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CBS tried to keep NCIS star

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Posted at 1:56 PM, Jul 31, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-31 13:58:36-04

(CBS) – Cote de Pablo is leaving CBS hit drama NCIS after eight seasons playing Israeli agent Ziva David. De Pablo will stick around long enough to give closure to her character, but not long enough to finish season 11.

“I’ve had 8 great years with NCIS and Ziva David,” de Pablo wrote in a statement. “I look forward to finishing Ziva’s story.”

CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves said he tried to convince the actress to continue her role.

“We offered Cote de Pablo a lot of money, and then we offered her even more money, because we really didn’t want to lose her,” Moonves said at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Monday. “We love her. We think she was terrific. And we, obviously, were in discussions. And the rest of the cast and the producers were aware what’s going on. And ultimately she decided she didn’t want to do the show. It was purely her decision. We’re, obviously, getting a lot of emails. There’s a lot of Twitter buzz about her, and rightly so. She’s a wonderful lady. Look, ‘NCIS’ was the highest-rated show on television last year. We don’t like losing anybody. But we did everything humanly possible. We feel like we exhausted every opportunity, and she just decided she didn’t want to do the show.”