NEXT ON NCIS
16x01 - Destiny's Child - One month after Director Vance was kidnapped, Gibbs is assigned the role of acting director in his absence while the team searches worldwide for his whereabouts, on the 16th season premiere of, NCIS
Tuesday September 25th, (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT)

Posted by Admin on October 9th, 2013


Ziva has left the building. (Or, if you want to get technical, she never returned to the building.)

But even though we’ve seen the last of Cote de Pablo for the foreseeable future, there’s plenty of action to come on NCIS, according to executive producer Gary Glasberg. Part of it, he says, will be seen in tonight’s episode, which he’ll give you scoop on in our interview below, among many other things…

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Obviously this was such a huge moment for the series and for the team — can you talk about what’s going to come next after all of this?
GARY GLASBERG: This is a huge deal for us and to suddenly not have Ziva present is something that we’re absolutely going to feel moving forward and if we didn’t feel it we’d be cheating ourselves and the audience. That absence in the squad room, that empty desk is something that we’re going to acknowledge. We’re going to acknowledge it in the episode that airs [tonight] and in the episode that follows that. We’re really trying to approach this as realistically and organically as possible, and it’s going to take time for our characters to move on and they all have opinions and thoughts about that and it’s been worked into the storylines and hopefully people will go through the process with them.

I have to ask about Tony’s ‘I will’ list — is that going to come up eventually again?
Well, you know we like to plant little seeds and leave cookies for people and it certainly is something that could pop up again. It won’t in the immediate future, but I’d love to go back and take something that was planted and revisit it twelve or fifteen episodes later.

Or, like, four seasons….
Exactly and that’s the thing that NCIS can do that nobody else can.

I read something on Twitter about some possible deleted scenes. Were there any moments between Tony and Ziva that didn’t make it into the episode?
There really wasn’t much. There was some dialogue lines and little things here and there, but there really wasn’t. I wish I could say I’ve got some sort of vault of footage that ended up on the cutting room floor, but really you’re seeing most of what was shot.

Talk about some of the specifics of some of the episodes coming up.
We’ve got some really good stuff. The intention, especially in this third episode, is to really reset and give people an NCIS that is the reason they tune in and have some fun and some lightness and have a really good prime story and an investigation. The episode is called “Under the Radar,” and it really feels like a strong, old-time NCIS episode. Granted there’s an acknowledgement that that desk is empty, but we’re really back to normal to a certain extent. In the episode that follows that, we’ve got a Muse Watson/Mike Frank episode that revisits something from his past — very, very happy with that episode. It’s very emotional. Lolita Davidovich is in that episode and does a terrific job. After that, we revisit [season 8, episode 22] “Baltimore.” It’s sort of “Baltimore, Part 2.” It takes us back to before Tony was a detective, to when he was a beat cop. A crime comes up present day that links back to something from his past. His performance was fantastic. We’ve got some really good stuff coming up — really solid shows and guest stars. Agent Borin (Diane Neal), our coast guard character comes back for a storyline. Familiar faces and good stories and then that’ll lead us up to the introduction of Ellie Bishop.

What really made you want to write this character specifically as sort of a successor and as a new part of this team?
Well I don’t necessarily view her as a successor. The way we approached it was, how do we bring someone new into the fold? What could she bring to the group and to the party? Bishop is a NSA analyst, and she’s a thinker. She looks at the world in a very global way; she looks at everything, life, in a global way. That’s a big part of the way that our group is evolving. Our agents are evolving — they’re looking at terrorism in a different way, they’re having to approach crimes in a different way and I think that having that view of the world is something that our people don’t necessarily have much experience in. So I think she’ll provide something different. I think she’ll emotionally provide something different. Emily Wickersham is a terrific actress. I’ve now spent a bunch of time with her; I’m really excited about what she’s going to bring to this and how she’s going to bring the character to life. We’ll have some fun with it.

Like you mentioned, NCIS is a show where we fall in love with characters over time. Is it going to take some time to get to know Emily as well? Ziva is a tough act to follow. Do you hope the audience is patient?
Oh yeah! I’m very realistic about what this is going to be and what this process is going to be. I think Emily is, too. We have to give people time; it’s really interesting! I feel like we’re trying to approach this as honestly and realistically and as organically as we can. You know, Ziva’s departure has finally happened. We then spend six episodes without anyone except for guests who have been coming and going. And then in November, they’ll get to meet Bishop and hopefully by then they’ll want to meet someone new and interesting who brings something to our team, but we’re just going to approach it step by step and write the best script we can write.

I did love Delilah’s introduction even though it was brief. Are we going to see her again?
You absolutely will see her again. You’ll see her again in an episode that’s coming up, and we have some plans for her a little later on as well. That’s a relationship that we’re having some fun with, and we’ve got some plans in store. I’m excited about it, actually.

Speaking of returns, I know that a lot of people felt that Ziva’s farewell episode left a little crack in the door. Maybe, twenty seasons from now when we’re closing off Tony’s story, do you you see a reunion? Any chance of Cote eventually coming back?
There’s nothing planned at the moment; there’s nothing in the foreseeable future. But you know me well enough by now — everything’s done for a reason and everything’s done intentionally and Ziva’s not dead. So, you know, we’ll see what the future brings.

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Posted by Admin on October 8th, 2013


As CBS’ NCIS continues its 11th season (tonight at 8/7c), the tweaked opening credits may lack a certain “kick,” but the song remains the same, as Leroy Jethro Gibbs and his team of agents — minus Cote de Pablo‘s Ziva David — go about doing what they do best. Showrunner Gary Glasberg shared with TVLine a look at certain reactions to the squad room shake-up and previewed new stories to come. Plus: an exclusive peek at a bittersweet Abby/McGee moment.

