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 am so Sad that Cote is leaving ... I HOPE that they write in ONE MORE episode with her SINGING!They Can't Kill her off ( like Kate ) maybe she leaves for love??? I wish HER & the WHOLE CAST the BEST .... they all just keep getting better & BETTER!!!


What the ratings do this season remains to be seen. If ratings drop, I'm positive that the pissed off Ziva zealots will claim that it is due to her absence. I personally think that if ratings take a dive, it will be more due to the writing. Despite the ratings of the last couple seasons, the writing has been extremely formulaic and mediocre for a couple of seasons generally speaking. If they don't take this opportunity to shake things up a bit, I could see ratings dip a bit. If they can get back to intelligent stories and feature their already gifted cast solving crimes in their own quirky, funny, and heroic way, rather than featuring the Ziva type over blown tragedy du jour, I think the show will fare just fine.


IMO, Ziva leaving is just the shiny, shocking thing that the "media" has latched onto and that a few zealous fans with waaaaay too much time on their hands have been obsessively screaming online about as loudly and often as is humanly possible. The fact remains that Ms. de Pablo has said in interviews, that it was her choice to leave, so unless she's just plain lying, all the theories from her "fans" that portray her as poor poor victim and CBS as the Big Bad Wolf, are just self serving fantasies. They seem to be created and believed by people who don't actually care that they can't really have a clue about the facts in the matter. They are upset and don't seem to mind making up and believing things that justify their need to express their righteous indignation over and over and over and over and . . . .


@Erin: By "interest" I meant the response to the things that have been reported in various social media. I am sure that there are some people somewhere talking about other aspects of the show. But almost all of the news items (if you want to call it news) I see when I google NCIS news or NCIS spoilers mention Cote/Ziva and how her leaving will affect the show.


@gatorgal - I don't think that the "only" interest for future NCIS has to do with Ziva's departure. I just think the media has chosen to cover it constantly and her more zealous (and somewhat unhinged) fans are constantly online throwing the loudest tantrums as well as saying outrageously awful things about CBS and her former cast members, thus fueling the publicity fire. I am a member of a discussion board where we are all quite thrilled about the prospect of a shake up in the writing, focus on other characters for a change, and hopefully an end to the soap opera that NCIS became as writers created tragedy after tragedy in their effort to keep the focus on Ziva. I'm quite excited about seeing the rest of this talented cast get some attention for a change.


It would be nice if she carried on her fathers' wish for peace in the middle east in case she stays in Israil somehow with the occasional guest spot. Or possibly a spin off show of her own as Ziva or someone else. With as large a fan base as she has, and as talented multifaceted actress she is, she could do anything.No one knows the REAL reason for her leaving and I know how hard it must have been last season carrying many of the scenes. Probably tiring and emotional with little home life.I know I would have a nervous breakdown carrying the #1 show.Sasha had a hard time of it so maybe she did too. Rock on,Cote!


I do feel bad for the rest of the cast. The ONLY interest in NCIS this summer has been about Cote leaving, not about what exciting things will come out of the finale, and oh, I sure hope we get to see "Baltimore Tony" again. Even the new girlfriend of McGee is ho-hum. Apparently they dropped the new character "Ozzy" who was supposed to be in the premiere. The cast can't really say too much except they will be working hard to give us a good product, not "you're right, we're in trouble and will probably lose our #1 spot now." Personally, I only watched NCIS for Tony and Ziva, so I will be hard pressed to watch it after episode 2.


I think NCIS is going to stay on the air for awhile.


All this what i can read on this site and all others is allways the same. They told we have news but is still the old stuff. That the show want to go on will be normal. I want the reason why this crash. And the old, it was Cote who leave, i don't believe in fairytails. All this "new" information is like the last letter from Gary Glasberg.


I hope the character of Ziva is not killed off; they already did that with the character, Kate, whom Ziva basically replaced. Maybe they have her going back to Israel to continue her father's work or maybe she had a secret boyfriend and they are getting married, having a baby and moving to Israel....anything but having the Ziva character killed off like Kate was.
I also agree that Jaimie Lee Curtis should not return as Gibbs love interest (although it would be nice to see him find a different love interest). Ziva's character is important to the show but so are all of the other characters. Cote de Pablo portrayed an excellent Ziva; we will have to get over her leaving just like we did when the character of Kate died. I have been watching NCIS ever since it began and it is the main show that my husband and I love to watch together; we go as far as scheduling other activities around it so that we don't miss it. I even watch reruns of reruns. I hope that NCIS goes on for another ten years.

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Bishop: Does she know you have these?
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McGee: Yeah.
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