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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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“NCIS” star decided to leave; CBS didn’t fire her

I don’t want to say that TV fans are crazy … but, clearly, some of them are.

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Like the folks who aren’t incensed because Cote de Pablo is being written out of "NCIS" and taking her character, Ziva David, with her.

Members of the Television Critics Association all got emails from a fan begging us to do something about this. I got two such emails, because the fan thinks I can do something extra because I’m the vice president of TCA.

She’s wrong in both cases.

I get that fans are invested in the shows they love. But there’s a certain disconnect with reality at times. Here’s part of the letter we all got:

"Although the details of the reasoning for Cote’s departure are sketchy, there are some aspects of this that are off-putting. In the last couple years, it seems CBS has gained a reputation for not monetarily valuing its female actors in the same way that it does their male cast mates. Criminal Minds is just one recent example of this. As a woman, I find this extremely disconcerting."

There’s no evidence of this whatsoever.

"By her own admission, Cote loves her job and the character she plays. I can only imagine what kind of ‘negotiation tactics’ it took for her to decide not re-sign the week before filming on season 11 begins, especially when everyone on the production side of the show has publicly sounded very positive about the likely outcome of said negotiations."

Again, no evidence

"As you may know, many NCIS fans have started a campaign to "Bring Cote Back!". We have been writing letters to CBS offices in NY and LA as well as Bellisarius Productions, sending huge banners (mine was 15 feet long), delivering cupcakes and M&Ms, etc. Additionally, we have an online petition that was started just a few days after the news came out. Two weeks later, this petition has nearly 14,000 signatures and counting. There’s lots going on over on Tumblr too. Campaign related goodies are tagged under such things as ‘operation bbc’, ‘bringbackcote’ , ‘cote’s army’, and ‘saveziva’."

Here’s the truth. De Pablo decided to leave the show. This was not a CBS decision.

"We offered Cote de Pablo a lot of money and then we offered her even more money," said CBS CEO Leslie Moonves. "She didn’t want to do the show."

Not that this will affect the folks who don’t want to believe the truth because it’s not what they want to hear.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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