NCIS Showrunner: Ziva's Exit Will Be "Heart-Wrenching"

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In an emotional open letter to fans, NCIS show-runner Gary Glasberg addressed the exit of Cote de Pablo, promising shocks, surprises, goodbyes and plenty of tears on the horizon this fall.

Glasberg stressed that the cast, producers and writers respect de Pablo's decision to leave the show and said they spent all summer working on her character's exit and shaping NCIS Season 11.

While fans may be crushed that the actress is leaving, the show is bringing its A game.

Ziva D. Pic

"The amazing resolution you're going to see is pretty damn heart-wrenching and we're incredibly proud of it," executive producer Glasberg wrote. "Prepare yourselves for a moment in television history."

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

She'll appear in the first two episodes of Season 11 before her character exits the series. CBS boss Les Moonves said they tried to get her to stay, but that it was entirely her call.

"We offered Cote a lot of money and then we offered her even more money. We really didn't want to lose her. We love her ... We obviously were in discussion with the rest of the cast and the producers [and Cote]."

"Ultimately, she decided she didn't want to do the show."

“It was not an easy decision," de Pablo told Latina. "I feel like I am leaving my family. What I want to say most of all is thank you to the fans and to the people who have been so supportive of me and of the show."

NCIS Season 11 officially begins Tuesday, September 24.

Read Glasberg's open letter to fans after the jump:

NCIS Open Letter

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


Sorry GG, but you blew it by not working hard enough to keep Cote! It is quite obvious that Cote had a personal issue that GG wouldn't work around. He then insinuates it's Cote's fault for the poorly written Ziva farewell episodes, when he is at least partially responsible (he should have had a backup script written when Cote hadn't resigned by the season finale airing). He also promised up at least 2 episodes with Cote and we got 1 where she had a whopping 15 of screen time. Shame on him and the few posters who continue to post nasty rumors and comments about Cote. GG deserves to be fired for this blunder. I, for one, will no longer watch NCIS until Cote is back. As for the comments by some that those who won't watch because Cote is gone are fake fans, I beg to differ. Once a cast that works well together is changed, the quality of the show tends to suffer. It happened with CSI and Criminal Minds, neither of which I now watch, but used to be a fan of. It doesn't make anyone less of a fan when they give up on a show because they no longer enjoy it!


i have been watching the show evr since zeba was on & i do like her character i think she is great with tony, but all the charaters are great, i will miss zeba, i do hope she comes in every now & again & not kill her.
i love the show


I love Ziva's role and will miss her a lot. Tony and Ziva are the most unperfect pair in any show and I love them together. Ziva you will be missed my many


I love NCIS with or without Ziva, but I loved the relationship and tension between Ziva and Tony. I'm so going to miss her but I'll still watch of cours. Now if Tony were to leave, I'd be very upset!


I love Ziva so much and hopre that her character would guess star from time to time. It's not a surprise but it hurts.


Of course Ziva's departure will be "heart wrenching". She's always portrayed as either wonder woman or the over wrought poor martyred victim. NCIS has become the soap opera - "As Ziva's World Turns" in the last couple seasons. I'm so tired of the over done melodrama. I hope the other characters can get some attention and that NCIS will get back to writing an adult show with cleverly funny, sometimes serious, subtle pathos and case stories involving the Navy and marines, instead the melodrama du jour.


Cote was never the star of the show. This is an ensemble cast. How can you tune into a show to only watch one person? I will continue to watch because this cast is too good to abandon.


Desperation is oozing from the page...


@PatrickC I think that one of the things they have planned


They should make an episode which show Tony's first case with Gibbs.

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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.