TVLINE | As the show returns, will much time have lapsed since Tony said goodbye to Ziva?
It’s a few days after Tony’s return from Israel — a literal week, because we try to play things in real time.

TVLINE | So, her absence is hanging in the air?
Oh, it’s very present. It’s a big part of quite a few episodes. You’ll see glances and references to the empty desk, but at the same time we try to get back to the fun and the humor and the lightness and the banter of the squad room — all the things that people like about our show. But we’re not hiding from it, it’s acknowledged.

TVLINE | When last I spoke to Michael Weatherly, he was quite excited about where he sensed Tony was going after this. What can you say about his story moving forward? Has Tony changed?
Yes, I think Tony has changed a bit. He’s matured. He’s experienced a loss in his personal life, and I think it’s going to affect how he moves forward. It’s certainly affecting how we as writers are handling him. He’s still very much Tony — he still cracks a joke and lights up the room with a smile and has some fun, but there’s also a seriousness. There’s a step forward that has happened, and I don’t think we’re hiding from that.

TVLINE | Who would you say is second-most affected by Ziva’s absence?
That’s an interesting question…. I think Abby certainly feels it. Ducky comments on it. McGee certainly feels it….

TVLINE | Gibbs seemed to dread taking her phone call….
The interesting one for me is Gibbs, because I think he really does feel it, but in classic Gibbs fashion, he’s not going to show it. That’s the challenge of writing to it, and that’s the brilliance of Mark Harmon as an actor — how do you show that beneath the surface and not have someone come out and say what they’re feeling?

TVLINE | New opening credits, I assume?
Yes, a different main title sequence. That was an interesting process, as well — emotional and challenging. But yeah, a little different.

TVLINE | Is Benham Parsa the Season 11 big bad you told me about at summer TCA?
[That threat] is significant and it will pop back up again. It’s going to mean something. And I think it represents interesting stuff that’s happening in our world. As we move into what I call the “more traditional” episodes of the show, just be aware that he’s still out there. He will end up on the Most Wanted wall.

TVLINE | What else is coming up?
You’ve got this [week’s] “Under the Radar” episode, which is kind of a “reset” for us. That’s where Roma Maffia (Nip/Tuck) has this fun stint as a retiring agent who helps us out in the squad room. In the episode after that, Muse Watson comes back as Mike Franks, in a really emotional storyline for Gibbs. Those are all flashback scenes, and they’re really nicely done. Lolita Davidovich (Blaze) is also in that episode. After that, you’ve got Tony’s return to Baltimore, for some more insight into who he was — even before he became a detective.

TVLINE | What precipitates that?
There’s a crime that comes up that “connects the dots” a little bit and brings up some memories, and honestly revisits a whole bunch of things. Again, I’m really content with the slow build of getting back on our feet after [Ziva’s departure]. And then coming up in November, we’ll introduce everybody to [Ziva’s potential replacement] Ellie Bishop.

TVLINE | Some fans worry Bishop will be just a “female McGee.”
That was because there was a line that either I or someone threw out there, that described her in a specific way, as being… I forget what the phrase was. But she’s not [like McGee]. Emily Wickersham is a terrific actress and she’s going to bring a whole new spin and life to this character. That episode starts prepping next week, and I think she’s going to bring something fun to this group.

TVLINE | Lastly, were you relieved to see ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. not ding your numbers much at all? Was that on your mind?
It’s funny — every season, this stuff comes about and I’ve learned that all I can do is focus on the shows that I make. Especially this season, more than ever. Season 11 wasn’t supposed to have all the bumps and curves in the road that it has, and I’ve focused on making the best show that we can make. Whatever unfolds elsewhere, that just happens. There’s not much I can do about it.

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Posted by Admin on October 7th, 2013


“NCIS” returns on Tuesday night minus long-time team member Ziva David (Cote de Pablo), and the special agents have to put their emotions aside and get back to the business of solving crimes involving the military.

While no one can take Ziva’s place, Vera Strickland (Roma Maffia) joins the “NCIS” team Tuesday for an episode that requires the team to rely on Twitter for a case involving a missing Navy lieutenant.
Record Series

“One of the ideas we had was introducing a character on the verge of retirement, who Gibbs [Mark Harmon] has history with, and she steps back in and helps on this one last case before she is done,” executive producer Gary Glasberg told XfinityTV.

Then things get complicated for McGee (Sean Murray), who has lost his NCIS credentials, and withholds the information from Gibbs and the authorities.

Glasberg also opened up about why Ziva’s exit was handled the way it was, why there were no bedroom scenes between Tony (Michael Weatherly) and Ziva, and a special upcoming Christmas episode, featuring NCIS Director Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll).
Watch last week’s episode of “NCIS,” featuring Cote de Pablo’s final farewell:

XfinityTV: It was interesting. I thought Ziva’s final episode would boost the show’s numbers, but not so much. Did that surprise you?

Glasberg
: The fact that we did 20 million people and our DVR number will go up another 2 or 3 million after that, I am not going to scoff at that in any way. It is extraordinary. It is remarkable. Our Facebook friends are now up to 17.5 million and change. I am just happy that we are doing what we are doing and continue to be as successful as we are.

I was surprised that you didn’t use Ziva more in these last two episodes. She was really only in the final half-hour of Episode 2.

I have said before, too, the first episode was in flux for quite a while. I wasn’t planning on her departure, so when I got the call that it was happening, I basically had to take the Gibbs story, the sniper story, and the terrorist story that I was already playing with and then add this whole other element of Ziva’s departure on top of it. I knew I couldn’t do that in one episode. So that is how the two-parter came about.

