NCIS Boss Weighs In on Cote de Pablo's Status, Says Ziva's Perilous Arc Is Pure Coincidence

NCIS Will Ziva Return for Season 11That Agent Ziva David has embarked on a dangerous, season-ending mission to avenge her father’s death while portrayer Cote de Pablo is the only cast member not yet set to return to NCIS in the fall is pure coincidence, says showrunner Gary Glasberg.

“I have absolutely no qualms telling you that this storyline” — launched by the double murder of Eli David and NCIS director Leon Vance’s wife Jackie — “is something I was talking about last spring,” Glasberg asserts to TVLine.

RELATED | NCIS Spoilers on Mike Franks’ Return, McGee Meeting His Lookalike

“No, that’s not a game that I play,” putting a character in jeopardy when an actor’s status is TBD, he adds. “My job is to creatively keep the show going and do the best job that I can, and let other people work that stuff out. I’m all about the show.”

When last we tuned into TV’s most watched drama, Ziva had covertly set out to find Ilan Bodnar (played by Oded Fehr), the man she holds responsible for the deadly assault on Vance’s home. When the show returns next Tuesday to uncork the final four episodes of Season 10, “We send Ziva off, with Tony, on a clue trail that leads them to Berlin,” Glasberg previews. As things unfold, “This arc connects into the story that becomes the season ender and dovetails into what will propel us into Season 11.”

RELATED | NCIS Exclusive: JAG Favorite to Return in This Season’s ‘Nail-Biter’ of a Finale

But will de Pablo be around for the already renewed next cycle? When series lead Mark Harmon inked a new deal for Season 11 back in February, it left the actress as the only series regular in limbo. (The last time de Pablo entered contract talks, in 2011, she didn’t re-sign until late April.)

“I actually have had very little input and interaction with [negotiations],” says Glasberg. “We knew that we had this whole Bodnar arc for the second half of the season, and we’ve all been very focused on that.

“I’m confident that things will work out [with de Pablo],” he continues, “and we’ll present the best finale that we can and go from there.”

RELATED | NCIS Season 10 Casts Star Trek: TNG‘s Marina Sirtis as Mossad Boss

And will this season’s finale — titled “Damned If You Do” and airing May 14 — be the sort that leaves Ziva and/or others in some sort of jeopardy? “There are absolutely issues that come up, situations that leave us asking, ‘How is the team going to move forward? How will things change within the team?'” the show boss teases. “I’m not going to let you down in terms of that!”

Want more scoop on NCIS, or for any other show? Email and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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  1. Gr8Auntie says:

    I’m not young, but I just love watching de Pablo take out the bad guys, who think she can’t handle them. I do a fist pump and a, “YES!” and bet others do too. She’s a good role model for young girls. It’s so nice to see a strong woman character that can handle herself and her emotions. I think it would lose a lot if any of the team left the show. We are avid viewers and love all the characters. So, I totally disagree that they could put someone else in the team and have that chemistry work the same way. I like the idea of a love interest for Gibbs, but she would have to be strong, like Dr. Ryan. Similarly, anyone de Pablo gets involved with on the show should drive a tank to work and be every bit as tough as Ziva David. Otherwise, it would be a short marriage. I still miss Kate and Jenny. :-( Don’t kill off any other characters please.

    • Marissa says:

      How is Ziva a good role model to young girls? She killed a man she was holding in custody by hitting him in the throat because he annoyed her. She jammed a loaded gun against an injured man’s chest after assaulting him and knocking him to the concrete. She regularly emasculates her so-called love interest, attacking his intelligence, character, and masculinity. She’s admitted to having sex with men to get information. She’s a trained assassin who murdered her own brother and then lied of it to her father figure to get in good with him for years. A role model for young girls? What is she teaching them? You can get away with lying, manipulation, and even murder if someone gets on your bad side? You should talk down to men if you want them to desire you? Thank god mine see her for the sociopath she is.

