Fall TV Preview

Cote de Pablo Mum on NCIS Exit Details, Says: 'I Left Under My Terms, and That Was Wonderful'

Why Did Cote de Pablo Leave NCISBreaking her silence for the first time since issuing a statement about her and NCIS‘ shocking parting of the ways, Cote de Pablo (somewhat) addresses the elephant in the room:

Why did she leave?

RELATED | NCIS Exclusive: Sopranos Alum Eyed as Ziva’s Successor, Debut Set For November

Speaking with TV Guide Magazine, the actress says the exact details surrounding her exit from the role of Ziva David after eight years on the CBS drama is “a personal thing, and I’d rather leave it at that.” (Shortly after her departure was announced, CBS CEO Les Moonves said, “We offered Cote de Pablo a lot of money — and then we offered her even more money.”)

Yet the actress goes on to note, “The idea of leaving was not something I toyed around with for a long time. It was an overwhelmingly hard thing — at times terrifying.”

“Leaving NCIS was not planned,” she reiterates when later asked to preview her future plans.

RELATED | Michael Weatherly on Ziva’s Exit: NCIS Has a ‘Remarkable Core DNA’ That Withstands Change

De Pablo confirms that she shares her final scene — as she did in very first NCIS bullpen scene — with Michael Weatherly, and promises the closing of “a beautiful chapter” between Ziva and Tony DiNozzo.

But as for wrapping up her storyline in Season 11’s first two episodes (starting tonight at 8/7c), she states: “Did I want to leave under those circumstances? That’s another story. But I’m not of the belief that you just take off and leave fans hanging…. I left under my terms, and that was wonderful.”

PHOTOS | Fall TV Spoiler Spectacular: Exclusive Scoop on NCIS and 44 Other Returning Faves

We now leave you with de Pablo during a much more playful moment, accepting in 2012 TVLine’s Ultimate Law-Enforcement Crushes Tournament trophy (the “male” version of which went to Weatherly).

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  1. I miss Cote, too. Perhaps, after a period of rest, Ziva will return. Maybe she has had a baby while away, and will come back as an unwed mother. More mature, but definitely still able to kick-ass.

  2. f4nsi6ck says:

    I respect Cote’s decision but still hope that she returns to NCIS. I agree that the new girl doesn’t fit in…. getting lost in her script… yes she’s a rookie as an agent but I hope not as an actor…. NCIS would lose its standing to be a classy intelligence agency. Honestly, I have stayed away from the new episodes and just enjoy watching the reruns with Ziva. We miss you Ziva….Please come back :(

  3. Bob says:

    I liked Coyote de Pablo and I like Emily Wickersham. They are much better than Lauren Holly’s character. Though I wish Jimmy Palmer wasn’t so dumb.

  4. Hope Creasman says:

    This is such a mistake. Ziva belongs on NCIS. We have pulled for you all these years and you owe us some slack. Please don’t leave. If it is the hours of work you do, I am sure you could work part time.

  5. Doug Boone says:

    there is no doubt that cotes charactor ziva was an integral part of ncis’s success, and the show hasn’t been the same since she left.you cannot replace someone who played that part so well.the csi series tried it and has failed, criminal minds tried it with letting aj cook go, and they had to bring her back. so if they don’t try and bring back cote, they will lose there number one rating. she’s the best looking butt kicker on tv and plays the part supperbly.if she won’t come back, then you should try and lure aj cook away from criminal minds.we love cote.

  6. Wanda says:

    Ziva! Ziva I miss you so much on the show. It is not the same with you gone. The other staff is great, but you bought out something that they will never get back – your relationship with Tony who is great. Enjoy!

  7. Barbara says:

    I do not care for the new girl. What is it with her and sitting on the floor she just isn’t Ziva. But I was thinking that maybe she is with child. A year off maybe she will come back.

  8. BC says:

    Somehow I don’t think that Bishop is going to tickle all the female viewers’ hidden inner lesbian quite like Ziva did. And when the heck are they going to get rid of those CRT’s?!?

  9. Jean Alica says:

    I noticed that when Cote de Pablo’s departure was pending a lot of fans asked for Diane Neal’s character to replace her but that would not have worked as it would have been a demotion. But a red head would have appealed more at that time. She could still have been married but instead of a Proby she could have been a regular NCIS agent who has moved to be with her husband. Maybe she already knows Gibbs.It might have worked given that trying to replace a beloved character of eight years would be difficult. I don’t care who she has worked for the present character is a total mistake. She is to opposite Ziva for it to work. (

  10. CathPounder says:

    come home Ziva. We miss, and dare I say need you. What a character, what a waste.

