CBS CEO Leslie Moonves wants to make one thing clear: The network didn't let NCIS' Cote de Pablo leave the show without putting up a fight.
"We offered Cote de Pablo a lot of money, and then we offered her even more money," Moonves told reporters at the Television Critics Association fall TV previews Monday. "We really didn't want to lose her. We love her; we think she was terrific. ... Ultimately she decided she didn't want to do the show."
Cote de Pablo exiting NCIS
De Pablo announced her exit earlier this month, one week before the show was scheduled to begin production on its upcoming 11th season. She expressed her gratitude to the show and its cast and crew and said she would return for a few episodes to end her character's story. But how could CBS lose the leading lady of the No. 1 show on television?
"It was purely her decision," Moonves continued. "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."
Some other highlights from Moonves' executive session....
The Beverly Hills Cop TV series seemed to be a sure bet. Even when CBS passed on the spin-off, showrunner Shawn Ryan believed another network would save the drama.
Unfortunately, Ryan announced Friday that the Beverly Hills Cop TV revival was dead, but not all hope is lost.
Christine Lahti's Hawaii Five-0 days may be numbered: The actress has joined the cast of CBS' Beverly Hills Cop pilot, TVGuide.com has learned.
In the pilot, a sequel to the movie franchise, Axel Foley's (Eddie Murphy) police officer son Aaron (Brandon T. Jackson) patrols the rich and famous of Beverly Hills. Lahti will play Helen, the captain of the Beverly Hills Police Department who is respected by her detectives, though she worries Aaron's penchant for being a renegade will one day embarrass her.
The broadcast networks are desperate for your attention. They know that you're overwhelmed with their programming and distracted by cable, the Internet and now even streaming services. Plus, they didn't produce a new major hit this season, and their ratings are suffering for it.
That's why this year's crop of nearly 100 series pilots at the five networks (48 comedy and 50 drama from the five networks) is all about being big: big stars, big producers, big concepts.
The Walking Dead kicks off the second half of its third season Sunday (10/9c, AMC), which marks the beginning of the end for former showrunner Glen Mazzara.
In late December, AMC announced that its megahit series — which drew a whopping 10.5 million viewers for its midseason finale — was renewed for a fourth season, but it would go on without Mazzara, who will be replaced by Dead writer Scott Gimple. This wasn't the first time that this has happened, either. Mazzara had actually replaced original showrunner Frank Darabont.
Walking Dead names new showrunner for Season 4
Despite his exit, Mazzara is still promoting the show because of his work on the latter half of Season 3. Below, Mazzara discusses his exit, any regrets he may have and then teases the impending war between the prison and Woodbury. Lest we forget, Daryl (Norman Reedus) is in the clutches of the deranged Governor (David Morrissey), who just lost his eye, and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) is going crazy, literally: