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NCIS Boss on Cote de Pablo's Exit: "I Can't Replace Her"

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Yesterday at his Television Critics Association press tour panel, CBS President Leslie Moonves talked about Cote de Pablo’s exit from NCIS and how the network did all it could to keep her on board.

Soon afterward, meanwhile, I grabbed some one-on-one time with showrunner Gary Glasberg to talk specifics about the surprise departure.

Exactly how many episodes will the beloved de Pablo appear in? Will Tiva fans be satisfied? And what happens to the NCIS team after Ziva David leaves the show? Read on for all the answers...

Cote de Pablo as Ziva

TV Fanatic: You probably heard what Les said this morning about basically giving de Pablo a truck full of money to stay but she’s still leaving…
Gary Glasberg: That is absolutely true. I think I was quoted many times months ago saying that I was positive that this was going to work out and I really was. To get to the point where we were a few days before prep and to suddenly be thrown what happened, I had to gut everything and start all over again.

The storyline where we left Gibbs [in the season finale] still plays but basically the first two episodes are this interwoven storyline of the Gibbs story and now the Ziva story and the second episode she plays very prominently in and then that’s her last episode.

So I locked myself away and I came up with this storyline and I’m pleased with it. I think it will be satisfied for all the fans but the Tony-Ziva fans especially. Look, she’s a part of this group and a part of this family and team but everybody respects this decision and we’ve got to move on.

She’s in the first two [episodes] and then…I feel like there’s a mourning period that has to happen. I can’t just put somebody else in there. As I’ve said to many people, I can’t replace her, I can’t replace Ziva David but what I can do at some point I can find someone who fills a new void and something new that adds to the group.

I think we’re going to take a nice long break, basically, and let the team in the show as well as the cast adjust to what’s happened but eventually Vance is going to look at that desk and say ‘it’s empty and we have to fill it.’ And then we’ll find somebody.

Honestly, I think people are excited about it, I know the writers are. I think they’re excited about having something new to play and it opens up all kinds of doors. I think Michael Weatherly would say the same thing. He’s basically, in the second episode, he goes and finds her and they end up spending real time together. I genuinely wanted to deliver everything I wanted to the fans knowing that this is kind of it.

TVF: Is the door left open?
GG: I don’t want to specifically say what happens to her but I’ll tell you I think that people will be very satisfied where it’s left. And all the Tiva chemistry, I think it will all deliver. There are some lovely, fantastic scenes in that episode.

And then we’ll pick up Episode 3 with Gibbs saying to Tony, “We’ve got a job to do,” in his usual Gibbs way and then we’ll get back into it. But then there’s going to be this fun…I wanted to keep it entertaining for people and there’s going to be this fun rotation of people of women coming and going. Everyone from an older agent about to retire…this curmudgeonly woman who literally is three days away from retirement and just needs to burn some time up at a desk. We’ll play it lightly like that and eventually when people will least expect it something will happen and hopefully someone will walk in and that will be the one.

NCIS Season 11 premiere September 24th on CBS.

Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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I will miss cote as much as any other NCIS fan and there will always be a place in my hart for her. She has given so much to us fans and I think we should give her something back such as love and support for what ever she wants to do next. All though she is gone I can't help but wonder where the righter's of NCIS will go and who will replace Cote. Cote you have given us 8 wonderful seasons love you and you will be missed by all of us.

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Dear Ziva.....
I will miss you. You were the perfect woman to fill that empty seat. They say everybody can be replaced, as far as I am concerned that is not true.
You are truely a beautiful and intelligent woman-(actress).
Best of everything to you.
I hope you realize how much we (MEN) are going to miss you.
Come back and visit whenever you can.

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I'm not a fan of Tiva. But I was a huge fan of Tony and Jean Benoit. Not sure I spelled correctly. Anyway...bring backScottie Thompson. That was excellent chemistry with Weatherly

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Ziva, so many times I see so many actress leave
And go no where. Ziva, your fantastic on NCI. Do not
Leave, NCI is successful and your one of the reasons.
Change your mind. Stay, because no one likes a quitter.