In the planning of it, because we were already starting to be in prep for the first one, there were tricks and things we had to do in order to incorporate Ziva’s character because I literally didn’t have her. So that is why you got texting and instant-messaging to make her a part of the episode [instead of her being] onscreen.

I knew that we were going to have her significantly for the second one, but the reason that you don’t see her significantly until the second half of the second one is that I wanted to give Tony the time to search, to really invest in looking for her. I felt like the audience really needed to feel what he was feeling. That was our decision for structuring it the way we did.

I think, for me, I wanted to see them more intimate — like a bedroom scene — not just a kiss. Of course, they spent time together and who knows what they did, but I wanted to see it. Why did you decide not to take it farther?

I am a big believer in less is more and let people’s imaginations run wild. Whether it is a moment of intimacy, or imagining what that conversation was at the end of the episode, we have an amazing fan base who follows the show. So, I think every person out there has an idea of what that conversation would have been. I was very happy with the idea of letting people imagine for themselves.

That said, will we ever find out what Ziva said to Gibbs on their phone call?

No. Like I said, let people have their own idea of what that conversation was. That is between Gibbs and Ziva. I like the idea [of letting] people think for themselves a little bit.

So, now we’re back to business as usual, and I see that Roma Maffia is joining the team on Tuesday’s night episode. How long will she be staying and what affect will she have on the team?

Roma came and just did one episode with us, the idea being that there are a number of episodes following Ziva’s departure, where, as we are dealing with her absence and as we are dealing with that empty desk in the squad room, we are also experiencing and returning back to a lightness and fun and all the reasons why people like to watch “NCIS.”

Roma was fantastic. Then that goes on for another few episodes, where we have some fun and have some guests who come through, like Agent Borin [Diane Neal] from the Coast Guard. It is a fun assortment of characters that will, hopefully, help us reset and get back to the traditional reasons why we watch the show.

This episode seems to be geared more for McGee what with Twitter and his lost badge. Is the focus on him and why is the lost badge so important? Is it how he lost it? Or maybe the fact that he had resigned not too long ago?

“Under the Radar” is the name of the episode. It is not really a McGee-centric episode. He plays a big part in it, but it is really about resetting our team and getting back to the stories that we like to tell. The badge storyline is true. It is not a good thing to lose your creds. You don’t want to lose your credentials as a federal agent. If those are out in the ether, if those are found by someone, they can enter buildings. It gives them access to things people shouldn’t have. When you misplace your creds, it is a serious, significant issue. We have known about that for a long time and we wanted to have some fun and tell that story. So that is where it came from.

The team is kind of shell-shocked. Vance lost his wife, Ziva is gone. Are we going to see the emotional ramifications of all these things through the entire season? Or is it back to basics?

People have a job to do. There is a terrific scene coming up in Tuesday’s episode, where Gibbs says just that: “There’s work to be done.” They’ll get back to the cases, of course, but the realities of what they’ve been dealing with will continue. That includes a really terrific Christmas episode that is coming up, where we will revisit everything that Vance has been dealing with in his personal life with his kids and figuring out how he is getting his life back on track after the loss of his wife. Those things are still present. Just as we always do, we will step away and handle whatever situation comes up.

The “Under the Radar” episode of “NCIS” airs Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 8/7c on CBS.



Posted by Admin on October 4th, 2013


For now, NCIS has bid farewell to Ziva David.

After Cote de Pablo abruptly decided to leave TV’s most-watched drama this summer, producers had to find a way to tie up Ziva’s narrative in short order. The result is Tuesday’s episode, in which Ziva’s will-they-won’t-they partner-in-crime-solving Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) goes to Israel to find her. Once he tracks her down, he begs her to return to Washington with him, but to no avail. She leaves him on the runway with a tearful goodbye and a long kiss.

How will Ziva’s exit affect Tony, Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and the rest of the team? Is there a chance for her to return? And why was her exit arc so, well, Ziva-less? TVGuide.com turned to executive producer Gary Glasberg for answers.

I think many people were surprised by the lack of Ziva in this two-parter. She didn’t appear at all in the premiere episode. What happened there?
Gary Glasberg:
We had to really step back and change what this opening was going to be. We didn’t see this coming, and part of the restructuring of this story line included sending Ziva off to Israel and Tony going after her. I think a lot of what people are reacting to in that first episode is honestly just the fallout. [There was] an uncertainty of the cards that we were dealt as writers and producers trying to make the show work. I’ll absolutely admit that having them instant-message and text was something that we needed to do because that was all we had to work with.

How did you decide on this ending for Ziva’s story? Was there ever any part of you that considered, as the show has done with other major characters, killing her off?
Glasberg:
Like you said, the show has a history of doing that to characters upon their departure. I thought that Ziva deserved better than that. And this was an emotional thing off-screen and on-screen. We wanted to do this properly. Hopefully, [it will] give the fans what they’ve been waiting for, and let these two characters part ways in a satisfying manner. I like the idea that — specifically in terms of Tony and Ziva, how they connect and the romance that exists —she’s still out there. For me, that really pulls at the heartstrings, and that was part of the decision as well.

How much does it weigh on Tony that he wasn’t able to convince Ziva to come back to D.C.?
Glasberg:
I don’t know if it weighs in a negative way, but it certainly resonates. There’s a lot going on with Tony, and that’ll continue as the season progresses. This really moves him forward in an interesting way. It acknowledges what that relationship really was and leaves the door open for what’s next for him. He has to figure some things out for himself, and there’s a maturing that’s going to happen for Tony. I’m not saying that we’re not going to see light moments for Tony DiNozzo anymore, but at the same time, he’s moved on. It’s on to the next chapter.

