Cote de Pablo
Among last week's more encouraging TV signs: On the first Tuesday of the official fall season, it felt a bit like a return to the good (or at least simpler) old days when network TV was the dominant game in town, and crowded time periods could support more than one hit. In prime time's starting position of 8/7c, there appear to be three blockbusters duking it out:
Mark Harmon, Leslie Hope
NCIS started its 11th season with a bang Tuesday night — literally. A terror attack on a hotel kills Secretary of the Navy Clay Jarvis (Matt Craven), and may cause Morrow (Alan Dale) to lose his leg. But it quickly becomes clear that the explosion is just a hint of larger things to come. And the group's next target? Ziva David (Cote de Pablo).
Cote de Pablo
NCIS fans have long memories. They fondly recall the scene back in Season 4 when Ziva David, then still a visiting Mossad agent, announced to Tony DiNozzo, "I will kill you 18 different ways with this paper clip." So when the woman who so engagingly played Ziva for eight seasons, Cote de Pablo, announced she was leaving the series, grief-stricken devotees sent paper clips to CBS in protest. But even that couldn't keep Ziva attached.
Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo
In case you haven't heard, big changes are underway at NCIS.
A refresher: In the Season 10 finale, Tony (Michael Weatherly), Ziva (Cote de Pablo) and McGee (Sean Murray) all handed in their badges to protect Gibbs (Mark Harmon) in the wake of a Department of Defense investigation into the agency. The episode then jumps ahead four months, when Gibbs is aiming a sniper rifle with FBI Agent Fornell (Joe Spano) in his crosshairs.
Although we doubt it's what was originally intended, Ziva's resignation will likely stick. As fans are well aware by now, De Pablo announced over the summer that she'll be leaving the show. Will the team (and the show) be able to go on without her? Why is Fornell a target? And what additional fallout will result from the investigation into Gibbs? TVGuide.com took these burning questions and more to executive producer Gary Glasberg and Weatherly. Here are the biggest issues the show needs to address early on in Season 11:
Cote de Pablo, Michael Weatherly
Sorry, Tiva fans: Cote de Pablo really will be leaving NCIS this season. And although we expected her character to get written out, is it possible the series will go so far as to kill Ziva?
Cote de Pablo exiting NCIS
That question is certainly raised in the sneak peek below...
Cote de Pablo, Stephen Amell, Archie Panjabi
Every week, editors Adam Bryant and Natalie Abrams satisfy your need for TV scoop. Please send all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet them at @Adam_Bryant and @NatalieAbrams.
So, how will NCIS actually write Ziva's exit from the show? — Samantha
ADAM: Given that Ziva was one of three agents who resigned to protect Gibbs, it actually won't be that far-fetched. The season will open with a two-parter that features Colin Hanks returning to threaten Gibbs, prompting a team reunion. "Ziva is out in the ether and Tony has to go off and find her," executive producer Gary Glasbgerg says. "The second episode is really all about Tony and Ziva, and, I hope, delivers all the things the Tiva fans are going to want." Adds Michael Weatherly: "The will they/won't they is answered. Tony's going to be forced to face this Sword of Damocles that's been hanging over him since Season 3." That's Greek for "they're totally gonna do it," right? ...
Bojana Jankovic, Michael Weatherly
Michael Weatherly and his wife Bojana Jankovic are expecting their second child together, Entertainment Tonight reports.
Timothy Olyphant, Jim Beaver, Erica Tazel
How long has the Justified fan waited for someone to ask this question to Boyd Crowder: "Where did you get all of those teeth?" You'll likely be grinning yourself, while cringing at the edge of your seat, as the pleasures just keep multiplying — a high-octane Justified highball of great banter, tremendous suspense, clever twists and reversals — in a harrowing, hilarious and fantastically entertaining episode, so eventful you might mistake it for a season finale, but thankfully there are still two more episodes to go (Tuesday, 10/9c, FX) in this terrific fourth season.
It has all been building to this violent showdown between the forces of good (the U.S. marshals) and evil (everyone else, from Boyd's crew to an army of thugs and snipers representing the Detroit mob). The target is Drew Thompson (the great Jim Beaver), a 30-year fugitive in sheriff's clothing, currently in the marshals' custody, although they feel like sitting ducks, outnumbered and outgunned in Harlan as they calculate several desperate escape maneuvers while awaiting rescue. The episode, written by exec producer Graham Yost and Chris Provenzano, is titled "Decoy," and revolves around a series of standoffs, confrontations and subterfuges that leave few unscathed and unbloodied. Special props to Patton Oswalt as the loyal and lovably resilient Constable Bob, who even Raylan has to admit is a "tough son-of-a-bitch" by the time the dust settles, following a tense encounter outside a (metaphorically apt) high-school principal's office.
Cote de Pablo, NCIS
When NCIS goes for an emotional gut-punch, it always hits hard.
In last week's episode, the veteran CBS drama walloped its audience with not one, but two deaths, as a shooting spree at the home of Director Vance (Rocky Carroll) took the lives of both Ziva's father Eli (Michael Nouri) and Vance's wife Jackie (Paula Newsome).
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"I just couldn't help myself," executive producer Gary Glasberg tells TVGuide.com of the body count. "This is a story line that we've actually been thinking about for a long time — all the way back to last spring. I pulled Rocky Carroll aside and told him I was thinking of this scenario, and we really talked it through. We talked about the doors it would open for his character and things that this character would have to face as a single dad and as a widower. It all seemed exciting. It was new material and a new direction for Vance."
Indeed, Tuesday's episode ...
Michael Weatherly and Dr. Phil McGraw
On NCIS, Tony DiNozzo is always getting his head slapped, but does he need to have it shrunk, too? Michael Weatherly has created a couple of surreal YouTube clips in which the raffish agent is confronted by Dr. Phil at the behest of concerned buddy Jimmy Palmer — based, he says, on...