In the world of television, few series have seen the success that NCIS has. With over 15 seasons to its name and two spinoffs, NCIS is now the second longest-running scripted and non-animated series in U.S. primetime TV history and is consistently in the top five for how many viewers continually tune in week after week and season after season. Since the series has been one of the best in quality television for over a decade, it might be surprising for fans to learn that it has certainly not been controversy-free behind the scenes. From shocking exits to conflicting personalities and personal drama, the cast has had a lot going on both on and off camera over the years of being in the spotlight thanks to the show. Here are some of the biggest NCIS cast and crew controversies that went on behind the scenes:
12. Cote de Pablo’s Exit
Fans of the series were both shocked and saddened when after eight seasons as Ziva David, actress Cote de Pablo abruptly quit the series. If fans were shocked, it was nothing compared to what the cast felt as she quit only days before filming for season 11 began, and everyone expected her to be a part of it. “It was huge news to us,” Pauley Perrette told E! News. “I found out literally 20 minutes before it was released in the press. But we love her … No one wanted her to leave.” Frustration showed elsewhere however when David McCallum 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.” Viewers sensed that Cote de Pablo’s exit wasn’t exactly amicable however as she refused to say why she asked to leave so suddenly and kept repeating that her reasons were “personal.” Later however the drama was stirred up when she offered a little more insight and criticized the script writing for her character. “Unfortunately because of political things and the scripts not being good enough. I chose not to continue. I love this character. I worked eight years in crafting this character and loving her, so when I felt or I perceived the character was not being treated with the respect that she deserved, all the money in the world [couldn’t make me stay],” she said during a panel for her film The 33.