The Truth About The Most Scandalous NCIS Cast Exits
There are some things in this world that have been a part of life for so long we take them for granted and can’t imagine a time when they didn’t exist, like the internet, fast food, or the CBS military procedural crime-fighter series “NCIS.” Short for “Naval Criminal Investigative Service” (and originally titled the redundant “Navy: NCIS”), the drama follows the intrepid detectives of the Major Case Response Team as it solves naval-related crimes and mysteries. “NCIS” debuted all the way back in 2003 and was a spinoff of the then-popular but now largely forgotten naval courtroom show “JAG,” but has since surpassed its predecessor, generating more than 400 episodes and multiple spinoffs, and becoming what CBS calculated to be the most-watched drama on the planet.
But when a show has been on TV for almost two decades, and especially one that employs such a large ensemble as “NCIS,” there’s going to be some turnover. Some “NCIS” cast member exits have been more controversial than others, with a few falling into the category of downright scandalous. Here are all the most dramatic actor departures from the world of “NCIS.”
Cote de Pablo felt NCIS writers disrespected her character Cote de Pablo smiling
Gary Gershoff/Getty Images
In July 2013, Cote de Pablo announced that she was preparing to walk away from “NCIS” in the near future, bringing to an end the story arc for her complex and compelling character: Ziva David, a highly trained and extremely deadly Mossad agent from Israel who enjoyed a will-they-or-won’t-they dynamic with her NCIS partner, Anthony DiNozzo.
According to TV Guide, “NCIS” fans were so upset about the end of the line for Ziva David that to encourage a retraction of the actor’s decision to leave, they sent paper clips to CBS, referencing a scene from Season Four when the character tells Anthony DiNozzo, “I will kill you 18 different ways with this paper clip.” It didn’t work, and after eight years with the show, de Pablo’s last episode (not counting future cameo appearances) aired in October 2013. “As far as my decision to leave, that’s a personal thing, and I’d rather leave it at that,” de Pablo said at the time. “Leaving ‘NCIS’ was not planned, so there is no plan,” she cryptically added.
Three years later, de Pablo demystified the circumstances of her exit. “Unfortunately because of political things, and the scripts not being good enough, I chose not to,” the actor said at a Q&A. “I worked eight years in crafting this character, and loving her. And so when I felt that I perceived the character was not being treated with the respect she deserved,” she left.
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