Will we see Tony dating again or do you think he will still pine for Ziva?
Gary Glasberg:
We’re really trying to handle this as realistically and organically as we can, and in the real world, it takes time to recover. It takes time to figure out what you want next in your life, and very often, the next person comes at the moment that you least expect. Is there anything that’s going to happen in the immediate future? Absolutely not. Tony just went through a lot, and has a lot to think about, and then we’ll be getting right back to work. Gibbs is going to want his team back together, and it’s time to focus on the work of NCIS.

I’m sure fans appreciated that kiss on the runway. But since Tony lied to Gibbs about when he actually found Ziva, are we to assume they were shacking up for a while?
Glasberg:
I don’t necessarily feel like it was weeks or months. It may have been a couple of days, but we never really specifically say. I think it’s clear that Tony and Ziva had some things to figure out on their own. Was it appropriate for them to keep that from Gibbs? Many of us believe Gibbs knew. Gibbs knows everything. He may have, and he may have recognized that they needed some time to themselves.

Speaking of Gibbs, what do you imagine Ziva said to him in the phone call that we saw but didn’t hear?
Glasberg:
That was a very deliberate decision on our part. We would like to believe that every viewer and fan of the show has their own idea of what that conversation is, and I’m not going to even begin to try to second-guess for everybody what Ziva David would say to Leroy Jethro Gibbs in her farewell. I like letting everyone decide for themselves and savor that moment.

How much of an impact does losing Ziva as a team member have on Gibbs?
Glasberg:
It means a lot. The fantastic part of Gibbs as a character is that he’ll never really tell you how he feels. Those emotions are there, but he may not let you see them. And when he does let you see them, it’s going to happen at a time when you least expect it and it’ll happen without words. You’re not going to hear from him how he feels, but hopefully you’ll feel it.

And the rest of the team?
Glasberg:
It’s very much a family. Ziva’s departure affects all of them, and they all comment on it. It resonates with all of them, and they all have different views on things and that’ll get discussed, especially in the first couple of episodes without Ziva. But there reaches a point, too, where people have to regroup and they have to re-focus. If anybody’s going to make that clear, it’s going to be Gibbs, because that’s the way he lives his life.

You’ve stated before that there’s no replacing Ziva, but what can we expect from the people who will be sitting at her desk in the coming weeks?
Glasberg:
In the next episode, we have some fun with Roma Maffia. She plays an agent on the verge of retirement who adds a unique energy to things and a lightness, and we have a terrific time with her. You’ve got Agent Borin [Diane Neal], a Coast Guard agent who comes back and fills that void in a really interesting, fun way. You’ve got McGee’s new flame, Delilah [Margo Harsman], who steps up in one scenario and participates more. We have some fun with some guests, and I’m really excited about that, and I think it works really nicely. And then we get to November, and everyone gets to meet the NSA analyst, Eleanor Bishop [Emily Wickersham]. I’m really excited about what she’s going to bring to this character, and we have big plans.

NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on CBS.

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Posted by Admin on October 3rd, 2013


When all was said and done (and being watched by 20 million viewers), NCIS showrunner Gary Glasberg says he was “very pleased” with how longtime cast member Cote de Pablo‘s final episodes unfolded. That said, there were wrinkles to be ironed out as he rejiggered his original Season 11 launch plan to accommodate this important goodbye, sprung on him, as it was, late in the process. Here, Glasberg answers TVLine’s burning questions about Ziva’s exit.

HOW DID COTE DE PABLO’S EXIT CHANGE THE ORIGINAL SEASON 11 PREMIERE STORYLINE? | Most simply said, “There is no comparison,” Glasberg asserts. “My intention was to pick up where we left off and tell the story of Gibbs and where we left him, with the sniper rifle, and set up some of the Parsa/terrorist storyline that is going to follow through this season.” Once it became clear that the actress and show would be parting ways, Glasberg says, “I realized very quickly that we couldn’t [write Ziva out] in one episode — there was no way — and do it properly, and that’s why it turned into a two-parter. And that’s why the significant second half of the [Season 11 premiere] became about her.”

WAIT, SO ZIVA WASN’T EVEN ‘OFF THE GRID’ IN THE ORIGINAL VERSION…? | “No, not at all,” Glasberg makes clear. As originally laid out, DiNozzo, McGee and Ziva “all went off and were doing their separate things [during the four-month time jump], and I had a sense of something that I wanted her to be doing. But while she was separated from the group, it was not to the extent that you saw.”

WAS THERE A SECOND TONY/ZIVA KISS THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE CUT? | In the two-part premiere, no. But in an episode from a previous season, Glasberg shares, “There was a kiss that existed at one point that was a last-minute addition to a sequence that never got used. It was something we had toyed with once before. And if there’s an opportunity at some point to dig it up out of the archives, maybe I will.”

DID THE GOODBYE SCENE EVER FEATURE AN OUTRIGHT CASABLANCA REFERENCE FROM FILM BUFF TONY? | Noting the similarities to [spoiler alert] the acclaimed Bogart film’s ending, Glasberg says, “We had been talking about visually what we wanted this to be, and there was a lot of talk about being out on an airfield and putting that plane in the background” — but that’s where the Casablanca similarities ended. “There was some joking about [Tony saying, ‘We’ll always have Paris’], actually. But it was never scripted.”