      • Katmandu says:

        Why do feel the need to do that? Let people have their opinions – this is exactly why most fans have left boards like yahoo, IMBD etc is because every time we say something positive about Ziva we get a reply like this. People get tired of it which is why you do it I’m sure.

        Post your opinion – you are certainly entitled to it, but in the same respect- accept others without the need to validate yours over ours by pretty much saying “you are wrong & here’s why”

        • Marissa says:

          I’ve not been to those boards, just this one and TV Guide, and the mailing list that runs the fan events. You perhaps have me confused with someone else, giving my posts more weight based upon some interaction with someone else, perhaps. I’m interested in how Ziva is a good role model to young girls, And I’m forever thankful my girls are more drawn to Abby’s quirk and compassion, not to mention her scientific nature.

          • Gina says:

            I love Abby but she is far from perfect they all are, i remember the episode when she chose a dog over McGee, people are dying and she’s worried about Christmas. She acts like a child almost all the time.

          • Julie Merritt says:


          • Gina says:

            oh Julie I know and I love abby and the entire team, my  point is that if marissa feel the need to come here and tell me that ziva is bad and abby is perfect I will have to disagree with her, the team is far from perfect, all of them not only ziva and that’s what makes this show number 1

          • Marissa says:

            I never said Abby was perfect, Gina. I’m just very glad my girls are pursuing science at university because of their interest in emulating Abby, rather than Ziva.

          • Julie Merritt says:

            I am with you on that

        • Becca says:

          When you say something like “Ziva is a good role model” why are you surprised when people disagree? She is a horrible role model. She’s ruled by her emotions and violence is her first response to anything. She has no strength of character and seems utterly focused on herself alone. I am glad my children and their friends see her for what she is. As Marissa said she’s just a sociopath.

          • Let’s restate this, Cote de Pablo is a great role model for young girls. She is playing the rolls that males usually play and is giving the opportunities that females don’t usually get and that is empowering and encouraging to young girls all over. Also Ziva isn’t really that bad of a role model, she is a NCIS federal agent after all, don’t point out all of her flaws point out the fact that she’s protecting our Navy our COUNTRY! even if she’s aggressive.

          • Julie Merritt says:

            JustinLit I very much agree with you

          • Julie Merritt says:

            Becca she is not

      • Gina says:

        Ziva is strong and determined, she is not afraid to fight for what she want, and believe it or not she also care about others, you can see it in the episode where Lee dies when Gibb was talking to Lee’s sister and that’s my opinion.

      • Megan says:

        I agree with you. I don’t get why people want Tiva. she verbally abuses him and assaulted him in Tel Aviv. It’s telling girls that it’s okay to abuse a man, but if he abuses you it’s not okay. If it’s a woman abusing a man it’s not okay.
        She also never learns. You would think after the Michael Rivkin thing she would learn not to keep stuff to herself. She kept that Rivkin was there and with her and Tony had to kill him, so that he wouldn’t end up dead. If she would have told them long before that then her going to Somalia would have never happened. Those two kids have to grow up without a Mom because she still hasn’t learned to tell them what she saw. If she would of told Gibbs that, that was a photo of her father two little kids wouldn’t be motherless and Vance would still have a wife. That and she would still have a father and there would be no reason to go on another revenge mission.

    • Sally Ann Miller says:

      amen Gr8Auntie!

    • vern says:

      Please don’t kill off any other characters. I agree.

  2. Linda says:

    If Ziva leaves then will not need to watch NCIS. Love the other characters also but they all work well together. All shows do it but I can stop watching them too.

  3. rhf1127 says:

    Oh, I hope she moves on. She’s a good actress and I used to like the character but the writers have ruined her by putting her in too many situations where she should see consequences and doesn’t. She recognized her father in the photo and didn’t say anything right away – if she had both her father and Jackie Vance could’ve been saved – and somehow everyone’s cool with that. They’re also beating us over the head with the sexual tension between her and Tony which makes it lose its power. In the earlier season’s of Ziva when the writers weren’t TRYING for it, it was a much more interesting dynamic. It’s scary to think about changing up the team after they’ve been together for so long but a lot of people said the same thing about Kate and the show moved on.

