NCIS – Is Cote de Pablo Leaving the Series?

ncis-cote-de-pabloNCIS fans have been investigating a case of their own lately: whether or not Agent Ziva David will be part of next season.  So far it is known that Cote de Pablo, the actress that portrays Ziva, has not signed on for next season yet.  Now consider that in last night’s episode of NCIS, Ziva embarked on a rogue mission to avenge her father’s death.  Rogue as in, no backup.  It’s not a huge leap to suspect that this means Ziva will be killed off before the end of the season, but according to showrunner  Gary Glasberg this is absolutely not the case.

“No, that’s not a game that I play,” Glasber told TVLine’s Matt Mitovich, referring to the idea that the plot might have been constructed to provide an exit for Pablo should she not renew. “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.”

In the last episode, Ziva had set off to find Ilan Bodnar, the man she blames for the assault on Vance’s home.  Although this plot thread seems outside the overarching storyline, according to Glasberg it will connect next week. “We send Ziva off, with Tony, on a clue trail that leads them to Berlin.  This arc connects into the story that becomes the season ender and dovetails into what will propel us into Season 11.”

Mark Harmon, NCIS’s lead man, renewed his contract with the series back in February leaving Pablo the only series regular without a contract.  The article at TVLine, though, points out that the last time Pablo negotiated she didn’t sign until late April.

So is there reason for fans of NCIS to be concerned about whether or not Pablo and Ziva will return to the series next year?  Glasberg becomes sort of an artful dodger when confronting that question directly stating:  “I’m confident that things will work out [with de Pablo], and we’ll present the best finale that we can and go from there.”

Seems like Glasberg is leaving the future of NCIS up in the air at this point.  The series could certainly go on without Ziva, hence the ‘go from there’ portion of his response, but his confidence in the negotiations is by his own admission just guess work “I actually have had very little input and interaction with [negotiations].”  Glasberg had stated earlier in the article.

If we had to speculate on this and what the wider impact could potentially be for NCIS and its numerous fans, the loss of Ziva and Pablo, as difficult as it would be to swallow, could make for a disarmingly dramatic plot device for the NCIS finale.  Even though killing major characters has become sort of a cliché in drama programming these days, it’s not something that NCIS has ever tread into lightly.  If Ziva does leave the series at the end of this season it is sure to have NCIS fans grieving and talking for months.  Time will tell.

Jon's writing has appeared on CraveOnline, BuddyTV, and numerous other online publications. He is a charter member of the Broadcast Television Journalist's Associations (BTJA), the organization behind the Critic's Choice Awards.
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  • lame

    It would be a tragedy, losing, according to TVline and their poll, the hottest badass female enforcement officer on television. When Ziva takes someone down it is believable, she looks strong, powerful,Ziva has curves, where would we turn to for the modern day evening edition of wonder woman.
    Say it aint so Cote, say it aint so.

  • anna

    We can only hope that CBS will realize how little cote contributes to the success of NCIS and boots her right out the door.

    Ziva’s ‘action’ scenes are comical at best. Her arcs are poorly developed and center around her over acting and usually require Weatherly or Harmon to prop her up.

    As far as the poll on Tv Line goes, considering that her fans used every measure possible to ensure she won, the idea that the results are used to claim her popularity is hysterical.

  • Yaqui

    Gosh Anna, I can see that bashing Ziva and Cote de Pablo on the IMDB message board is not enough for you. Shame.

  • Maggie

    I believe that the show would go on without a hitch if Cote opted not to resign. It has survived other characters leaving and her departure would be no different. In some ways it would be a wonderful breath of fresh air. After all we have already been down this road with Ziva going rogue, no need to rehash it. Some viewers would be sad of course, but as in life, the show will go on. She leaves I will breathe a sigh of relief for the tedious writing some of the writer have given us will hopefully find new ground to sow. And bring back the team spirit that is sorely lacking of late.

    • LCD

      Makes you wonder just exactly what will happen to her character this season.

  • anna

    I’ve got as much of a right to leave my opinion on that washed out character as anyone else…. & just because it’s not squee doesn’t make it bashing

  • Jennifer

    I just wanted to voice my opinion on this matter. Although I haven’t been a fan of NCIS for that long( started watching in 2006), I have grown to love the show as a whole. I hope for the sake of the fans as well as the producers that Cote de Pablo WILL come back next season. I’m kinda worried right now and mom and myself are both speculating if she’s coming back or not. Please let things work out on the contract and have Cote de Pablo back for Season 11!! I have personally grown to love her as Ziva and don’t wish her or anyone else to leave the series right now. By the way, can’t WAIT for next weeks episode!!!!! I’m so excited and hope I’m home to see it!!