WHY WERE COTE DE PABLO’S FINAL EPISODES RATHER, WELL, COTE-LIGHT?
| Glasberg says, “I understand that reaction to the first [Season 11] episode,” which did not feature de Pablo at all, “but that was stuff that literally had to be written at a time when there were still issues being figured out. Devices and decisions like having them Instant Messaging each other were put together because I had to.” As for “hiding” Ziva until midway through Episode 2, “We just wanted the story to build and ramp properly,” he explains. “We wanted to feel Tony’s search appropriately, and the only way you feel that is, for a little while, to have him looking for her. To not have him connect with her just yet. The only way we can do that is to have her not be present, and then have her appear when we least expect it.

IS THE PROVERBIAL ‘DOOR OPEN’ FOR ZIVA/COTE’S ONE DAY RETURN? | To that obvious inquiry, Glasberg can only note at this early stage, “”Ziva’s not dead! She’s not dead.”

NEXT WEEK ON TVLINE: Gary Glasberg previews life at NCIS after Ziva, reveals what her successors will bring to the empty desk and weighs in on battling those Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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Posted by Admin on September 24th, 2013


[Spoiler Alert: Don’t read this story if you don’t want to know Ziva’s fate!]

NCIS fans have long memories. They fondly recall the scene back in Season 4 when Ziva David, then still a visiting Mossad agent, announced to Tony DiNozzo, “I will kill you 18 different ways with this paper clip.” So when the woman who so engagingly played Ziva for eight seasons, Cote de Pablo, announced she was leaving the series, grief-stricken devotees sent paper clips to CBS in protest. But even that couldn’t keep Ziva attached.

“On a September day in New York, I’m looking out my balcony, and I still miss my family,” says de Pablo, thinking about not being on the Los Angeles set in the fall for the first time since 2005. “But they’re with me all the time, every day, and that won’t change.” De Pablo is speaking with TV Guide Magazine exclusively after her abrupt decision not to renew her contract just prior to the start of production on Season 11 (which kicks off Tuesday at 8/7c on CBS).

As for the fan outpouring, she says, “I was incredibly moved by the blind support people had without ever getting reasons as to why I left. People trusted that what I was doing was what I needed to do, and that’s unconditional love from people who don’t even know me. That’s been the most beautiful thing out of this process.”

The love de Pablo felt from fans is being returned in a farewell hour that airs Oct. 1 and is easily the most anticipated episode in the history of TV’s top-rated drama. It will finally provide some clarity to the long-simmering feelings between Ziva and Michael Weatherly’s Tony DiNozzo. “As far as the ‘Tiva’ fans, they’ll get a resolution they’ve awaited for years,” she says. “There is a level of confession. And if it takes a big change like this to stir things up, it’s all for the better. I’m a fan of the show!”

Such mixed feelings may only deepen the mystery of why de Pablo left. Clearly, there was a last-minute impasse no one wants to discuss, beyond the network’s insistence that money wasn’t a factor. “As far as my decision to leave, that’s a personal thing, and I’d rather leave it at that,” she says. “The idea of leaving was not something I toyed around with for a long time. It was an overwhelmingly hard thing — at times terrifying.”

She has no grand scheme for doing a sitcom or movies. “Leaving NCIS was not planned, so there is no plan. If I were panicking now, it would defeat the purpose. I need to get really excited about something, because for eight years I was really excited about this character. I don’t want to start anything unless it’s like that.”

Bittersweet is the word she inevitably uses to describe how it felt to wrap up her storyline at the -beginning of Season 11. “Did I want to leave under those circumstances? That’s another story,” she says. “But I’m not of the belief that you just take off and leave fans hanging. A lot of people don’t get the privilege of going back to a set and being able to say goodbye to people. I left under my terms, and that was wonderful.”

The final shoot was “a beautiful day — a quiet, intimate set,” she says. “I’m horrible at saying goodbyes, because I’ve been saying goodbyes ever since I left my country [Chile] when I was 10, so even though I did not utter the word goodbye, I was able to hug them and let them know how much I loved them. And that’s all that matters.”

“We wanted to give her the most graceful, emotional payoff we could,” says exec producer Gary Glasberg. “It was a pretty magical moment. Cote took it and ran with it, and the emotion you’ll see on screen is very real.”

Ziva’s most intimate moments were with Tony, and de Pablo enthuses over “getting to close things off with my partner in crime, Michael. My first scene ever in the bullpen was with Michael, and my goodbye scene was with Michael. I feel like that was a beautiful way of ending — for now, certainly — a beautiful chapter between these two.”

Did she say “for now”? Although you get the feeling any reprise would be years in the future, de Pablo has a surprisingly hopeful, never-say-never answer when asked if she could ever return for a cameo or something bigger. “The greatest thing about this last episode is that Ziva doesn’t die,” she says. “As long as a character doesn’t die, the character can always come back. Not that it would actually matter, because we bring back characters from the dead all the time on NCIS!”

Notice her use of the present tense and the word we. De Pablo may be almost as reluctant to let go of Ziva as all those paper-clip wielders are.

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Posted by Admin on September 24th, 2013


In case you haven’t heard, big changes are underway at NCIS.

A refresher: In the Season 10 finale, Tony (Michael Weatherly), Ziva (Cote de Pablo) and McGee (Sean Murray) all handed in their badges to protect Gibbs (Mark Harmon) in the wake of a Department of Defense investigation into the agency. The episode then jumps ahead four months, when Gibbs is aiming a sniper rifle with FBI Agent Fornell (Joe Spano) in his crosshairs.

