‘NCIS:’ Cote de Pablo Talks Awkward Fan Encounter in Ecuador

NCISthe most-watched scripted show on TV with ever-increasing ratings – boasts an unrivaled international fanbase. From grandmas in the United States to teenagers in Asia and college millennials in France, the show’s demographic is impressively widespread. Thus, when it comes to fame, NCIS stars (and former stars) Mark Harmon, Cote de Pablo, Sean Murray, and Michael Weatherly have all grown accustomed to being spotted…no matter where they go.

Cote de Pablo
Cote de Pablo | Photo by Jacopo Raule/Getty Images

While Cote de Pablo left the show in 2013 (before returning this year), her character Ziva David remained in the hearts of fans everywhere. Though many were initially skeptical concerning her casting, as she was brought on to replace Agent Todd, she quickly found her way into the hearts of millions.

The former Mossad agent confusing America idioms was irresistible. Now that she’s back, and set to appear in the premiere of season 17, fans can’t wait to see where her story will go following her six-year-long absence.

During an interview with Rachel Ray, Cote de Pablo discussed what it’s like playing Ziva David, during which she noted a very awkward fan encounter experienced while visiting Ecuador.

Cote de Pablo on the ‘NCIS’ and Ziva David admirer living in Ecuador

During the interview, Rachel Ray states, “Even when you’re traveling, people must recognize you from the show. It’s a global phenomenon.” Cote de Pablo, remembering a specific story, responded:

“I was actually in Ecuador at a supermarket…And I’m just, you know, walking through the aisles. I think I had like five tamales that I took home, and they’re in my refrigerator. And then, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, a man, kind of a baldish man, comes up to me and he goes [imitating the man by puffing out her chest and shoulders, while placing her hands on her hips] ‘Ziva David’ in the hallway. And I just looked at him, and I said [hesitantly] ‘yes,’ and then he proceeded to just kind of come really close to me, And it totally caught me. It was just out of context.”

Rachel Ray Show

Cote de Pablo goes on to explain how she was surprised, since she was in another country, looking like a civilian, and sort of disguised, “undercover,” as such. Yet, Cote de Pablo is not the first to experience such an occurrence; Mark Harmon had a similar experience when traveling with his wife in Austria.

Just how famous is ‘NCIS’ and who watches the show?

If being the most-watched scripted show on television doesn’t paint a picture of just how popular NCIS is, maybe Vice’s explanation will help. In an article discussing NCIS, Drew Millard explains the audience as one that “on any given episode is double the population of North Carolina.” 10.38 million people live in North Carolina!

Though famous across several demographic, NCIS is most-watched among viewers 55 and older; however, it’s also quite popular among viewers aged 35-54 and viewers aged 18-34. While more people aged 35-54 are aware of the show’s existence, an equal amount of people in the 18-34 and 35-54 ranges watch the show on a weekly basis.

When it comes to NCIS, it definitely isn’t a pre-teen’s go-to; however, it doesn’t look like the show needs to conquer that audience anytime soon. NCIS is doing just fine pleasing the age groups already tuning in.