  4. susy says:

    If Ziva leaves NCIS, I won’t be watching this ever again.

  5. Anita Wilson says:

    No Ziva – then I am done with NCIS, she is main reason I watch this show. All the other characters are so vanilla, she adds a little spice to the mix. Give that woman what she wants to make sure she comes back or you will be losing alot of fans.

  6. Marissa says:

    If the only reason you’re watching NCIS is for Ziva or for the possibility of Tiva, I’m afraid the Ziva and Tiva obsessed media has bait-and-switched you. This show was never about one character or one set of character interactions, or a sexual or romantic pairing. It was always about the whole, the entire team, including Ducky and Abby and Palmer solving military crimes. Somewhere along the line, people seem to want it to become the Ziva show. Or the Mossad show. Or the will Ziva and Tony be together show. And that is a discredit to the actors, the writers, and the crew.

    • Stan says:

      People like who they like. Who are you tell us different? I don’t see the Ziva supporters writing paragraphs trying to convince people to like her, but those of you who don’t like her feel the need to try to convince us otherwise. its not going to happen. If you don’t like her, fine – no skin off my nose- but don’t tell why I can’t like or admire her. So what if people only watch for her – Why should you care?

      • Marissa says:

        Stan, I believe you misunderstand my post. I don’t care who anyone likes, or doesn’t like. My favorite characters on the show are hardly fan favorites. The point I was making is that this show never was Gray’s Anatomy with guns rather than scalpels. It was never designed or executed as a show about romantic pairings, whatever pairings they may be.

      • Barbara Kimbler says:

        I believe we all have our favorites characters. Mine is Gibbs, DiNozzo, Ziva, Abby, Ducky, McGee, Palmer and yes even Vance. But unfortunately if Cote leaves it will be devastating to see her go. She is a lovely lady who is a great actress. She would be missed deeply. But I hope she stays.

  7. Julie Merritt says:

    Ziva get him

  8. Julie Merritt says:

    I also hope Mossad is getting to the chase.

  9. tejas says:

    People have their fingers crossed that we’re going to finally be done with Ziva. I’m sure CDP wants to stay since I doubt there are many who would hire her. Though I suspect she has a future in telenovellas.

    • Julie Merritt says:

      I hope Ziva stays

    • Meg says:

      Wow Julia, your trademark snark is showing. Just because you & about 11 others don’t like Ziva or Cote doesn’t mean you can speak for “people”. Most of us love her!

      • Barbara Kimbler says:

        what people maybe you should name them. I’ve not heard much about people that hate her. Ziva is a character on the show. How can you hate Cote for she is real. She isn’t like her character. But that is my opinion. Don’t judge people before judging your self first.

  10. Pam E says:

    NCIS has been my FAVORITE tv drama since it first aired…I can’t even imagine the show without Ziva and the interplay with Tony. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, don’t leave us, Cote! We LOVE you!!!!!

  11. Daniela says:

    I am confident she will be returning, that is the only way I can get through the summer. If she doesn’t return for Season 11, I will be devastated. She is my favorite character & the show would not be the same without her.

  12. KyNCISFan says:

    I have loved season 10 so far & I really hope that Cote renews her contract. NCIS would not be the same (for me) without her & I seriously doubt I would watch again. If for some reason she does decide to leave the show, I hope that TPTB breaks from the norm of the past & that they DO NOT kill her character & at least leave a possibility of return or future cameos.

  13. Gina says:

    I love NCIS, especially Ziva!!!!
    I like Kate but Ziva can’t be topped, she’s my favorite character in the show. Brilliant performance of Cote de Pablo, a gift to the eyes!!!
    No ziva no ncis for me, which is a shame because it’s the only show I watch on TV.

