NCIS Scoop: Cote de Pablo to Exit This Fall, Producers Promise 'Appropriate Closure' for Ziva

Cote de Pablo Leaving NCIS Cote de Pablo is invoking Gibbs’ Rule No. 11 — “When the job is done, walk away” — and has decided to leave CBS’ NCIS.

The actress, whose contract expired at the end of Season 10, will appear at the start of Season 11 (premiering Sept. 24) to conclude Ziva’s story.

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“I’ve had eight great years with NCIS and Ziva David,” the actress shares. “I have huge respect and affection for Mark [Harmon], Gary [Glasberg], Michael [Weatherly], David [McCallum], Rocky [Carroll], Pauley [Perrette], Brian [Dietzen], Sean [Murray], all of the team and CBS. I look forward to finishing Ziva’s story.”

In a statement, CBS said, “We respect Cote’s decision, thank her for being an important part of the NCIS team, and for eight terrific years playing Ziva David. Cote and CBS share a great respect for the NCIS audience, and we look forward to working with her and the producers on appropriate closure in this chapter of Ziva’s story.”

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News of De Pablo’s departure comes at the proverbial 11th hour, since NCIS is due to resume production next week. Her future with the show has been conspicuously in question since the spring, when her character of Ziva was steered into a dangerous mission of vengeance, at one point winding up in a (seemingly) brutal car crash.

After emerging from that episode-ending cliffhanger surprisingly unscathed, by season’s end Ziva and others had resigned from NCIS — and then the season ended with a four-month time jump, the disenfranchised agents thus far unaccounted for.

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Show boss Gary Glasberg maintained back in April, when de Pablo stood as the only cast member unsigned for Season 11, “I’m confident that things will work out, and we’ll present the best finale that we can and go from there.”

Are you bummed that Ziva and de Pablo are outta there?

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1192 Comments
  1. Tina says:

    But…But…But…ZIVA AND TONY?!?! I am not okay with this in any way. This is why dragging out chemistry is the worst plan, because someone decides to up and leave and ruin all hope for us fans. Also, I love Ziva, so even without the whole Tiva thing I am very bummed she is leaving

    • ClassicNCISfan says:

      Considering that a good portion of the ‘fans’ did not see chemistry between them, dragging it out works well for many with her opting to leave

  2. Bummed says:

    Sucks. Always need to remember that the showbiz industry is business first, art second, fans last.

    I am wishing Ms. de Pablo the best and just hope that her departure wouldn’t bury the entire show like it happened with House MD after Lisa Edelstein left. Those execs never learn.

  3. CJ says:

    I haven’t watched NCIS in a long time, but I know this is a real bummer for so many fans. I’m glad she will at least come back to wrap up her story instead of just disappearing into the night.

  4. Brandon says:

    Tony is going to be a walking depressed zombie all year. It’s going to get ugly for him.

  5. Jac says:

    I’M CRYING SO MUCH RIGHT NOW. SHE WAS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE!
    And no more Tiva?!? Nooooope I can’t handle this! She could never be replaced by anyone. And I JUST LOVE HER SO MUCH. I CAN’T BELIEVE SHE’S LEAVING :'(

  6. leonie smulders says:

    NO WTF
    whats with tiva? :(

  7. Elyse says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOO!

  8. D says:

    With Ziva gone, I’m as done with NCIS as I was with Criminal Minds after Emily’s (second) departure.

  9. Best show ever, it will not be the same, but it still has my support and I hope no-one else leaves but sometimes when one leaves all leave,but I hope not NCIS please stay. Good Wishes for ZIVA

  10. Jon says:

    I don’t want a new romance for Tony… at least not right away. Now is the perfect opportunity to bring in a full-time gay character. One that affects the bromance between Tony and McGee.