  • Sam

    You’re right Anna, you have every right to leave your opinion. And no, just because it’s not favorable doesn’t make it bashing. It just shows that you are in the minority on your negative opinion of her, and more than a little over the top about it, which is why so few people take it and you seriously.

  • Grace

    I personally would love for Cote to re-new her contract. Shes my favorite character. I dont think the show would survive without her. yes its survived character deaths but those character’s were on for very few seasons/episodes. Cote has been playing Ziva for almost 8 years now and losing her would make a significant impact on the show (not saying the other character deaths/ actors leaving didnt… i sure they did) but shes been with them for so long it’d be hard to watch the team without her.

  • Dave daring

    As I understand it she signed up for 2 seasons in 2012, is in season 11, why all the drama?


  • SAM

    Cote signed a contract on April 25th of 2011 that was for two seasons, 2011 through 2012, and 2012 through 2013. That contract expires at the end of this current season. She and her agents are currently in negotiations for what would most likely be another 2 seasons contract.

  • Michael

    NCIS has become so boring the last couple of year maybe its time to change some things

  • SAM

    Cote leaving won’t help in that department.

  • Jeanne

    I don’t necessarily want her to leave because she does contribute. BUT, given the choice of tiva or no Cote … I choose no Cote. That being said, my preference would be she stays just leave them as a team with no tiva. Not only do I not want the dynamic ruined as does happen sometimes when shows get their stars together on screen and I’d like it to remain out of soap opera land but honestly, Tony needs to grow some self-esteem and stop being the kicked puppy chasing her so she can kick him again. She’s proven time and time again she will.

  • SAM

    If you really want to keep it out of “soap opera land”, then put them together — the modus operandi of soaps is to work overtime at keeping the couple apart, often tying themselves and the script up in a shape resembling a pretzel.

    Personally, I doubt that the team dynamic will be ruined or upset by putting them together. If you want an idea of what it would be like, go back and watch “Ignition”. A good McGee centric episode that wasn’t hurt one bit by the Tiva in it. And the way they were acting in that one, many wondered if they hadn’t already entered into a relationship.

  • Adrianna

    Right, you can. But you have to face the reaction from people.Everyone else has right to NOT agree with you.Isn’t that what you are saying to anyone who doesn’t agree with you on IMDb? Of course after jumping on the person with insults and suggestions to go post on FB or Twitter? All of you – all 6 -7 people.

  • MaggieS

    The highest ever rated episode in the 10 year history of the show was a Ziva centric one. Her performance was hailed by critics and viewers alike. The show would suffer greatly if Ms. de Pablo left.

  • Alana

    Cote de Pablo’s exit would be a huge loss to the show. If you think I am wrong look at the drop in ratings of Law and Order SVU the last one of the series standing with Christopher Meloni’s departure. Everyone loved the chemistry been Olivia and Elliot.

    So don’t be so quick to think it wouldn’t cause a drop for NCIS,

  • Tori

    I would cry for years if she didn’t return. She is my absolute favorite character…other than Tony… and the show would be lost without her. COTE PLEASE SIGNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!

  • Shirley

    I am so sick of television shows these days. No one is allowed to be happy. Someone has to die at the end of the season. Can’t one show buck the trend and actually have a happy couple?

  • Kathy

    I have been a loyal fan since the beginning. I could not believe when Kate was killed off. I cried. Then came Ziva… and it took me a while.. but I love her character now! Please do not kill Ziva off! I want to see Ziva and Tony move forward with their closeness and get romantically involved. Just let them be happy for once. The chemisty of Ziva with the other characters… is awesome.

  • Trish

    Truth: if Ziva is gone, that’s the THIRD female that they killed off. As much as I love the show, I would not be able to watch it with Cote gone. It would speak volumes about how producers view women (expendable). I’d be amazed if Mark Harmon and the other monied decision makers didn’t cough up the change that Cote de Pablo deserves. She is GLUE for this show. A crucial piece of the chemical mix that defines “NCIS.” Kate was never that way for most of us, but I lamented her loss. Jenny was a very difficult loss. But losing Ziva would be a nightmare for the success of this show. Among the many reasons is because her character is Israeli and lovable. Has anyone thought about this? Ziva has educated and evolved the most hardened of hearts regarding Israel. That means e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

  • Valorie

    I also do not understand why characters have to be kept apart romantically. It often seems TV land will only let two characters get together at a shows end. I think a Tony and Ziva couple could add a whole new dynamic to the show. That is the one thing I do not like about NCIS, why every one has to be single or relationships end horribly. My only other wish is that we could have more Tobias. I LOVE him.