  14. Jennifer says:

    no need to watch this show without Ziva – without her I might as well be watching any of a half a dozen other shows on tv. she keeps interesting.

  15. Victoria says:

    Love the interactions between these cast members. However, Ziva is the best and makes it worth watching. Never really liked the other actress that played Kate, so didn’t watch, but love shows that the current cast members including Ziva. She rocks!!!

  16. Amaevis says:

    I watched NCIS occassionally during the first two seasons, but it wasn’t until Ziva arrived and the Tiva chemistry that I totally got hooked. Without Ziva and the resulting Tiva – I would go back to being the occassional watcher again.

  17. Deborah McCormick says:

    This is my favorite show. Not much left worth watching on TV. I don’t go for all those reality shows. Wake up. We live reality every day. Why sit down in front of a tV to watch someone else’s reality. I enjoy each of the characters on NCIS and as you said they each bring “Character” to the show. I understand the need to move on but good writers can write those into the show and keep the group together.

  18. Julie Merritt says:

    Bring Diane Neal back.

  19. Carol says:

    NCIS is the best show on t.v. and will not be the same without Ziva/Cote. If Ziva goes so do I, and I am sure many more fans. Did you hear that Les Monves???

  20. chelsea hermansen says:

    I am always waiting for the next episode of ncis and without ziva on the show it would be like the first episode in season 3 of ncis when it was just dinozzo and mcgee and I dont think the team would ever be the same without ziva. pleasekeepZIVApleasekeepZIVA :(

  21. Taylor M says:

    I love this show, but if Ziva leaves I am not sure I would continue to watch. Im sorry but her character is great!

  22. Paula says:

    I recently read an interview in a magazine with Cote de Pablo. Although she is interested in doing other things, she is happy with NCIS. I didn’t get the impression she was going to leave soon. I hope she stays. NCIS would not be the same. But it’s always politics and money that tends to direct the outcome. Look what happened to Csi Miami, another one of my favorite shows. Poof, off the air. No amount of begging from loyal fans holds any weight.

  23. luke says:

    Leave the cast alone please I could not watch with out all of them pay them what they want if they want to leave ok but don’t kill them off like Kate that was horible retire or take a promotion off the show end the show if they must but keep them a family give gibs a family next year mold Tony and ziva a relationship her character needs it Tony’s character would be good to her make McGee happy his life seems very sad give Abby a weird Guy that fits her promote Palmer let ducky become a professor so he can teach would suit his character Vance give him top dog spot only if they must end the show next year if not I’m still watching :-) provided they don’t loose Tony or ziva they make the show

  24. Teddi Alger says:


  25. Catherine says:

    I like Ziva and hope she stays on the show.I will keep watching if she leaves. If the actress wants to go there’s really nothing TPTB can do about it; I agree about keeping her alive instead of killing her off if she does go. However, I really hope Tony and Ziva DO NOT get together. Personally, I think they’re better as friends. I just don’t think they have romantic feelings for each other. The relationship seems more like siblings to me.

  26. Sandra says:

    This NCIS team is great, it’s the best team they have had. Ziva needs to be a part of the team, without her it won’t be the same. Corte (Ziva) please don’t leave the show. Hope everyone will come back next season. Love the show, we watch it every week and the reruns everyday. :)

  27. Cote is pregnant. She will leave the show but Ziva will be there as Tony’s girlfriend off the screen.

  28. PrisonGuy says:

    Well, at this point it looks like she won’t be returning given the previews to next week’s episode. It looks like someone dies from the car crash and they’re on Ducky’s table and why would the drunk driver be there?

    Only time will tell, the tale, but other series wrote a non-returning cast member off early. The cast member came back in flashbacks or say as a ghost in the case of Supernatural. Bottom line … anything is possible and the previews lead one to see . . .

  29. Karen KOu says:

    Please do not kill off Ziva!!!!!! Please let that not be her body in the morgue…
    last year was bad enough when we thought Ducky was dead!!!!!

