This ‘NCIS’ Star Screamed When She Saw Ziva Return to the Show

If you’re a fan of CBS’ NCIS you know that the hit show shocked fans this season with the return of a fan-favorite character. Cote de Pablo, who fans last saw in 2013 made a surprise appearance during the season 16 finale. 

Fans have longed for the return of Ziva David since she left, so there was a lot of excitement when fans realized what was going on. But it wasn’t just fans that were happy to see the actress return. de Pablo’s co-stars seemed to be thrilled as well. 

Cote de Pablo left the show amid controversy

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

It’s been six long years since special agent Ziva David walked into the NCIS offices and fans are excited to see her return. When de Pablo made the decision to leave the show in 2013, not only were fans disappointed, but her fellow co-stars were frustrated to see her walk away as well. David McCallum, who plays Ducky on the long-running procedural, told Digital Spy at the time that he felt hat his co-star was making a bad career move.

He said: “It was frustration and anger that someone should just walk out on us. I just don’t understand how a leading lady in a show that’s worldwide, who ostensibly wants to have a career as an actress, suddenly walks away from such a gem and just vanishes a couple of days before we start production.”

At the time, the actress said that she was leaving due to personal reasons. However, de Pablo later revealed that the show’s writing and politics played a role in her departure. In part, she said, she didn’t feel that her character was being treated with the respect that she deserved. 

Producers went to great lengths to keep Ziva’s return a secret

It’s nearly impossible to keep a secret in Hollywood these days. With the vulnerability of technology and the aggressiveness of paparazzi, major show spoilers often get leaked to the public before the show even airs. The crew at NCIS knew that Ziva David’s return would be exciting for most fans, but producers really wanted her return to make a splash. 

They accomplished this by keeping Ziva’s return a secret from almost everyone. The final scene of the show, in which Ziva returns, was not included in the script. De Pablo came in to shoot her scenes after almost everyone else had left. She was snuck in through the back so no one could report that they had seen her at the studio. And on top of everything, almost everyone was kept in the dark. Only essential personnel and those involved in her scenes knew about the actress’ return.

Her return to ‘NCIS’ made one former cast member scream

If you thought you were shocked to see de Pablo on-screen opposite Marc Harmon, just imagine how the cast of the show felt when they learned of her return. Diona Reasonover, who plays Kasie Hines on the show, revealed to her fans during an Instagram Live story that she was just as shocked as the rest of us to hear de Pablo’s voice coming out of the television. The 27-year-old told fans: “I’m [very] excited that we have Ziva at NCIS. It’s pretty cool — actually, just to tell you guys something, I did not know that Cote was coming back. I didn’t know! I was watching it just like everybody else — I had looked down from my screen to type something, and I heard ‘hello, Gibbs.’ . . . I was screaming just like everybody else.”