When NCIS returns this fall for its 11th season, it will be short one series regular, a fact I’m sure will be a letdown for all the show’s numerous fans. Who knows, maybe they’ll be so upset at the loss TV’s No. 1 rated drama will lose a couple million viewers. It doesn’t come as that big of a shock from someone on the outside looking in; Cote de Pablo, the cast member who is leaving, found herself with an expired contract at the end of Season 10 and a decision needing to be made: does she stay or does she go?
As time went on, it became pretty clear her return as a regular was a long shot off. TVLine confirmed her departure, saying she will only be appearing at the start of Season 11 – premiering Sept. 24 – to conclude her character’s story. Toward the end of Season 10, Ziva found herself on a dangerous mission of vengeance and wound up in a brutal car crash. Though she survived, she resigned the NCIS team. Then there was a four-month time jump and we were left wondering what became of her. Season 11 will give us an ending for Ziva so fans can say a proper goodbye.
“I’ve had eight great years with NCIS and Ziva David,” said de Pablo. “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.”
I have to say, I’m astonished de Pablo is returning to wrap up her storyline. When it comes to these procedural type shows, when an actor decides not to renew their contract and depart, they usually take off into the night, leaving their character to suddenly disappear. It’s then up to other characters to explain the person’s absence. It’s not a preferred way to write someone out so I’m pleased de Pablo is opting to give the writers a chance to properly send her off.