Although we doubt it’s what was originally intended, Ziva’s resignation will likely stick. As fans are well aware by now, De Pablo announced over the summer that she’ll be leaving the show. Will the team (and the show) be able to go on without her? Why is Fornell a target? And what additional fallout will result from the investigation into Gibbs? TVGuide.com took these burning questions and more to executive producer Gary Glasberg and Weatherly. Here are the biggest issues the show needs to address early on in Season 11:

1. How will Ziva’s story line be wrapped up? As Glasberg has previously said, the two-part Season 11 premiere (beginning Tuesday at 8/7c on CBS) will be dedicated to writing Ziva off of the show. In the season opener, Ziva is “out in the ether” and Tony is tasked with finding her and bringing her back to NCIS. “That’s where they’re going to spend some quality time together,” Glasberg teases — even if Tony is ultimately unsuccessful in getting her to return to the organization. “People are going to get some real insight into psychologically what makes Ziva tick, and it’s insight that goes all the way back to her childhood,” Glasberg adds. “It’s insight in terms of what happened when she joinedNCIS regarding [her brother] Ari … [and] not only what’s caused her to do a lot of the things that she’s done leading up to this point, but looking forward and where her head is.” But while viewers may get “insight,” they might not walk away with a black-and-white biography. “Ziva has always been a mystery, and she remains a mystery,” Weatherly says of his on-screen counterpart.

2. Will Ziva and Tony get a happy ending? “The will-they-won’t-they is answered,” Weatherly promises. “It covered all the bases, for me.” Less clear is whether fans will get definitive answers about Tiva’s history (like what really happened in that Paris hotel room!).”The second episode is really all about Tony and Ziva, and I hope delivers all the things that the Tiva fans are going to react to and want,” Glasberg says. “There’s some really lovely moments between Tony and Ziva, and a really passionate, lovely goodbye.”

3. How will Tony deal with Ziva’s departure?
“This is something that’s going to really linger with him and resonate for him,” Glasberg promises. “There’s going to be a certain maturity that’s going to come out of this for Tony.” It’s a change that Weatherly says he’s looking forward to portraying. “Tony might begin to step into a new, maybe a more authentic, version of himself, a more connected version of himself, because he’s not in a constant holding pattern emotionally,” the actor hints. “I think the floodgates open.”

4. Who’s going to replace Ziva?
Technically no one, according to Glasberg. “I have no intention of trying to replace Ziva,” he stresses. “I don’t think I can replace her. What I can do is try to come up with a new character that’s organic to the team, that fills a void, that’s something different.” Translation: expect a lot of recurring characters and guest stars, at least for the first part of the season — including the recently-announced addition of Sopranos alum Emily Wickersham. “There are going to be tryouts, and that’s the fun,” says Glasberg, who makes it clear he’s not looking to force fans into a rebound relationship after Ziva’s departure. “This audience needs some time. Our group needs some time. It’s almost like they’re mourning the loss of someone. So we’re very aware of that as writers, and we don’t want to rush into something. We want to give people time to get there, and when the moment’s right, then we’ll try something.”

5. Why is Gibbs targeting Fornell? The mystery of Gibbs apparently shooting Fornell in the Season 10 finale will be solved — but not without a little backstory first. The premiere will fill in the gaps of what happened in the four months between Ziva, Tony and McGee resigning and Gibbs pulling the trigger. “We don’t pick up in that exact moment,” Glasberg says. “We actually go back to when he’s given this assignment, and then that moment pays off at the end of the second episode.” But it all ties back to the investigation by Richard Parsons (Colin Hanks), as well as the homegrown threat that Morrow (Alan Dale) referenced in the Season 10 finale. “Everything is sort of interwoven,” Glasberg says.

6. Professionally, what will the team be dealing with this season? It sounds like the team won’t have much time to sit back and mourn the loss of Ziva. “There’s a job to do and they have to stay focused, and they have to keep doing what they do and get through it and work through it,” Glasberg says. “We’re going to establish an adversary that’s going to carry all the way through the season. He comes up in the first episode.”

7. How will Gibbs deal with three of his team members resigning, and will there be any other repercussions from the investigation? “He’s got a lot of work to do in that cabin,” Glasberg says. “I think he recognizes at the end of the day how dedicated his team is.” Losing Ziva permanently will also throw Gibbs for a loop. “The fact that he’s going to be losing one of his team will not sit lightly with him.” Will Ziva’s absence mean trouble for Gibbs and Tony’s relationship? “I think this change affects DiNozzo and Gibbs in a classic father/son way,” Weatherly explains. “[Tony’s] dynamic for a long time, with occasionally jockeying for position, has always been the loyal number two, the faithful dog. I think that this change that’s going to happen will directly impact Gibbs and DiNozzo and will force a kind of reassessment of their dynamic. It’s a source of great drama.”

8. Will Tiva ‘shippers get a new romance to root for? Maybe not with the same intensity and devotion — but love is in the air for McGee this season. Fans will finally meet Delilah (Margo Harshman) in the premiere, but one person who’s less than thrilled about her arrival is Abby (Pauley Perrette). “They have a really wonderful scene together with Abby that causes this fantastic triangle,” Glasberg teases. “We’ll probably see her again a little bit later on.” McGilah has a nice ring to it!

The Season 11 premiere of NCIS airs Tuesday at 8/7c on CBS. How do you think the NCIS team will handle Ziva’s departure?

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Posted by Admin on September 20th, 2013


Life comes with few chances to witness a fundamental law being turned on its head.

But last season 18.5 million viewers did just that every week, tuning to “NCIS” to certify it as one of TV’s highest-rated shows and, even more impressively, make it a series whose audience after 10 seasons has expanded, not shriveled, with age.

“NCIS,” which averaged 11.8 million viewers its first season back in 2003-04, grew by more than a million viewers last year alone.

This, of course, contradicts TV’s natural order. “NCIS” (which starts its 11th season Tuesday at 8 p.m. EDT on CBS) seems to have a long-term lease on TV’s fountain of youth.

