The NCIS franchise is one of CBS's most successful properties. The flagship series has been running for 20 seasons, while the spinoff NCIS: Hawai'i has been renewed for a third season. But then there's NCIS: New Orleans, which ended in 2021 -- much to the dismay of fans, who still talk about the spinoff, featuring Lucas Black as Christopher LaSalle.

LaSalle was a fan-favorite among NCIS: New Orleans viewers, and he lasted almost the entire run of the series. However, audiences were shocked when the character left the program in one of its most emotional storylines, which raises the question of what happened to LaSalle on NCIS: New Orleans.

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Who Was Christopher LaSalle on NCIS: New Orleans?

Lucas Black as Christopher LaSalle sitting in front of a computer on NCIS: New Orleans

Christopher LaSalle was a key character in NCIS: New Orleans, from the very beginning. When the series debuted, LaSalle was already the right-hand man to Supervisory Special Agent Dwayne Pride, played by Scott Bakula. LaSalle was known for three things: his Southern accent, his appreciation for the Alabama Crimson Tide, and his litany of personal issues.

In his final season, however, LaSalle seemed to have pulled his life together. Season 6 revealed he was attending church with Dr. Loretta Wade, and felt like he was doing more good in the world. That happiness, unfortunately, should have been a red flag to viewers.

In Season 6, Episode 6, "Matthew 5:9," LaSalle was shot while investigating his brother's death at the hands of an Alabama drug ring. He was taken to the hospital, but died from his wounds, surrounded by his team members. LaSalle was remembered with a wake at Pride's bar, but he was never forgotten by NCIS: New Orleans viewers.

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Why Did Lucas Black Leave NCIS: New Orleans?

The cast of NCIS: New Orleans surrounding Christopher on his deathbed in the hospital

Like every procedural, NCIS: New Orleans had multiple actors leave over the course of the series. The flagship NCIS saw Jennifer Esposito leave the show after a single season, and Dick Wolf's FBI: Most Wanted wrote out Julian McMahon after two and a half seasons. While fans were angry about NCIS: New Orleans killing off LaSalle -- some even hoped it was one of Pride's nightmares -- the reason why actor Lucas Black left is similar to why McMahon is no longer in the FBI franchise.

In an interview with the UK's Express, Black explained it was his decision to leave New Orleans. "All throughout my career, there was a concern because I would observe how the entertainment industry would destroy families," he said. Black noted that he worked nearly 70 hours a week over the first three seasons of the series. Ultimately, Lucas Black decided to exit NCIS: New Orleans to spend more time with his family, and no fan can blame him for that.