If you’re an ‘NCIS’ fan and have been wondering why Cote de Pablo is leaving the show, here’s some scoop: it’s not because of money.
At today’s Television Critics Association press event, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves revealed the network put up a big fight to keep de Pablo on the hit drama as everybody’s favorite Mossad agent turned NCIS agent, Ziva David. Despite some speculation, salary had nothing to do with her exit.
"We offered Cote de Pablo a lot of money, and then we offered her even more money. We really didn't want to lose her," Moonves said. "We love her; we think she was terrific. ... Ultimately she decided she didn't want to do the show."
Moonves continued, "It was purely her decision. ‘NCIS’ was the highest-rated show on television last year. We don't like losing anybody, but we did everything humanly possible. We feel like we exhausted every opportunity, and she just decided she didn't want to do the show."
At the beginning of July, de Pablo announced she would not be returning alongside Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette and Sean Murray on the hit series.
“I’ve had 8 great years with ‘NCIS’ and Ziva David. I have huge respect and affection for Mark, Gary, Michael, David, Rocky, Pauley, Brian, Sean, all of the team and CBS. I look forward to finishing Ziva’s story,” de Pablo said in a statement.
Since her announcement, her co-stars have spoken out. Perrette, who plays gothic forensic scientist Abby Sciuto, most recently tweeted, “Cote's my friend! Love her. You guys writing mean things to ME (?) I'M SAD SHE LEFT TOO! I didn't want her to leave! SAD!”
No official word has been given on how de Pablo will leave the series, but I’m crossing my fingers she exits with the potential of returning - especially for Ziva and Tony to finally get together!
Are you shocked de Pablo didn’t want to do ‘NCIS’ anymore?
UPDATE: The network has released some information, in logline form, about Ziva's "emotional" departure. It seems she won't be killed off, but she will leave her NCIS position behind. Read here:
"Former Mossad agent turned NCIS Special Agent Ziva David leaves the team in an emotional episode. Several unexpected twists will occur related to the personal lives of Palmer, McGee and Vance, and the team will face one of the most dangerous adversary’s they’ve ever encountered. Also, this season the series will mark its 250th episode."
'NCIS' Season 11 premieres Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. EST.