It doesn’t hurt that “NCIS” maintains an absorbing, go-down-easy recipe of drama, character and humor that no other show is able to match.

“We’ve been successful so far,” says series star Mark Harmon with some understatement, “and we keep finding ways to grow it.”

But don’t go laying too much credit for that growth, or any other metric of success, at Harmon’s feet.

He’s the star, of course, playing tormented but intrepid Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Special Agent in Charge of the military’s Major Case Response Team.

Harmon is surrounded by a sturdy troupe of actors including fellow charter cast members Michael Weatherly (NCIS Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo), David McCallum (Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard) and the wildly popular Pauley Perrette (as Goth lab rat Abby Sciuto).
View gallery.”
This publicity image released by CBS shows Mark Harmon …
This publicity image released by CBS shows Mark Harmon in a scene from “NCIS.” Last season 18.5 mill …

“There’s four of us who were there in the beginning, plus pretty much 90 percent of our crew,” says Harmon, citing the stability of the show’s production team as one key reason for its continued robustness.

Granted, there have been comings and goings. This summer, “NCIS” fans were shocked to learn that Cote de Pablo was exiting after eight seasons. The new season’s first two episodes give her character, Special Agent Ziva David, a dramatic send-off.

“We wish Cote well,” says Harmon. “But for those of us still here, it’s all about moving on: ‘This is what we’ve got, and we’re going to find a way to make it even better.’

“I’m not trying to shuck off our success, because it’s all earned, every bit of it. By a lot of people.”

Thus does Harmon reaffirm his one-for-all-and-all-for-one manifesto.

“I’m not the big dog,” he says flatly. “I might be a dog. But there’s a lot of dogs.”

Now 62, Harmon is an unlikely TV superstar. His manner during a recent interview is friendly but crisp, soft-spoken and firmly self-effacing. With his pretty-boy looks matured in middle age, this is the all-grown-up version of the star quarterback at UCLA who, after brief turns in law school, advertising and selling shoes, set his sights anew on acting and made good.

He forged a solid career in a succession of TV series, including “Reasonable Doubts,” ”Chicago Hope” and “St. Elsewhere,” where, nearly 30 years ago, he played the first prime-time hero to contract, and die of, AIDS.

His films include “The Presidio,” ”Natural Born Killers” and “Freaky Friday.”
View gallery.”
This publicity image released by CBS shows Mark Harmon, …
This publicity image released by CBS shows Mark Harmon, left, and Cote de Pablo in a scene from “NCI …

Still, the man crowned as “the greatest actor who ever lived” by “Family Guy” cartoon aesthete Peter Griffin never reached the top tier of show-biz, even as he weathered accolades like People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1986. And, as with most actors, he has also suffered setbacks, such as his ABC private-eye drama “Charlie Grace,” which lasted little more than a month in 1995.

So when “NCIS” arrived as a spinoff of the durable but non-flashy military drama “JAG,” there was no particular reason to expect fireworks from this new venture.

“We were able to keep it afloat a couple of years because we weren’t good enough to get all the attention and we weren’t bad enough to get canceled,” says Harmon with a laugh. “And the biggest thing: We shoot in Santa Clarita,” which sits 30 miles comfortably removed from Los Angeles. “Nobody from the network wanted to drive out there!” Network execs stayed out of their hair.

“NCIS” still shoots at Santa Clarita Studios, which means a lengthy commute for Harmon and many of his cast mates.

That’s fine with him. Ten years and running on “NCIS” isn’t about to drive him somewhere else.

“I’ve been acting long enough to appreciate the kind of opportunity this show is,” he says. “It’s a machine, but it’s a machine that’s forever changing, and if we’re able to maintain what we have here, I don’t see any reason why it can’t continue for a while.”

How long? Harmon answers by explaining what it is about “NCIS” he savors the most.

“I love the drive to work,” he says. “I love getting up and looking forward to where I’m going.”

If steering his ’91 Bimmer northward from his Santa Monica home each dawn ever starts to feel punishing, “I think that will be the time to hang it up,” he declares. “But as long as we’re finding ways to do new stories and grow these characters, I’ll be there.”

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Posted by Admin on August 27th, 2013


There’s a whole lot of shake up going on “NCIS” when CBS’ No. 1 drama returns for its 11th season, what with the departure of Cote de Pablo, who plays Ziva, after the first two episodes, and figuring out how to reinstate Tony (Michael Weatherly) and McGee (Sean Murray), who resigned in the finale in an attempt to save Gibbs’ (Mark Harmon) career.

“We are going to come out swinging and give everyone the best television we can, and hope that everyone enjoys what they see,” executive producer/showrunner Gary Glasberg told xfinityTV in an exclusive interview. “Part of what I want to continue and deliver to our fans is helping them deal with the shakeup of just feeling and remembering why we watch ‘NCIS.’”
Record Series

Truth be told, Glasberg gave us the inside scoop on what is happening storywise up until the holidays, who will replace Ziva, and what guest stars will be dropping by — some familiar faces and some new ones. So check out his answers to the burning questions of what lies ahead for Gibbs and company:

You earlier confirmed that Ziva would not die as part of her exit. What else can you reveal about her departure?

I can tell you that what was originally a one-part season opener for us, became two parts. That Ziva’s story, along with everything we are dealing with with Gibbs, starts in the first one and continues all the way through to the second one.

There are some really lovely fantastic moments between Tony and Ziva that I hope pay off for all the Tiva fans and provide the closure that they are looking for. They’re funny and heart-wrenching and give us a little bit of what people have been waiting for between them.

I am going to tell people to watch. They should watch and see where we go with it and, hopefully, they will be satisfied with what they get.

