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How was Granger written off NCIS?



Owen Granger was written off NCIS: Los Angeles through his confirmed death in season nine, after he left in season eight, disappearing from the hospital in the series.


Writing off characters from popular television series is never easy, as there is bound to be questions about the reasons for their departures. It is probably more burdensome to write off a beloved cast member of the series due to failing health in real life.

This is exactly what NCIS: Los Angeles did after the now-late actor, Miguel Ferrer, was diagnosed with throat cancer.

NCIS: Los Angeles paid homage to the late actor that portrayed the former Assistant Director of NCIS for Special Operations, as they mirrored his surprise exit with his real-life condition during season eight of the series.

Who Is Owen Granger On NCIS: Los Angeles?

NCIS: Los Angeles is one of the more popular and longest-running series of the NCIS spin-offs.

First premiering in 2009, with the premise, “The Naval Criminal Investigation Service’s Office of Special Projects takes on the undercover work and the hard to crack cases in LA. Key agents are G. Callen and Sam Hanna, streets kids risen through the ranks.”

Miguel Ferrer played the role of the Assistant Director of NCIS for Special Operations, Owen Granger in season three of the series in 2011.

Eventually, by season five, he was promoted to the main cast of the series. His last physical appearance on the series was in episode 16 of season eight titled Old Tricks.

How Was Granger Written Off NCIS?

During his time on NCIS: Los Angeles, Owen Granger went from being the strict and aloof Assistant Director of NCIS for Special Operations, to the beloved fatherly figure who gave the team permission to call him Granger instead of assistant director.

In episode seven, of season eight, titled Crazy Train, Granger revealed that he was terminally ill with cancer. The cause was never nuanced and was left ambiguous.

Throughout the rest of the episodes in which he appeared, fans could see his health deteriorating as his breathing became more labored and his voice more hoarse when he spoke.

Granger was written out of the story in the episode titled Old Tricks when Henrietta Lange revealed that his healing in hospital after having been stabbed in an earlier episode would take longer than expected.

When she went to visit him at the hospital, she found the bed empty with a letter from Granger stating that he decided to go away to spend his last days in peace.

Owen Granger Confirmed Dead

Following his last physical appearance on NCIS: Los Angeles, the series continued to reference Owen Granger. But it was only confirmed in episode 15 titled Liabilities, that the former Assistant Director of NCIS for Special Operations was dead.

The story behind his death after his disappearance is that he spent time with his daughter at a safe house making up for all the time lost until he passed away.

Why Did Miguel Ferrer Leave NCIS: Los Angeles?

Miguel Ferrer did not leave his role as Owen Granger in NCIS: Los Angeles because of animosity or seeking other acting ventures.

In fact, his role as the former Assistant Director of NCIS for Special Operations was one of his last acting roles before it was confirmed that the then 61-year-old acclaimed actor had died on 19 January 2017, after his battle with throat cancer.

As a result of his deteriorating health, the writers incorporated his terminal illness into the exit storyline for Owen Granger, which helped explain the labored breathing and sickly physical appearance.

NCIS: Los Angeles Bids Farewell To Miguel Ferrer

By the time the last episode, which featured an appearance by Owen Granger, aired on television, Miguel Ferrer had passed away. Therefore, at the end of the episode, the series paid homage by sharing a tribute to the talented actor.

Moreover, the series showrunner, R. Scott Gemmill shared a tribute with Variety when news of his passing was confirmed, stating, “Today, NCIS: Los Angeles lost a beloved family member. Miguel was a man of tremendous talent who had a powerful dramatic presence on screen, a wicked sense of humor, and a huge heart.”

Final Thoughts

NCIS: Los Angeles has seen many of its beloved characters leave and sometimes come back to the series throughout its ongoing 13-season run. But one departure that tugged at the heartstrings of the series fans globally was the news of Miguel Ferrer’s death in January 2017.

Since Ferrer stayed with the series until the very end, the producers aimed to provide a touching send-off for his beloved character – Owen Granger.

They mirrored Ferrer’s terminal illness with Granger’s, as he was written off in season eight and confirmed to have died in the narrative of the story in season nine.

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