On Monday, Cote de Pablo revealed that when she walked out on NCIS, she never imagined she would reprise her role as Ziva David. Why did Cote leave the top CBS show and why did she come back?
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Leaving Ziva David
NCIS fans are counting down the minutes until the first episode of Season 17, entitled “Out of the Darkness” airs and they see Ziva reunite with Gibbs (Mark Harmon). The highly anticipated episode is airing on September 24, on CBS to a lot of fanfare.
For the first time in years, Cote de Pablo has been interviewed discussing her beloved character Ziva David. According to USA Today via Yahoo News, she still will not discuss why she shocked fans with her departure.
Yet, she insists, it was not because Ziva was not treated “with proper respect.” This has long been the story, since a 2016 Q&A, where she discussed her love of playing Ziva David. She explained that “I think that was taken out of context at a certain point, and people start writing that to justify the idea of leaving.”
If this was not the case, then why did Cote leave NCIS? She seemed cryptic, as she revealed that she didn’t have “an option” but to leave. More importantly, she shared that she was not done playing Ziva David.
“But I’m not ready to talk about that yet. I will someday. But I didn’t leave because I wanted to go or because I was ready or because I was tired. I didn’t really have an option.”
Most significantly, Cote de Pablo thought that when she left the show, that would be the end of Ziva David. She never imagined herself in this position, returning as Ziva David, thrilling fans around the world.
“When I walked out, I thought it was over and that was it.”
Return Of Ziva David
Six years later, NCIS showrunners Frank Cardea and Steven D. Binder contacted Cote about returning. She met up with the pair, along with Mark Harmon to discuss the possibility of returning. She told them she would only return if there was a good story. Most importantly, there has to be a good explanation as to why Ziva let people believe she was dead, and left her little girl Tali. Cote described their thought process of what could be the only other reason that Ziva would show up. That, of course, would be Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
“Whatever takes her out of this undercover operation has to be monumental. If (Tony) and Tali are not going to be there, then the only person that she would ever do this for would be for Gibbs.”
Once that was established, she was in! Of course, returning to the set and back with her former colleagues was monumental. One of the most exciting videos that CBS has shared is the behind-the-scenes footage of Cote de Pablo returning to NCIS late into the night. Her return to the show was a well-kept secret, although Ellie Bishop (Emily Wickersham) did discover that she was still alive in the episode called “She.”
When Ziva appeared in the final scene of the Season 16 cliffhanger, called “Daughters,” fans around the world were shocked and thrilled. Many fans never imagined in their wildest dreams that Ziva David would return.
Ziva David fans, are you ready for the return of Cote de Pablo to NCIS? What are you most excited about the return of Ziva? Please share your comments. Be sure to check back with TV Shows Ace for the latest on NCIS. NCIS Season 17, featuring Cote de Pablo as Ziva David, premieres on September 24 on CBS.