When Cote De Pablo joined the NCIS franchise in season three as Special Agent Ziva David, fans were both excited and a little apprehensive about the new addition. However, the Chilean-American actress quickly became a beloved part of the show, staying for more than eight years. So, when she unexpectedly departed in 2013, viewers were left perplexed and curious about the reasons behind her exit.

Initially, Cote didn’t disclose the motivations behind her decision. But in 2016, she revealed that she wasn’t satisfied with the direction the show was taking her character. She explained, “Unfortunately, due to various factors such as political disagreements and unsatisfactory scripts, I chose not to return to NCIS.”

Expressing her attachment to the character, she added, “I love this character! I dedicated eight years to crafting Ziva, and when I felt like she wasn’t being treated with the respect she deserved… they were planning to send her back to Israel and portray her as a miserable woman. I didn’t think it was fair.”

Her sudden departure left her co-star, David McCallum, frustrated and bewildered, as he expressed to Digital Spy, “It was frustrating and upsetting to see someone just walk out on us. I couldn’t comprehend how a leading actress in a globally recognized show would abruptly leave.”

CBS executives expressed their reluctance to see her leave, but ultimately respected her decision to end her tenure on NCIS. Despite her initial statement, Cote did return for guest appearances in seasons 16 and 17. Later, she clarified her earlier remarks in a 2019 USA Today piece, stating, “I think my previous statement was misunderstood. I didn’t leave because I wanted to or because I was tired. I didn’t really have a choice.”

Cote’s departure and subsequent return to NCIS sparked considerable discussion among fans, but her impact on the show remains undeniable

By chrysos