When Abby was first introduced in the pilot episode of NCIS, fans fell in love with her. But who or what inspired her character?
During her time on the CBS procedural NCIS, quirky forensic scientist Abby Sciuto (played by Pauley Perrette) was a fan favorite. According to the actress who played her, the character was inspired by a very interesting story. Here’s everything you need to know about Abby’s birth.
What was the source of Abby Sciuto’s inspiration on NCIS?
Abby was introduced as the NCIS forensic scientist in the NCIS backdoor pilots that aired during the JAG series.
She was an instant hit with showgoers thanks to her gothic style and love of caffeine.
This only grew over the course of her 15 seasons on the long-running series, which she left in 2018.
However, star Pauley Perrette opened up about Abby’s origins in a number of interviews during her time on the show.
In an interview with USA Today in 2005, the star revealed a little more about what the show’s creator was hoping to achieve with Abby.
She elaborated: “Don [Bellisario] wanted to play Abby as a person with an alternative lifestyle, but not as a junkie or a thief. She could be the most intelligent person on television.”
Perette expanded on this in an interview with TV Guide, revealing more about how the role was created.
In 2007, she told the publication that when Bellisario first approached her, he wanted to defy goth stereotypes.
“[NCIS creator] Don Bellisario told me that when he created Magnum, PI, he wanted to introduce a Vietnam vet who defied the negative stereotype,” she explained.
“With Abby, he wanted to take an alternative-style person with tattoos and transform her into someone who is happy, completely put together, and successful.”
“All the script said about her was that she had black hair, was caffeinated, and was smart… She has no idea that anyone thinks she looks strange.
“She thinks she’s pretty and never refers to herself as anything other than happy.” And I will fight for it.”
The actor and her character also share a love of tattoos and a penchant for dying their naturally blonde hair black.
These parallels extend beyond the physical, as Perrette has a degree in cr1m1nal science.
“I went to Valdosta University in Georgia and studied cr1m1nal science, sociology, and psychology,” she added.
“I hated high school, and when I got to college, I realized they didn’t care if I showed up or not because I’d already paid.”
“So I made the decision to turn this around. That’s exactly what I did. I received all A’s and was named outstanding senior.”
Many fans of the hit cr1me drama miss Abby after she was written out in a dramatic exit storyline in season 15.
Fans will recall how she ended up in the hospital after a terrorist attempted to k1ll her and then murd3red her coworker Clayton Reeves (Duane Henry).
She resigned from NCIS after forcing the man responsible to confess and traveled to the UK with Reeves’ body to bury him next to his mother.
Perrette has since gone on to star in her own CBS sitcom, Broke, in which she played single mother Jackie.
However, the show was canceled after only one season, so fans will have to wait to see what she does next.