  30. bill simpson says:

    ncis is the only show i watch on tv. record all episodes. ziva is very important to show & it would not be the same without her. i would also like to see mike franks more in future episodes. thank you from loyal fan.

  31. Paul says:

    Though I am not an ardent tele-viewer, I have owned a television since the “black and white with rabbit ears” days. I have thought for may years that I would never have a greater (TV) love than Northern Exposure. Enter NCIS. The chemistry between the actors themselves and between the actors and the viewing audience is remarkable. I know that these actors were all hired and that the scripts are written, but I can’t credit any single person for this unique chemistry–it just happened. It’s one of those situations where the tally of the units is less than the impact of the whole cast. This is great TV.

    • Helen says:

      I agree with Paul. They have great writers as well as wonderful actors. I watch all the rernuns on USA! Down with reality shows!!!!

  32. cynthia says:

    I would be very disappointed if they kill Ziva and/or Tony.

  33. Phyllis Stiebens says:

    I am not a TV fan and have done without it for years. We just did dvd’s and no tv. but early this year we got cable to try and amoung all the terrible shows, i found ncis. i fell for it right away and woudl watch the ncis marathons on the usa channel. since that time, i have fallen in love with the show and characters. there is nothing else out there. many shows doing similar things but the characters just dont “have it”. no show can go on forever but i pray this one will be with us for long time. when they can make me laugh out loud and sit and cry like a baby, they have a good show! love every character too! i am buying the seasons on dvd so on days it is not on tv i can put it on. Please dont leave yet NCIS , we love you guys so much. sort of like family, even though we know you are just playing a character’s part. it is so nice to see the heroism and honor and love with a dose of humor thrown in. tv is mostly garbage out there right now. NCIS for as long as possible!!!

  34. My son & I are avid watchers. We even watch on-demand. The cast totally works well together, but I have noticed the pacing of things things to be erratic. Sometimes, as if there is too much info to cram in, the writers refuse to leave any out so it all gets flung out at once and while my brain is absorbing one chunk, I feel like I missed something else…it didn’t used to be like this. It used to build more slowly. I too hope the character of Ziva is not killed off, I can’t envision it would do anything interesting other than watch Tony despair. The cast does not do “despair” well, who does? I am not Pollyanna, but would it really necessary to kill off a cast member?

    just to see the opening , well crying wont change anything.

  36. Mar S. says:

    Well people, it’s CBS – they usually kill off their best shows for the dumbest reasons. NCIS has a few good seasons left and they should make use of it. It is a great show with wonderful actors that work well together, why spoil that? But then again, it is CBS and I kind of expect that from them.

  37. I have been an ncis fan fro the beginning before the lady was a part of thr show when it was tony,mcgee and gibbs and then came kate , when she got killed i kept watching and when ziva came it made the show more interesting of she leaves i will stop watching like csi,cis miami, house when you change the characters you change what works and it becomes uninteresing so i will continue to watch the reruns which is what i do now. but if cote de pablo goes it want be the same show anymore

    • Jean Gladstone says:

      Kate was in the pilot of the series (the ‘Gibbs & Kate on Air Force One’ episode). It was McGee who joined the group several shows in.

  38. Evelyn says:

    If dePablo is leaving, I am also. It is a great team as far as I am concerned and according to all the above comments, a lot of us feel the same way. Come back Ziva!! You would be greatly missed.

  39. vern says:

    This show is very compelling. I watch all reruns and can’t wait for the next new show. Tony and Ziva have bee close but nothing ever happened. I would like to see something going on with them. I really hope that Cote is not leaving the show, because I don’t think anyone can replace her position. We have lost some good people in this show, but this would be tragedy if one or both gone. It leaves you wondering what would have happened. I thought something would happen with Kate and Tony, but that did not happen. I believe in the writers that they can make this happen and the cast will be great. This one of the best cast and the best show on TV these days. I know it will have to end some day, but not like this. I hope there will be more to come with this cast. I can’t wait for the next episode. I plan around Tuesdays to watch.

