NCIS Stars Address Cote De Pablo's Upcoming Exit

Cote de Pablo’s upcoming exit from “NCIS” has upset some fans of the CBS television program, now entering its eleventh season, but Michael Weatherly knows that the show will be able to carry on.

“We, as ‘NCIS,’ have survived explosions, terrorists, the plague… a lot of crazy stuff has gone on and the one thing that we always do is we get better,” Michael recently told AccessHollywood.com’s Laura Saltman at CBS’ post-Television Critics Association Summer Tour bash in Beverly Hills.

“I find these things propel us to new creativity. … We all love Lauren Holly and we still love Lauren Holly,” Michael continued, referring to the actress who played the original NCIS director (Jenny Shepard). “But this guy, [Rocky Carroll, who plays Director Leon Vance]… this is what happens. And I say this hoping that nobody kills me [off]!”

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CBS boss Leslie Moonves told reporters recently that they offered Cote “a lot of money, and then, we offered her even more money” to stay, but in the end, she decided to go.

Cote explained it was a hard decision to say goodbye to playing Ziva David in a new interview with Latina magazine.

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“It was not an easy decision, not one taken lightly. I feel like I am leaving my family,” she told the mag.

“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, who have made the show the great success that it is,” she added.

Pauley Perrette, who plays Caf-Pow-chugging Abby on the show, told Laura at the CBS event that the cast will miss their co-star.

“We love her and it’s very hard to have your co-actor, and for your character, to have another character leave,” Pauley said. “And we all love her and she loves us and there was actually no drama.”

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But, fans will see Ziva again. Michael confirmed Cote will appear in the show’s season premiere, and Pauley said Ziva will be in Episode 2 of the new season.

“There are a lot of surprises,” Michael added.

“NCIS” returns for Season 11 on September 24 at 8/7c on CBS.

-- Jolie Lash

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