  11. NCIS LA need to learn something from the ORIGINIAL SHOW!!!! NCIS (especiallywith Cote) had such a tremendous sense of connection between the cast, there is a real feeling the viewers get from the backstory of the characters……EACH AND EVERY ONE…..FROM ABBY TO JETHRO AND DUCKY…..I FEEL LIKE THEY ARE MEMBERS OF MY FAMILY AND THATS WHY I CAN WATCH RE-RUNS OF NCIS FROM YRS AGO EVEN IF I HAVE SEEN THEM 100X. I STILL GET THE SAME EMOTIONS EVERY TIME. NCIS LA IS LACKING IN THAT DEPARTMENT AND THEY NEED TO FOCUS LESS OF THE BIG EXPOSIONS AND MORE ON CHARACTER DEVEOPMENT. THAT IS WHAT KEEP VIEWERS HOOKED. And I am so so so so very sad to see Ziva go, because the chemistry between Tony and her was ELECTRIC. GOODBYE AND GOODLUCK COTE IN YOUR NEXT FUTURE ENDEAVORS!!! SINCERELY, CARRIE from Springfield MO (1OF YOUR BIGGEST FANS :-) )

  12. griskapratiwi says:

    Kate gone, and now ziva do. At the first time I think nobody can’t replace kate, but I saw ziva in NCIS I tried to loved it and now I really love it. And the blonde girl who play elanour, I think she don’t have a charisma like kate and ziva. And it makes me NCIS so empty, WE WANT ZIVA BACK!

  13. griskapratiwi says:


  14. Elmer B Fillow says:

    We miss ziva. Show is not the same without her. As a big fan , It is a big loss for us.

  15. I have loved ncis since ZIva joined the ncis team.they all seemed to mesh together, a special chemistry that was second to none. This past season without her was dull.NO CHEMISTRY AT ALL. what happened to the HEADSLAPS? Where’s the SPARK? I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE ENTIRE CAST,EXCEPT FOR ZIVA’S REPLACEMENT,SHE MAYBE A GOOD ACTRESS, BUT ON NCIS! UNFORTUNATELY NO ONE CAN REPLACE COTE DE PABLO,OUR ZIVA!

  16. vincent says:

    she left because her boyfriend did not like where the storyline was going with ziva and dinozzo

    • Zusel ben Shlomo says:

      Ziva was removed from the show because she represented a positive, strong, Israeli woman committed to the war that both Israel and America are allied in against terrorism and the enemies of freedom Think about how the show over time moved from ordinary homicides of naval/marine personnel (jealousy, money, criminals, etc) to the war on terrorism – specifically Islamist terrorism. Ziva, and by extension Israel, was vital a partner in that fight. That projection of an Israeli committed to justice for American service men and women was no longer desirable by some people in a position to shape American perceptions.

      NCIS was a lot more than a mystery show with nice character interaction. It was about values, American values, and Israeli values and combining them in one person was not “politically correct.”

  17. I’m not saying anything was going on with Mark and Cote, he is married man. But the behavior these two were displaying on and off screen was very disrespectful. I don’t care how close they were. He is married and that means hands off!

  18. Kathy says:

    Please come back Ziva. Miss you alot on NCIS. You and Tony have not finished your storiyline. miss you lots come back come back for good. I love NCIS watch it all the time even he ones on cloo and USA but it is not the same on without you the new girl is ok but you are the best COME BACK

  19. debbie chumney says:

    I loved cote de pablo so much she played ziva david so perfect that you thought she truly was ziva. I have watched ncis from the very first I love love mark harmon thats why it broke my heart when cote left to have to stop watching the show. Cote brought a fresh of breath air to the show. It felt like they were all really a family now that family is broken. No one will ever replace code ever! I miss the show so much so I watch it on usa every time its on. Thank god for reruns on usa with ziva david. I know iam just 1 person & what I think does not matter to you but ncis will never be the same with out her. Mark harmon is awesome but with code the show was perfect!! And p.s. you just need 1 ncis you cant replace code david & you cant have any ncis show run right without mark harmon. Just have the 1 ncis with harmon in charge tony tim & ziva & of course abby dr. Mallard & palmer. And then you have a never ending hit!!!! P.s. letting jenny go as director another huge mistske. Please I miss the show so much bring back are loveable ziva david she is so missed & the new girl is as fake as kate was.