  40. char says:

    If Ziva leaves….I leave

  41. well when kate left the show it was sad but Ziva brings more to the show with her boldness and is’nt afraid to do are say anything….especially when it comes to Gibbs and Tony so for what it’s worth the show will not be the same without her cause she is the perfect character for the part she play even with Kate she wasn’t as good as Ziva but Kate character was a little different from Ziva….I am wanting her to stay.just to see if she ever get terms or quotes right that Tony and Maghee is always correcting her on..

  42. well if they dont keep Ziva I wont watch it anymore

  43. Jean Gladstone says:

    Don’t forget Michael Weatherly’s comment after the airing of the ‘Kate gets shot’ episode: “NCIS stands for No Character Is Safe.” But I agree that I will be reluctant to keep watching if Ziva is killed off. And if you don’t like her character, blame Eli David. He raised both her and her brother Ari to be killers.

  44. Megan says:

    I really hope they kill of Ziva. I can’t stand Tiva. She treats Tony like something she scraped off her shoe to the put downs she always aims at him and to the assault in Tel Aviv. Why would anybody want to put an abuser(Ziva) with her victim(Tony). She hit and killed the guy in the elevator, she hit Ray and she assaulted an already hurt Tony. What happens if he angers her again?
    Question. If Tony swept Ziva’s leg from under her and she was already hurt. If he pointed a gun towards her chest and then the leg and told her that he wished that she would have died. Or if Tony said the put downs that Ziva throws at him would you still want Tiva? Or is it because it’s Tony, or a man do you think it’s okay to put an abuser with their victim? I don’t care if it’s a man, or woman who it happens to they should not be together with their abuser because that’s what Ziva does to Tony. Verbal abuse is called that for a reason. Plus she physically abused Tony in Tel Aviv.

  45. thomas hoffman says:

    Kate left and it went on, as much as ziva is popular, she can be replaced…….I think the Coast Guard cutie would do…..

  46. anne says:

    Well, the finale has already been written so they know if she is or she isn’t coming back. I just hope someone doesn’t die in the end. That is totally unnecessary. A person can just quit a job can’t they and write that in a script. It’s ridiculous to always have these endings where someone dies. There are other things.

  47. Jimbo says:

    Anybody remember M*A*S*H? Possibly one of the best series ever on TV and they closed up shop on the premise that they had done all they could with the story-line. As much as I would not like to see NCIS end, it will sometime and I expect sooner than later. If the writers can do as good a job as they have so far and as the M*A*S*H writers did, the final season, whenever that is, should bring closure for this NCIS team.

    And the Ziva renewal issue is simply a business decision for her and for CBS. Nothing more and nothing less.

  48. slurpee says:

    I hope they keep this show and the cast. Cote is good as Ziva.

  49. Andy Nowlen says:

    I wonder why NCIS has felt ‘thin’ ‘weak’ about half the time, during this season. Are they not paying their writers to do a good job? Even last week everything was on a thin fake looking set instead of something solid and real. The script is the same way. No nuance, bluntly njumping from statement to statement with no segues… it leaves me feeling like CBS cut the budget. I hope Ziva stays but grows up. I also hope CBS will set the ship right in the next 4 weeks. Did you notice that during the wreck nothing else was visible. No other traffic, no other buildings, no other activity – just one big fake looking intersection. The perspectives were not true to life at all. My wife and I keep watching and hope the season finishes well.

  50. Ree says:

    Please don’t mess up ‘Our tv Family”. We love this show and feel like we know everyone. Tony makes us laugh, and keeps Mckee on his toes and Ziva and her crazy words. Gibbs what can I say but that is PERFECT !! We love him and his real wife. We are older folks and this is THE BEST SHOW EVER !!!!! Ziva sign the paper !!