    • And reinforce CBS sexism with mostly male casts? NO, THANK YOU! Bring in a female. Though, she can totally be gay! OH, that would be awesome! She can be hot and gay, and Tony would be spending like 10 episodes hitting on her until the episode he sees her with her girlfriend :D

  11. Anon says:

    Well, looks like Tony is going to have to go another ten years before he gets together with the cute but appropriately contrasting woman they replace Ziva with.

  12. KATHY BERGERON says:

    The beginning of the end for NCIS….

  13. Wow. I am so bummed about this. I’ve watched NCIS from the beginning, and always enjoyed it, but when Ziva became apart of the show my love for it grew. I’m especially disappointed that this may (definitely?) mean no happy ending for Tony and Ziva, two characters who have shared immeasurable chemistry and a fantastically developed relationship. I guess I can hope she’ll be back for the series finale, whenever that may be.

  14. Louise says:

    I have to say I’m really annoyed and upset that Ziva (Cote) is leaving, the character has such good chemistry with not just Tony but the whole team. My interest with ncis started with Ziva’s and now I fear it might end with it too. I hate all this contract nonsense.

  15. H Lewis says:

    NOOO! She’s so awesome! Why is it that everytime there’s a girl who’s a complete badass they always get rid of her? :(

  16. Mary says:

    NOOOOOOO!!!! I’m done with this show after the premiere. It’s been a nice few years, NCIS.

  17. Jan says:

    I agree with most of you, I think Ziva added an element of mastery and mystery to the series, will miss her character!!

  18. Debbie Alger says:

    She is one of the reasons i watch NCIS. They have a wonderful team, won’t be the same without Ziva!!!!!!!

  19. Wahoo, walking Ninja Barbie Super Warrior Princess is history, this and ‘The Shield’ up against it, will bring NCIS off of it’s high perch, since all the agents are corrupt agents who do not represent or honor the badges they have sworn to uphold the laws. All are criminals after letting Ziva murder Bodnar.

  20. Kathy says:

    And so I stop watching ncis. She was the youngest on the show and I think for her career it probably is for the best. Most of the actors are mid or late 40’s acting like 15 yr olds.

  21. Amanda says:

    Disappointed, devastated, no words. She was my favorite part of the show and it really got good when she came on board. Shame that her story with Tony goes unfinished. To be honest, I felt like the show has been going downhill under Glasberg and I only watched for her interplay with Tomy. So no Ziva makes it an easy decision what to watch with the Avengers show on opposite in the fall. Avengers Assemble!!

  22. dmac says:

    Oh please, one character does not make or break a show. Every time a character leaves people always start with the doom and gloom and yet it always manages to go on. I loved Kate and hated to see her go and will feel the same for Ziva, BUT she made a good replacement for Kate when she came on board and I am sure I will warm up to her replacement.

    As for those blaming the producers etc. did you ever think she was the hold out, everyone else signed new contracts except for her. Maybe she was asking too much or wanted too much, the only one that can play that card is Mark Harmon and yet he never does…

    • Stacey says:

      The show will go on, but bringing someone new will bring a whole new dynamic which is very hard in year 10. And eight years of one person. It probably will work, if done well. But don’t underestimate the impact Ziva had on the show… And in the relationships…

    • Actually, some characters do make or break a show. Depending on the character or the show and the importance of the character for the audience. I’m NOT saying that character is Ziva in this case, nor am I a die hard Ziva fan, I don’t even care that shes leaving, but it happens.Take Two and a Half Man. Charlie WAS the show, and it went nowhere but downhill from there, for example.

      • JC says:

        I agree that some characters do make or break a show. For example, I was glad when they ended JAG rather than try to continue it without David James Elliott, but I don’t think Ziva is one of those for NCIS. In my opinion Mark Harmon is probably the only indispensable character on the show. I suspect a lot of people will watch as long as he’s there, but the show will probably not last long when and if he ever leaves.