  20. debbie chumney says:

    I loved code de pablo so much she played ziva david so perfect that you thought she truly was ziva. I have watched ncis from the very first I love love mark harmon thats why it broke my heart when code left to have to stop watching the show she brought a fresh of breath air to the show. It felt like they were all really a family now that family is broken. No one will ever replace code ever! I miss the show so much so I watch it on usa every time its on. Thank god for reruns on usa with ziva david. I know iam just 1 person & what I think does not matter to you but ncis will never be the same with out her. Mark harmon is awesome but with code the show was perfect!! And p.s. you just need 1 ncis you cant replace code david & you cant have any ncis show run right without mark harmon. Just have the 1 ncis with harmon in charge tony tim & ziva & of course abby dr. Mallard & palmer. And then you have a never ending hit!!!! P.s. letting jenny go as director another huge mistske. Please I miss the show so much bring back are loveable ziva david she is so missed & the new girl is as fake as kate was.

  21. Herbstreit, Judy says:

    Please come back to NCIS. It isn’t the same without you. We all miss you.

  22. Hi there, after reading this remarkable paragraph i am also cheerful to share my experience here with friends.

  23. sue says:

    we loved your character and miss her greatly. hope all is well and you;r happy. you are also beautiful and smart

  24. Bobbie Lesesne says:

    I was so disappointed when Cote de Pablo left NCIS. But tried to give my favorite show a chance to step up, It is lackin in excitement, very sad. I like the characters on NCIS LA. So will continue to watch it.

  25. Amy Carr says:

    Cote de Pablo should have left NCIS at all because she was a good actor.

  26. whatever reason your leaving for Cote , they must be good one’s.all i know is you will be missed not only by me ,but all your many fans.I wish you well and good luck in all that you do XX

  27. Ms. Jackie says:

    I was really, really dissapointed when Cote de Pablo left. I still miss her. What could have been so personal?, That she left her fans hanging? It’s hard to except.

  28. Ashley says:

    NCIS just isn’t the same without Cote de Pablo :(

  29. Eileen Delong says:

    I am not a person who usually gets caught up in TV characters, but I loved Ziva and want her back! If she is the holdout instead of the show’s producers, I wish she would change her mind and just walk into the office one morning like nothing happened, put down her purse and start to work. She and Tony had a chemistry that we rarely see between two characters on the big or little screen. Maybe I am being childish by not wanting to move on, but I don’t know why things had to change when they were good for the show. I feel that Ziva really didn’t know how much people loved and have missed her.

  30. marc says:

    I know i will miss ziva

    • Eileen Delong says:

      Whatever reason she had for leaving, I wish the powers that be would ask her to come back, or if they have done so, I wish she would. NCIS has been my favorite show for years. I guess the show’s producers think we will forget in time, but not me. Never. I still watch the show but there will always be a hole where Ziva belongs. *sob*

  31. marc says:

    I for sure miss her already.

  32. Pat Egger says:

    Well, NCIS is just not the same without Cote d Pablo. Been watching since she left, and the replacement woman is just not up to Cote’s charisma and acting. I believe NCIS Los Angeles is going to be my favorite now. Love all of them.

    • Eileen Delong says:

      I could not help believing that it was a mistake for Cote to leave the most successful show on TV at this time. I certainly hope that pride or hurt feelings didn’t cause her to quit. Some actors will forever be remembered for certain roles and this, I think, applies to Ziva. I hope that she will be happy in her future career, but I will miss her as long as this series lasts. I hope the head honchos leave the porch light on in case she ever wants to come back. I, along with her other fans will be waiting to put the kettle on.

      • Jeanne says:

        There are a number of reasons Cote could have left the show and we already know that money wasn’t the issue. Personal problems could be anything from a miscarriage, problems with a close family member, or heaven forbid, a serious illness with parents, grandparents, cousins, or
        just a very close friend who needed her.

        When my mother was ill last year, things stopped for many people who loved her, and they spent many hours helping the rest of deal with the more serious issues that come with age.

        As fans, all we can do keep on supporting NCIS, and hope she returns.As for the new agent, no, she will never be Ziva, but she has quirks of her own
        that are fun to watch…hThe way that she has been handling Gibbs for one
        is refreshing. Who ever gets in Gibbs face like that?

        If Ziva returns, I for one will be overjoyed, but having an extra agent around even when she returns won’t be bad. I’ve often thought that the team coukd use another agent anyway.

        I only know of one show that got better each time a regular was replaced,
        and that was M★A★S★H…. and look how long that lasted!

        Let’s give them our support, along with welcoming Ziva back into the
        fold if she can.

  33. C says:

    ziva was a great part of ncis. will miss her

  34. Marian says:

    Miss you on NCIS I know Tony misses you… I think you would be awesome to have as a friend..

  35. StevenGordon585@gmail.com says:

    ZIVA you were the intreage of the show. The constant mystery I will sorely miss you. Your irreplaceable.

  36. Donna. M says:

    I love NCIS but since Cotie left it kind of took something,away, still love it, But will she ever return I really hope so.

    • althea says:

      I think ziva left the show because of tony. Maybe a little romance going on. I think ziva was wonderful. The new girl should not be punished because ziva left. We all loved ziva and its hard to overcome.

