Friday, April 12, 2024

“NCIS” Star Wanted Pay Parity With Other Actors, May Have Talked Herself off Show


And now to Cote de Pablo, the beautiful Chilean actress who’s played beautiful, mysterious Ziva on “NCIS” for eight of the show’s 10 years. Who isn’t a fan of Cote de Pablo? No one more than Mark Harmon, star and executive producer of the number 1 blockbuster CBS series. Harmon and Cote are very tight, I am told. He was encouraging her to sign a new contract after all the other deals on “NCIS” had been achieved. But Cote, sources say, wanted pay parity with scene partner and on air love interest Michael Weatherly.

And now Cote de Pablo is gone from “NCIS.”

“She was asking for $225,000, closer to what Michael is making per episode,” says a source. “And the show wouldn’t do it. It wasn’t going to happen. She was being offered about $200,000, which is pretty good, and was up from what she had been making.” Indeed, that would come to over $4 million a season. You can’t beat that with a stick.

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“Mark Harmon was urging her to take it,” says my source. “And she waited and waited, figuring they’d cave in.” But it didn’t happen. “NCIS” is a show with a big cast. Harmon gets the big money, Weatherly follows, then Cote de Pablo. Pauley Perrette and the rest of the cast follow including David McCallum, formerly but always Illya Kuryakin.

A rep for Cote de Pablo would only say, “So far this has been handled in a very business like way. Your numbers sound wrong to me.” As for Harmon and Cote falling out on this issue: “They remain best of friends.”

Well, it won”t be the same “NCIS” without Zima, that’s for sure. I am told that Weatherly, who started on the ABC soaps 20 years ago, is very popular at CBS. “Les Moonves loves him,” says a source. “And they’re thinking of new things for him.”



Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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