With Ziva having been the love interest that fans want to see Tony with, is there some point in this season that he will be able to have a new woman in his life? Or is it too soon?

That is a big gaping hole that is going to be left. I think we have to give Tony time to figure out what he wants from life, let him heal, let him move on and let change happen. Then we will see what Tony wants next. That is something that Michael is very involved with. There is a lot of talk and communication going on. It is actually an interesting process for us to think what the next step is for the character and how we are going to move forward.

Is the door being left open for Cote so there a chance in the future that she could return to the show — either as a guest star or rejoin the team?

I am not going to say the door is closed. We have lots of things planned for the future, lots of things planned for this season. So we will have to see where everyone is. I don’t know where the show will be. I don’t know where our cast will be. I don’t know where Cote will be.

This is a huge shift for us, a big change. It has taken a tremendous amount of work and emotion to get to the place where we are moving on. We are going to see what comes as these episodes unfold.

How will you go about finding her replacement? Will there be a lot of people in and out, or will you find someone right away? Are you looking for a fresh face, or an actress we might recognize, or a character we have met before?

We are going to have fun for some episodes and let some guests come in and fill that space. I don’t necessarily mean literally the space in the squad room, but have some fun with the dynamic of the team and, in Ziva’s absence, who can help us out?

We have a terrific role coming up right away with an agent who is on the verge of retirement, a woman who comes in and helps us out, named Vera Strickland (Roma Maffia). That was a blast. We had a lot of fun with that episode. We’ve got agent Abigail Borin (Diane Neal) from the Coast Guard coming back in. It is certainly with the idea floated out there: Could she be the one?

We are going to play with this idea of a rotation of characters coming through. We want to remind people that after going through this very difficult period at the beginning of the season, there is still fun and lightness and some smiles to be had with the dynamic of this group. Hopefully, when people least expect it, someone will walk through the door and surprise us.

We left Gibbs taking aim at someone — possibly his FBI counterpart. Is that where we pick up?

We pick up where we left off in May, and then, little by little, all of the details of how we got to that point start to unfold. Between the first episode and the second episode of Season 11, all of the details from the end of May through to the middle of September are laid out, and we really understand how we got to that point of Gibbs with the sniper rifle. We will really understand how and what exactly happened with Ziva, as well.

This mission is to wipe his slate clean. Are there repercussions from it?

On this show, there are always repercussions. There are always things that you didn’t see coming. There are always characters and new ideas that are introduced that help us throughout the coming season, as well.

All of that happens. Richard Parsons (Colin Hanks), the investigator, comes back. He plays a really significant and surprising role in the first episode. Then that continues all the way into the second episode, which really delivers on the Tony and Ziva front.

Is Parsons still pursuing Gibbs?

He is significantly frustrated by the fact that his investigation is over. Then he does a really surprising turn that opens his eyes to just what Team Gibbs can pull off.

It looks as if Tony and McGee will get their jobs back — even though they resigned to save Gibbs. When they come back, how will the dynamic on the team have changed, discounting the Ziva stuff?

You have to remember, these agents are very, very close and they are used to working in a certain way. That is part of the fun we are having in the episodes that follow. There is a definite void that exists, yet these guys have to keep working. Sometimes that void is filled by a guest actor, and other times it is Tony and McGee working with Gibbs and putting in overtime to make it all work.

How does Abby (Pauley Perrette) deal with Ziva’s departure? She is very attached to her teammates.

Ziva’s absence certainly resonates all the way through the department. It affects Abby, Ducky (David McCallum) and Palmer (Brian Dietzen). Everyone understands what this means and has an attachment to her. You have to remember. This isn’t the first time this has happened for that group. There is reference to Kate (Sasha Alexander). They have been down this road before.

There is a possibility that Palmer and his wife will adopt a baby. Will you explore that?

There is a significant storyline that is going to continue throughout the season and really take some emotional twists and turns. It is a nice little story that we are threading through, and, eventually, probably later in the season, it will have a more significant turn that we will deal with. It is definitely something that is going to get discussed for quite a while.

Anything interesting happening for Ducky this season?

I don’t know offhand yet. We have so much to deal with upfront at the beginning of this season.
There will probably be something along the way, but I am not ready to specifically tell you about it yet.

Any other guest stars you can talk about for this season?

We’ve got Ralph Waite coming back in a really emotional episode as Gibbs’ dad. Around the holidays, we will have Gibbs and Agent Fornell’s (Joe Spano) ex-wife (Melinda McGraw) come back. Later in the season, we will get a visit from Robert Wagner. Those are just the ones I know.

Jamie Lee Curtis?

No one loves Miss Curtis more than I do. I just don’t know if where we are storywise with everybody if that is something I am going to do right now. But I will never say no to that and the door is always open. She is a huge fan of this show, and we are huge fans of her.

That just leaves Vance (Rocky Carroll)?

Rocky has a fantastic holiday episode coming up. We are in the middle of talking about that. It will give us some insight into where Vance is in his personal life and how he is trying to move on as well.

Also, we have a new storyline with the SECNAV (Secretary of the Navy) that we are working on
and a prominent Navy character that we are bringing in, played by Leslie Hope.

Anything I missed?

Mike Franks (Muse Watson) comes back in an eye-opening, touching storyline that has some real resonance. These are flashbacks this time around. This is a story that took place in the past and resonates to something that is happening today. I think it is going to be a very impactful season.

Then there is a terrific episode — sort of a Part 2 to Baltimore, when we went back and learned about Tony. We are stepping back again and seeing a young Tony DiNozzo in a Baltimore-related episode.

“NCIS” premieres its 11th season on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 8/7c on CBS.

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