'NCIS': How The Producers Convinced "Ziva" To Return

Cote de Pablo attends the Riviera International Film Festival on May 2, 2018 in Sestri Levante, Italy
September 3, 2019 - 10:13 / Philip Faukland-Pollard

Coté de Pablo finished NCIS after 11 seasons. The actress left the series and her character "Ziva David" had to be killed off the show. But was this really the case? In fact, for the 17th season "Ziva" surprisingly returns. Find out here how the producers managed to persuade Coté de Pablo to make an NCIS comeback.

The shock was great when Coté de Pablo (39) announced her exit from NCIS six years ago. Her character, the tough secret agent "Ziva David", played an essential role in the series. It was all the worse for the fans when "Ziva" apparently died and Coté left NCIS.

This was the reason for Coté de Pablo's exit from NCIS

Coté de Pablo revealed the real reason for her withdrawal from NCIS back then. She explained that "Ziva's" storyline was not good enough and did not do her character justice. "I love the character and I've spent eight years shaping it," the actress explained during a visit to Babson College in 2016.

"I just didn't think she was treated with the necessary respect that she deserved. [...] Ziva was to return to Israel and become a sad and miserable woman," continued Coté de Pablo. But now the NCIS producers have been able to convince the actress to return. 

Mark Harmon and Cote de Pablo at the "NCIS" press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel on April 22, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California.

NCIS makers convinced Coté de Pablo with new "Ziva" story

As showrunner Frank Cadera told the magazine Parade, the NCIS producers met with Coté de Pablo and presented an outline of her character's story arc that really thrilled the 39-year-old. "We explained the outline of her episodes to her," says Cadera . "She came and had a meeting with Steve, me, the lyricist and Mark Harmon, and she loved it - and here she is."

In September, "Ziva" is scheduled to return to NCIS for more than two episodes. What exactly the new episodes will be about remains a surprise. However, the first NCIS trailer has already been released and promises excitement as "Ziva" fights for her life in it. Fans can most likely expect a thrilling storyline.