  23. Stacey says:

    NO. Why. After eight years, no payoff with Tony and Ziva. No we know why they didn’t pull the trigger at the end of the season in case this happened. At least she is coming back to finish off the storyline. I guess she doesn’t get reinstated, or finds another opportunity and she closes out the story. It better not because CBS didn’t want to pay what she is due.

  24. Pepper says:

    As much as I am against Tony and Ziva ever hooking up, they should’ve done it years ago. Season 5-7 could’ve been perfect but once you resolve UST, there’s not much to watch the show for. (This show, anyway.)

    And Tony’s not getting any younger either. He went from handsome womanizer to bloated, red-faced perv in 10 years.

  25. holly says:

    CBS IS HAVING A REAL ISSUE PAYING ITS FEMALE ACTORS WHAT THEY DESERVE?

    • ClassicNCISfan says:

      She probably did not deserve what she was demanding

      • 1) No one knows what happened that made her leave.

        2) She deserves to be paid as much as her male counterparts, in this case, Michael Weatherly and Sean Murray. At least.

        • ninamags says:

          Um, no, she did not deserve to be paid as much as the second lead, who has been on the show since the beginning.

          She probably thought she could back the network into a wall. Turns out, just as many people are glad that she will not be back as are those who are weeping.

        • Marissa says:

          Her last salary increase took her well above Murray and 5,000/episode less than Weatherly but she got a “Significant cash bonus” which means she probably was making more than Weatherly.

          • ninamags says:

            Wow, that is all kinds of wrong if that is the case, then.

            Glad she is gone, regardless.

          • Now that I don’t think is right. The same way I think she deserves to make the same as her male counterparts, I believe THEY should make the same as her. She doesn’t deserve a penny more. I’m all about equality here.

    • CBS is the most sexist network, along with ABC studios, we all know that. But we really don’t know what went on behind Cote’s negotiation. We can’t blame them… yet.

    • They already paid CdP more than she was worth. This isn’t about sexism. THIS is about merit and she didn’t merit any more money.

  26. Megan says:

    Well that’s it for me and NCIS…

  27. JC says:

    Holy cow – did not see that coming. I’m not sure it’ll get me to watch again though. Tiva may have been my straw that broke the camel’s back but the bigger underlying issue for me was that they made my favorite character Gibbs someone I didn’t really like very much anymore. :(. And Cote leaving doesn’t fix that. I’ll be watching to see who they cast to replace her though. If they surprise me and cast someone I’m really excited about, I might give the show another shot. I do want to say though…..since I know this has been a bitter issue here on this site….. I personally have nothing against Cote or the character of Ziva, even though I didn’t care much for “Tiva”. While I wasn’t crazy about how some of her storylines were handled, I can pretty much say the same for all of the characters (save possibly Ducky). I can’t say that I ever thought her character was handled so much worse than any of the others.

  28. Nope best news I’ve heard in 8 years.

  29. LORE says:

    NO TIVA!!!!MY HEART JUST EXPLODED…NOW IM DEAD

  30. Andrea says:

    Good luck to Cote in her future endeavors, but the departure of Ziva David does not sadden me in the least.

  31. sladewilson says:

    I’ve never been a Tiva supporter mainly because I’ve always thought that Jeanne (Scottie Thompson) should return to walk MW off if/when he leaves because she was the love of Tony’s life. And another question – what actress would you like to see as the new “ass-kicker” for the team?

    • JC says:

      Yay another Jeanne fan! :). We seem to be few and far between. As for what actress I’d like to replace Cote, I can’t really think of any feasible options right now (although I know a few I’d like – it just would never happen). Maybe Poppy Montgomery if Unforgettable doesn’t work out this summer?

  32. Penny says:

    They are ruining the show. I love Ziva and her kick ass character. Kate was too prim and proper to be believable. I doubt they can continue. Frankly I liked her relationship with Gibbs the best. He was her pseudo father before her father was killed. He took care of her.

  33. Pamela says:

    I’m so glad I removed it from my DVR then.

  34. Kim says:

    GG has screwed this show so badly! It’s a sad day.

