Mark Harmon on Cote de Pablo Exit: It's Our Job to Stay #1

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Mark Harmon commented on Cote de Pablo's exit from NCIS last night, and said it's his job - and the show's - to stay on top regardless of changes and challenges that are thrown its way.

Harmon said on Thursday night’s Arsenio Hall Show, “We’ve had a lot of changes, and we’ve managed to get better with the changes both in front of the camera and behind the camera."

“We have another change this year, with Cote leaving,” he added, “and it’s up to this highly professional group to use that as a springboard, to improve and stay No. 1 [in total viewers].”

Gibbs and Ziva on the Case

Just this week, NCIS showrunner Gary Glasberg shared an open letter to fans regarding the issue, reiterating his shock in de Pablo’s decision to leave yet promising "amazing resolution."

He promises a "pretty damn heart-wrenching" storyline from a show that's had its fair share of them, and tells the NCIS faithful to "prepare yourselves for a moment in television history"

"Images that will end up in the archives,” Glasberg wrote. “I couldn’t be happier with how my NCIS family stepped up and did some of the most emotional work we’ve ever done.”

A bold statement, to be sure, but regardless of how you feel about Ziva leaving, does anyone doubt that he'll back that up when NCIS Season 11 kicks off in less than two weeks?

How do you think Ziva could/should be written off? Discuss below ...

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


I just look forward to the new season. I'm a Ziva fan, but I'm a bigger fan of the entire NCIS ensemble. It's a great team. The only reason I would stop watching is if Mark Harmon left.


All I can say is that Ziva will be greatly missed, I really love her in the show but if she feels it's time for a change then I wish her only the best. As for the new character----well----there is alot to fill and I wish her only the best as well----NCIS is #1 and will stay #1,,they are a great family and I hope Ziva goes out in STYLE!


I just hope they don't kill her, I' love for someone to exit and still be alive..


I'm sorry for everyone who feels deprived of their TiVA , but saying mean things about MW or MH how old they are and how no one wants to look at old guys with wrinkles , I read that at LA Times no less. THis isn't MH or MW 's doing . I'd say Cote wants to leave the door open so she held her cards close so they couldn't kill the character off. Now with all this uproar, she wins. It's genius . But alittle hard on her castmates. Lighten up everybody, its a show , watch and enjoy the ride.


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cast, the quality of writing will be perhaps the biggest determinant of ratings.


I've never claimed that feeling a certain way about a character or not, makes one into a "real fan". I find the whole "real fan" argument kind of silly. We all experience the show in our own way. I have also never claimed that all Ziva fans are zealots, rather that a very vocal few have said and done extremely inappropriate things in reaction to the news of her departure. Nor have I made personal attacks on individual posters, I hope. I can empathize with the unhappiness of fans losing a favorite character. I simply don't feel that fans are limited to only caring about CdP leaving. It's the media who are feeding that notion. On the contrary - I think those of us who plan to continue to watch mostly just want to be pleasingly entertained. I've never claimed to promote the show either. This is a discussion forum. Ratings? Who knows? I don't doubt that ardent Ziva fans may leave and have no idea how that could effect viewer numbers. I still contend that with this ensemble cast, the quality of writing will have a great deal to do with how the show does.


@Erin, et al: Maybe, maybe not. I find your comments on this site to be an angry, finger-pointing diatribe at those you look down on. You are as much a zealot as those "crazed TIVA fans" are. Making anti-Cote/Ziva/TIVA pronouncements isn't supporting and promoting the show and the other characters as so many on this site claim (i.e the TIVA fans only care about themselves and not the show, unlike us who hate Ziva who are the REAL fans). I like Cote, I like Ziva and I wanted Tony and Ziva to get together. It ain't gonna' happen. You won. Quit complaining.


First, I never said that Ziva didn't have fans. She quite obviously does and some are online promising that they will no longer watch when Ziva is gone. Fine. That's their right. I'm not surprised that CBS is using her departure to gain publicity for the premier. The finale was kind of underwhelming IMO. I never said that all Ziva fans are zealots, but some fans are giving the entire fandom a bad name with their melodramatic vitriol. They are accusing cast members and CBS of things that are simply unfounded speculation on their part. One threatened to go on a shooting spree. Another wished harm to a cast member's family. Some are writing letters every day and say they cry themselves to sleep. Sorry, but this is way out of whack.


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aware of the appeal of Tony and Ziva?)without tearing apart people with a differing opinion. I guess if that makes me a zealot, I will embrace it. Sorry for the rant but it is just nice to find someone with a similar opinion. Thanks.


@Gatorgal Thank you so much. I have also been trying to be rational on these pages and the TV Line pages only to be called an entitled and unreasonable Ziva fan. I really do not know how talking about missing Ziva makes me entitled and unreasonable but I stopped trying to figure out the people who don't like her a long time ago. I have been calm in my comments and have not made unkind remarks to the other side and yet I am continually slammed for my over the top love for a horrible character that has taken over the show by making it ZCIS. When I point out that the actors have no control over how their character is written I am told that Cote de Pablo is the only one in the cast that has this control. So thanks! I appreciate knowing that there is someone else out there that can make thoughtful comments about Ziva's exit (that is most certainly being heavily promoted by TPTB in the media. Why else would they show Ziva going in for the kiss in the extended promo if they weren't aware of the appeal of Tony and Ziva?)without tearing apart people with a differing opinion. I guess if that makes me a zealot, I will embrace it. Sorry for the rant but it is just nice to find someone with a similar opinion. Thanks.

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NCIS Quotes

Tony: One other question, I know you're an expert in English history. And I was just wondering, have you ever heard of Archibald Drummond, the 17th Earl of Trent?
Ducky: The Earl of Trent. No, I can't say I have. Why?
Tony: I was just wondering. Thanks.

McGee: All right. Well you should probably know that Abby and I used to date?
Bishop: Ew. Like, each other?
McGee: Yeah.
Bishop: Wait - isn't that a violation of rule 12, never date a....
McGee: It was a long time ago. After we'd broken up, one night I went to her lab. Found a scribbled piece paper; a list. Potential boyfriends had to fulfill certain conditions by a pre-arranged date or else, goodbye.
Bishop: Such as.
McGee: Things started off relatively normal: opening the door for her, flowers, putting the seat down. Then around number 8, it gets uh...
Bishop: What?
McGee: Does she know you have these?
Bishop: Does she know you have these?
McGee: Yeah she wasn't happy when she found out.
Bishop: These are all very specific.
McGee: Yeah.
Bishop: These ideas apply to you?
McGee: No those rules weren't in place when we were together. At least I don't think so.
Bishop: What's with the two month cutoff? Abby's sabotaging herself. I've seen stuff like this before. We have to talk to her.