Cote De Pablo Leaving NCIS Despite CBS Pleas for Her to Stay: Exec

Image: Cote De Pablo Leaving NCIS Despite CBS Pleas for Her to Stay: Exec

Wednesday, 31 Jul 2013 11:50 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Cote de Pablo is leaving CBS's popular series "NCIS" on her own accord, network executive Les Moonves said Monday at the Television Critics Association press tour.

CBS announced July 9 that Cote de Pablo, who plays Special Agent Ziva David, would not be returning after this upcoming season but the character will close out her story, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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"NCIS" has been riding high in the ratings as the network's most-watched series with 22.7 million viewers. The show averaged a 4.4 rating with adults in the coveted 18-49 demographic during its 10th season.

"We respect Cote’s decision, thank her for being an important part of the 'NCIS' team, and for eight terrific years playing Ziva David," a CBS statement read. "Cote and CBS share a great respect for the 'NCIS' audience, and we look forward to working with her and the producers on appropriate closure in this chapter of Ziva's story."

On Monday, CBS CEO Moonves told reporters they did "everything humanly possible" to get De Pablo to change her mind and stay with the show.

"We offered Cote a lot of money and then we offered her even more money," Moonves said at the critics meeting, according to the Huffington Post. "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. Ultimately, she decided she didn't want to do the show."

De Pablo, 33, released a statement about her departure earlier this month but did not explain why she was leaving.

"I've had eight great years with 'NCIS' and Ziva David," De Pablo said. "I have huge respect and affection for Mark (Harmon), Gary (Glasberg), Michael (Weatherly), David (McCallum), Rocky (Carroll), Pauley (Perrette), Brian (Dietzen), Sean (Murray), all of the team and CBS. I look forward to finishing Ziva’s story."

Moonves refuted rumors that the actress had been fired by CBS.

"It was purely her decision," he said, according to the Huffington Post. "We don't like losing anyone. It's the highest-rated show on TV."

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