"NCIS: New Orleans" season 3 seems to be treading on thin ice after the rapid decrease in viewership ratings. The untimely death of "NCIS" showrunner and producer Gary Glasberg back in September definitely affected the show. Although Brad Kern took over his role, it will take some transition to feel the impact of having a new showrunner. While the storyline may be suffering a bit, the biggest hitch for the show is Zoe McLellan's departure. The decision to remove her character Agent Meredith Brody was purportedly a creative decision.
Problematic Timeslot, Underexplored Plot Lines
Although there could be a number of reasons why "NCIS: New Orleans" is not delivering similar viewership ratings that it pulled in the previous two seasons, one huge factor could be the new time slot. The show used to follow "NCIS" but in the current scheduling, the police procedural was transferred to a 10 p.m. timeslot right after "Bull." This schedule apparently is not too good for viewership ratings as it's bedtime for the typical CBS viewers.
At the moment, there are numerous plot lines that the show can pursue and among the most important plot line is the one on Cuidad Natal Cartel. If the hit series "Narcos" on Netflix is any indication, pursuing this storyline could improve the ratings for "NCIS: New Orleans." Since it has no cohesive plotline, this could be the push it needs to regain its loyal viewers.
Unlikely Return Of Agent Meredith Brody
At the end of "NCIS: New Orleans" season 2, McLellan's character Agent Brody's character had to make an exit after she made the wrong judgment call and fell for a Homeland Security agent whose character has been compromised. The black mark on Agent Brody's character was the reason she had to be removed from the show.
Despite the obvious effects of McLellan's departure from the show, it's highly unlikely for the actress to make her way back to "NCIS: New Orleans." Based on rumors, she is facing a messy divorce and a custody battle and she also wanted to spend more time with her child. There were also rumors that the actress demanded for a higher salary which is why CBS kicked her off the show. Regardless of the hit that the show took after her departure, chances are slim that McLellan will return for season 3.
"NCIS: New Orleans" season 3 airs on CBS every Tuesday at 10 p.m.