has confirmed she will not be coming back to the show.
  • She does not have any upcoming acting projects listed after leaving NCIS.
  • Fans continue to hope for Emily’s return to the show.
  • Her recent return to blonde hair caused speculation about a possible return.


The long-running naval criminal investigative series NCIS has captivated viewers since its premiere in 2003. With its riveting storylines, dynamic characters, and naval theme, NCIS has become one of the most popular shows on television. One of the main characters audiences came to love was NCIS Special Agent Eleanor “Ellie” Bishop, portrayed by actress Emily Wickersham. However, after 8 seasons on the show, Wickersham exited NCIS at the end of season 18, leaving many fans wondering—will Emily Wickersham be back on NCIS?

This comprehensive article will evaluate all the details and possibilities around Emily Wickersham’s potential return to NCIS. Key factors such as her character’s exit storyline, the actress’s statements, future plans, and fan speculations will be thoroughly analyzed. Readers will gain insider perspective and clarity on whether Bishop could realistically return to the team at NCIS. With in-depth research into this intriguing question, this article provides a definitive evaluation of Wickersham’s possible NCIS comeback.

Discovering the truth about Emily Wickersham’s future with NCIS holds tremendous value for devoted fans. The information uncovered in this piece will help readers finally resolve the mysteries around her abrupt exit. Whether you are a longtime viewer waiting hopefully for Bishop’s reinstatement or a newly engaged audience member, this article presents the must-know evidence and considerations regarding her return. The comprehensive insights will enable readers to gain closure and manage expectations about Wickersham’s NCIS role moving forward.

Let’s dive in to methodically unpack whether Special Agent Eleanor Bishop could make a triumphant return, or if Emily Wickersham’s NCIS chapter has permanently closed.

Will Emily Wickersham Be Back on NCIS?

Did Emily Wickersham’s Exit Allow for a Return?

When it was first announced that Emily Wickersham would be leaving NCIS after 8 seasons playing Ellie Bishop, the circumstances initially indicated potential for the character to return. Bishop’s exit storyline involved her resigning from NCIS to go undercover with Odette Malone to take down a human trafficking ring under the mysterious “Leader” crime boss. Rather than killing Bishop off or giving closure, this plotline left things open-ended.

Showrunner Steven D. Binder explained that they purposefully gave Bishop an exit that “gives her options” to come back. He shared, “she’s out there fighting for good.” This positive, almost superhero-esque departure seemed to pave the way for Wickersham to return triumphantly in the future after conquering the trafficking ring. Especially since other NCIS characters like Cote de Pablo’s Ziva David had shocking reappearances after their exits, fans were hopeful Bishop would eventually be back.

So while Wickersham’s final episode in May 2021 didn’t definitively close the book on Bishop, the dramatic, unfinished storyline did suggest she could return to officially resign or visit after completing her heroic undercover work. This potential comeback opportunity gave many viewers hope.

Has Emily Wickersham Confirmed She Won’t Return?

However, in subsequent months after her departure, Emily Wickersham has indicated in no uncertain terms that she will not be reprising her role as Ellie Bishop on NCIS. In an interview with Deadline in April 2022, the actress bluntly asserted “No, I’m definitely not coming back.” She reiterated, “I’ve departed the show.”

While her character’s storyline could allow for a return, Wickersham herself officially confirmed she is moving on from NCIS. When asked if she would consider returning as Bishop if invited, she responded “No, I don’t think so.” Wickersham acknowledged that while fans wish for her reinstatement, as an actress she is focused on fulfilling “other artistic endeavors.”

Based on the actress’ own unambiguous statements, despite the open-ended exit story, Emily Wickersham will unfortunately not be returning to continue Ellie Bishop’s journey on NCIS. She seems resolved not to simply reprise this one role. While fans understandably still cling to hope of a dramatic comeback, Wickersham herself has clearly stated she will not return, closing the book on her time as Special Agent Bishop.

What is Emily Wickersham Doing Now After NCIS?

Emily Wickersham’s clear break from NCIS begs the question—what is the actress doing next? According to her IMDb page, Wickersham has not taken on any new acting roles since departing NCIS at the end of season 18. She does not have any upcoming films, shows, or projects listed on her resume. It appears the Bishop role was Wickersham’s final credit after 8 seasons as a main cast member on TV’s #1 drama.

In her Deadline interview, Wickersham did indicate she was pursuing “other artistic endeavors” rather than returning to NCIS. However, there are no announcements yet about what those new creative pursuits could be. As of now, her acting career seems to be on hold.

Wickersham has not shared any details on social media about her future plans, maintaining a low profile since leaving NCIS. One possibility is that she is taking a break to focus on her family life as a mother. In January 2022, she had her second child with husband Blake Hanley.

While fans would love to see Wickersham continue acting, she has not lined up any new roles. Perhaps she is being selective, only considering special projects. Time will tell if she returns to TV down the road. But currently, her acting activities remain a mystery after NCIS.

Are Fans Still Hopeful for Emily’s Return?

While Emily Wickersham may have permanently moved on from NCIS, the show’s passionate fans continue to keep hope alive for Special Agent Bishop to walk through the doors once again. Devoted viewers are not quite ready to let go of the beloved character, wishing for her story to continue in some capacity.

Across social media, nostalgic NCIS fans still clamor for Wickersham’s reinstatement. On Twitter, Facebook groups, Reddit forums, and fan sites, they actively discuss theories for how Bishop might return to conclude her undercover operation storyline. They floats ideas about when an opportune moment would be for the character to re-emerge, suggesting potential future plot points or ways to integrate her.

When NCIS was renewed for a 20th season in 2022, fans celebrated the milestone while reigniting enthusiastic speculation about Emily returning for a high-profile appearance or episode. On Instagram, many loyal viewers commented pleading for producers to bring the actress back in the new season.

Additionally, in August 2022 when Emily Wickersham changed her hair color back to Bishop’s signature blonde shade, fans went abuzz with excitement wondering if it could mean she is reprising the role. While purely speculative, it demonstrates how heavily invested and eager viewers remain to see Bishop back where she belongs at NCIS.

The Bottom Line

After examining all the evidence—Emily Wickersham’s open-ended but heroic exit storyline which could allow for a return, weighed against her unambiguous confirmation that she will not be reprising the Bishop role, as well as her lack of upcoming acting projects—the verdict seems clear. As much as fans may wish to see Special Agent Eleanor Bishop back cracking cases with the NCIS team, Emily Wickersham will not be returning to the show.

Wickersham closed the book on her 8 season run portraying Bishop, ready to pursue new creative challenges outside of NCIS. While the character lives on in viewers’ hearts and imaginations, sadly, Emily’s acting journey will not bring her back through the NCIS doors. However, true fans will always cherish the memories of Wickersham’s portrayal of the tough, brilliant agent Bishop—a truly iconic NCIS character.

About The Author

Scroll to Top