  37. Penny Mills says:

    what will you do next ?

  38. Michael says:

    I watch NCIS fine. She left her fans hanging hope she never returns. It gave a gal a job I hope she is a success. Good Bye Cote you can stay in Chile and look for a job. Again you hurt a lot of fans when leaving plus all the people you worked with how cruel is that.

  39. Thomas Keinz says:

    Ziva will be miss tremendously I believe she was the best thing that has happened to that show in a very long time.
    Now is Toni was to leave it would be the best thing that has happened in a very long time. I spent 20 + years in the military and no one has done the thing that he has done in his position and has gotten away with it. To me he is just there as a stepping stone to Gibbs position and a total screw up. Get rid of him as of last year. I do not watch that program any more, until he is gone then I will be back.

  40. Toby Doysl says:

    We have missed you on NCIS, but we loved you on The Dove Keeper movie. thanks

  41. I just heard that Mark Harmon is leaving the show. I am afraid it won’t survive in its present format without him and Cote, and it has been my favorite show. Wouldn’t it be wonderful tho, if Cote came back and she and Tony (think Hart to Hart, McMillian and Wife) and the other cast members kicked butt better than ever? Has anyone else thought of that?

  42. Julie from Las Cruces says:

    I’m heartbroken. I will never see NCIS again without Cody there. I loved her and Tonys role together

  43. Rhonda says:

    i would love to see Ziva come back when she realizes she loves Tony and that is all that matters now that she has had time to sort out her feelings about her family who are all gone now. Instead of just going straight to him she applies for a job with the FBI (since she cannot be with Tony if she goes back to NCIS) and ends up patterning with Tony’s new girlfriend, (but the girlfriend knows nothing about Ziva or about Tony’s past with her). Ziva also knows nothing about Tony’s new girlfriend or that she has been made her new partner in the Terrorism Dept. which is directly operating with NCIS. When Tony and Ziva see each other for the first time, it’s at the scene of a case that involves the FBI and NCIS. Ziva walks up to them with his girlfriend and everyone freezes, not knowing want to say or do next. The only person that does not know at all what is going on is Tony’s current girlfriend;she is not happy when she finds out from someone other than Tony. Tony does not forgive Ziva quickly, and he does not know what to do next except tell the new girlfriend that he didn’t mention Ziva because he finally got past her and felt it was over. The new girlfriends ask him to leave until he can figure out where his heart really is. Tony argues at first, but on her request again, leaves and goes off the grid to figure out his own feelings.

    The rest of this story will have to depend on if the real Ziva (not the character) is ready to come back and stay or only come back long enough to stir things up. We the people would love to see them get married, have children and some time down the road go thru what Gibbs went thru with his wife and daughter.

    • Zusel ben shlomo says:

      The persona of Ziva had to go because it depicted the close link between the dedicated partiotic role of NCIS and Israel in fighting for democratic, just ideals as opposed to the bureaucratic ineptitude of the highly politicized FBI, CIA, and State depts.

  44. Shelley says:

    I have been watching NCIS with the new girl but I really don’t know how much longer I can watch my favorite show. She brings nothing to the cast. NCIS will loose ratings without Ziva!!!!!

  45. T everiss says:

    I thought she was fantastic in her role so sorry to see her leave not the same without her I wish her well

    • Annabell says:

      What happened to Gibbs? He looks younger. He finally got rid of that stupid hair cut. When are they getting rid of blondie and bringing back Ziva? This show looks like it’s circling the drain. The stories are beginning to be repeats of older shows. Please tell me that it isn’t going down. I loved the Kate and ziva characters but it seems that every woman who has worked on the show either died a grizzly death or left. Will they ever bring Ziva back? Those were the best episodes. The new girl needs to go now!!!

  46. Devona stewart says:

    I wish she would come back to the show.

  47. Christine Cyr says:

    So sorry she left the show. I look forward to watching her on the show.
    She definitely was one of my favorites wish you could come back

  48. I”ll love you will miss you.God Bless,I hope life will be good to you.

  49. Fernando hernandez says:

    Cote i am so proud of one of colombias most beautiful ckassy lady to play such a wonderful roll in ncis first of all i love the show and everybody in it . But i was so sad to hear that cote was no longer going to be in the show, i will miss SIVA i prray to god to bless you and prtect you coteand i hope you come back soon to ncis, i love you , god bless youmi reyna

  50. Ling says:

    I live in UK and I am a great fan of NCIS, but without Ziva is not quite the same, she is missing. Every time I watch NCIS I hope she is back. And hope they can get her back, the blond girl can not replace her. Cote de Pablo is pretty, with charisma and character, not easy to find !