  35. Kibbles says:

    While I am glad it sounds like Cote de Pablo decided to leave of her own volition (as opposed to CBS’ notoriously bad handling of actress pay vs actor pay) I am pretty sure it’s passed time for Ziva to go anyway. There are only so many times you can drag out the Mossad cliche and her storyline had run it’s course (long ago, actually) and it’s best to go out on a high note.

    Personally, I am not at all sad to see Ziva departing, or the end of Tiva, as the show beat that particular attempt at a subplot to death. I am, however, intrigued as to what this means for the team as a cohesive unit. Throughout season 1, Team Gibbs operated just fine as a 3-person team, pretty sure the chemistry between Michael Weatherly, Sean Murray, and Mark Harmon won’t suffer a single bit. Michael Weatherly could have chemistry with a rock.

    The show has had an amazing 10 year run, and I honestly can’t wait to see where they can take the show now that the tired specter of Tiva is gone and we can get some REAL character development in there for Tony.

    • cernicalo says:

      Very well said. I’m more than happy that she is leaving. I just hope they don’t try to force another relationship (regardless of whether or not Tony is involved). I don’t look to this show for romance between the main cast members. Leave it off-screen, please.

  36. Looney says:

    Hate that Ziva is leaving my favorite show! Love to see her take out the bad guys. Will never stop watching though until Gibbs leaves.

  37. JT says:

    As bummed as I am about this news because am a huge fan of Ziva’s character, I really do think its about money. I mean with production starting on Season 11 next week I think its a huge giveaway. I mean if they wanted her back for Season 11 and beyond, which we all know they probably did, they would have wrapped up this deal months ago and gave her the deal she wanted. So with this news coming now and so close to start of production on next season just feels kind of suspicious.

    Now the pressure is on the writers because you know they thought that Cote would be back for all of season 11. So its going to be interesting to see where they will go without Ziva in the storyline and the search for her replacement. Actually I think her replacement will appear unexpectedly probably during a major storyline after the winter break. Ziva’s replacement MUST be a woman, Abby can’t be stuck as the only girl this group of guys. And whoever the actress the series creators choose to replace Cote, has some huge shoes to fill.

    It’s going to be sad to see Cote (Ziva) go, just don’t kill her off.

    • Marissa says:

      How do we know they thought she’d be back? Chances are, after months of negotiation, they had two different roads planned, one if she signed and one if she didn’t.

  38. Lillian says:

    CSI has new life breathed into it with Ted Danson. NCIS needs new blood. Hopefully they won’t try to cast another femme fatale.

  39. Sheldon W. says:

    Well, aitch-eee-double-hockey-sticks!

    If it wasn’t for Tiva, I’d have stopped watching NCIS years ago!

    To quote the great philosopher Opus T. Peguin, “Plplplplplplplplplplplplplplplplp!”

  40. CA says:

    Na na na na! Na na na na! Hey hey hey! Good-bye!
    Now maybe the show can stop the soapy stuff and get back to what made it an intelligent yet funny show, unlike anything else on T.V. Get back to the team working together and actually liking each other again.
    No more Mossad – yay!! No more stupid tiva anvils – yay!
    Good, tight, interesting stories that actually show respect and honor to the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Not just a dead body that eventually leads to a Ziva wobbly lip scene.
    I do wish Cote lots of success and only the best in whatever the future may have in store for her.

    • cernicalo says:

      “Not just a dead body that eventually leads to a Ziva wobbly lip scene.” lol. I’m with you there! So tired of Ziva angst!