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Okay that was just half of my comment so once again.. Sooo, kids I have to interfere :b Seriously.. After 8 seasons no one can replace her or anything! That's just too much time! I mean Kate died after the second season, with accentuation on the second(!), the 8th season is just too much!
I'm not really a Tiva shipper but that's just because I'm generally not a shipper. Actually I really like the idea of Ziva and Tony together.
Navy CIS is one of my favorite shows on tv but without Cote/Ziva it's just not the same! 
However I'll watch the 11th season, but as soon as the new character comes around and if it's not Ziva I will stop watching! 
Because it all starts again! Tony, Gibbs, McGee, Abby, Ducky, they will be sad two episodes and then they'll forget Ziva! And then the new character comes around and the same story starts again! first season everyone is sceptical, second seasons and the others.. She gets a part of the family and blablabla.. With the little difference that it gets boring and she's not Ziva and it's not the same!
Characters come and go in every tv show and most of them survived that, but not with the female leading character! 
Don't hate me but this is probably not only the end of Ziva's story, it could be the end of the show. 
Yes, we can't change it, it's Cote's decision, but I will stop watching Navy CIS at this point because there could actually the whole show come to an end.. They get older and I don't think it's good to start this again (with a character who will be hated first a very long time by many fans! Even Ziva was hated first, but that's 8 seasons ago!)  But answer me one question! Is it unrealistic that Cote returns someday? Maybe she just wanted to take a pause and comes back for maybe the 12th season? At least that's what most of the fans want to see and I really hope she thinks about it once again :b
Isn't there place for 5 persons anyway!? With Ziva there's still one empty place if she would come back :) but please be clever and leave every door wide open, watch the old seasons :( and always remind fans can be so cruel :'D especially shippers! 
Is there still hope that she returns in near future? :/ Okay that was my opinion in a very long text, the short form is: Navy CIS without Ziva is like How I met your mother without Barney! (don't know why but Tony and Ziva always remind me of Barney and Robin :'D and no one could replace one of them! Not even their lookalikes :b (by the way 'Mustache Marshall' was the best :'D) so no one can replace Ziva and the whole story she was a very important part in) Greetings from germany where most of the population is a shipper and very sad about it! ;)
By the way: Gibbs rule No.11 is Schwachsinn! 
Lg Catalina  Woah that's the longest comment I've ever wrote o.O it's like Bigfoot! :'DÂ

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Sooo, kids I have to interfere :b Seriously.. After 8 seasons no one can replace her or anything! That's just too much time! I mean Kate died after the second season, with accentuation on the second(!), the 8th season is just too much!
Navy CIS is one of my favorite shows on tv but without Cote/Ziva it's just not the same! 
However I'll watch the 11th season, but as soon as the new character comes around and if it's not Ziva I will stop watching! 
Because it all starts again! Tony, Gibbs, McGee,... they will be sad two episodes and then they'll forget Ziva! first season everyone is sceptical, second seasons and the others.. She gets a part of the family and blablabla.. With the little difference that it gets boring and she's not Ziva and it's not the same!
Characters come and go in every tv show and most of them survived that, but not with the female leading character! 
Don't hate me but this is probably not only the end of Ziva's story..
Yes, we can't change it, it's Cote's decision, but I will stop watching Navy CIS at this point because there could actually the whole show could come to an end.. They get older and I don't think it's good to start this again But answer me one question! Is it unrealistic that Cote returns? Maybe she just wanted to take a pause and comes back for maybe the 12th season? At least that's what most of the fans want to see and I really hope she thinks about it once again :b
Isn't there place for 5 persons anyway!? With Ziva there's still one empty place :) but please be clever and leave every door wide open, watch the old seasons :( fans can be so cruel :'D especially shippers! 
Is there still hope that she returns in near future? Okay that was my opinion in a very long text, the short form is: Navy CIS without Ziva is like How I met your mother without Barney! (don't know why but Tony and Ziva always remind me of Barney and Robin :'D and no one could replace one of them! Not even their lookalikes :b (by the way 'Mustache Marshall' was the best :'D) so no one can replace Ziva and the whole story she was a very important part in) Greetings from germany where most of the population is a shipper and very sad about it! ;)
By the way: Gibbs rule No.11 is Schwachsinn! 
Lg Catalina  Woah that's the longest comment I've ever wrote o.O it's like Bigfoot! :'D Sooo, kids I have to interfere :b

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Cote's role as Ziva was nothing short of hilarious at times between misuse of English and her flirtations with Dinozzo.Ziva had Tony wrapped around her little finger from the get go. She made Tony grow up. While not a huge Tiva fan it added some comedic lift to the serious drama. I do wish Cote all the best and I do hope that she will have her opportunity to reprise the Ziva role as a guest appearance in the future. She stated that she wanted some time with her boyfriend and family. I would assume that that could be code speak for wanting to settle down and start a family. Time will tell.

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Here is an idea. Take a look at seasons 3 and 4, then look what Glassberg is doing. Downhill. There are 47 minutes of actual show time. They list eight stars, then consider to make a story you need more people. She can probably see very little screen time coming, unless you count her standing around with Tony and McKee taking turns making a comment on the victim. It could be simple enough that she just wants to get back into acting and stop being set decoration. There is one thing I will regret. Not seeing more of her relationship with McKee. ziva is very protective of him. And their scenes together, rare as they were, were always refreshing. And watch closely. They have been using the same stable of directors for years. Not any more. Some of the directors are doing Maxwell and King and another show who's name I can not remember right now. It is like Glassberg took over and decided to pull the show apart on the installment plan

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We will miss Cote very much God bless her. Cote has to follow her heart.

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I had heard she was leaving but couldn't believe it. Perhaps we become too invested in a show and when things change, it leaves a void. She will always be Ziva, no matter what else she does. I think she is awesome. I do hope that it wasn't "about the money"

NCIS Quotes

You know what Tony is spelled backwards? Y not? Think about it

Tony

Pendergast: Call me Leia
Tony: Like the Princess.
Pendergast: I hate Star Wars.
Tony: Nobody hates Star Wars.
Pendergast: You do when your name is Leia, Agent DiNozzo

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