      • Just think, we won’t have to deal with her wobbly lip crap or her scenery chewing. (Am I the only one who thinks it’s freakin’ hilarious that Harmon calls her “goat”? LOLOLOLOL)

  41. Angela says:

    I’ve only seen bits and pieces of this show at best on TV (don’t mean that as a slight on the show or anything, just one I haven’t had much chance to see a whole lot of), but hell, even I’m surprised by this news.
    But given the discussions about the show and her character in particular that I’ve read on here…*Sits back with some popcorn*

  42. Karina says:

    I don’t think NCIS will survive without Ziva David. And after Kate’s (Sasha Alexander) gone, it took a severe amount of time for the fans to warmed up to Ziva. And the chemistry between Tony and Ziva has been build up for eight seasons and now Ziva’s gonna be gone without being together with Tony, EVER? That’s like kiss of death for the show! The fans are gonna be really dissapointed and stop watching NCIS altogether. I mean for me, the reason I keep watching NCIS for 10 seasons is because I want to see Tony and Ziva’s relationship really going somewhere! I seriously think you should just make them a couple, an Ziva would quit NCIS because of rule 12, never date a co-worker, but Ziva and Tony’s can’t hold their feelings for each other anymore so she quits in order to be with Tony. Ziva David is irreplaceable so I think whoever women agent character has to replace her, she doesn’t stand a chance. NCIS should stop while they’re ahead. Don’t keep continuing this without a full cast, not after eight years together. And I would stop watching if #TIVA is not gonna end up together! Please take my advice on Ziva’s closure! :'(

    • Andrea says:

      I don’t think NCIS will survive without Ziva David.”

      NCIS survived for two years BEFORE there was a Ziva David. I hope Gary Glasberg studies how CSI and CSI: NY handled departures, particularly CSI: NY. They cast someone with name recognition like Sela Ward, and the series lasted 2 1/2 more seasons. Two more seasons (this and next) puts NCIS at an even dozen. I’d be quite happy with that.

  43. djev says:

    Get ready for that serious, grim Tony…

  44. teresa_u125 says:

    Thank you, beautiful Cote, for the most wonderful 8 years of television. Best of luck in all you do. You’ve got so much talent and a career ahead of you!

    As for the show, I’m not sure I will watch it anymore. I love all the characters, but Ziva made the show for me, and she was the reason I decided to watch.

  45. mary seeley says:

    Well, I was not fond of the change to Ziva but somehow the show won’t seem the same now without her. I even named my dog after and often say that I would like to be BAD like Ziva, what the heck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. Ryan says:

    NCIS survived Kate leaving…it can survive this. I’m glad the Tiva story is over, dragged too long.

  47. Pat says:

    I am really, really sadden by this. The character of ZIVA turned out to be a great fit working with the other agents. I have been a long time NCIS fan and will continue to be, but Cote’s departure could hurt the show since her character was there longer then the character of Kate. Oh my gosh just typing this is making me heartbroken.

  48. Me says:

    “Ziva is irreplaceable.” – Tony Dinozzo, Season 7, ‘Truth or Consequences’

    • Katlynn says:

      Ziva, Tony is right you are NOT REPLACEABLE

      please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please . COME BACK

  49. Bran says:

    The biggest issue will now be how they handle Tony. This could get ugly for him. Really ugly. Fugly, even.

  50. Mary says:

    Very, very sad news.

    • Meg says:

      Seriously Everyone!!! Yes we will all be sad to see Ziva go but it’s obvious she just wanted out! If and that’s if she got offered $ plus a bonus to stay as Ziva and turned it down then Cote is the one who is being selfish and stingy!!
      Lets get real, 1) yes, we can all agree that she is a decent actress and 2) maybe there would or wouldn’t have been a “Tiva” connection (I seriously doubt it)!! There is no way she deserved the same amt of $ as Michael or Paulie who have been on the show since day 1.
      And to top that off, Michael, this past season started directing the show and made more $.
      So there was no way she deserved to make the same amt of $ as Michael!
      I wish Cote well on her life endeavors and hope she finds happiness!! As for NCIS, what do they say, the show must go on and go on they will! The key in my opinion is to start at the top and get rid of Vance, never did like him and the rest of the pieces will fall into place everyone will see!!!!