‘NCIS’ Stars Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo Almost Starred in Another Show Together

by Suzanne Halliburton

NCIS fans, didn’t you adore Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo and all their on-screen sizzling chemistry?

Folks who need their NCIS fix love to talk about old, comfortable characters from the show’s past. While the show currently is in season 19, you can stream the earlier episodes. And Tony DiNozzo and Ziva David definitely don’t go out of style, although it’s been years since either was a full-time character on the series.

It would be perfection to see the two working together again. And they very nearly came together in another series in their post-NCIS careers. Imagine the NCIS couple known as “Tiva” being part of a series about homicide detectives in south Florida.

TV Line reported in 2018 that the two were going to be part of this new series for CBS. The title? MIA. And the MIA stands for Miami, de Pablo’s hometown. TV Line said neither actor would star in it. But the pitch seemed perfect for both. There was a female homicide detective who got assigned a by-the-book partner. She had some lingering personal issues from an undercover assignment threatening her future.

The project had a writer — Riverdale’s Shepard Boucher. The three would be executive producers of the show. But the series never got off the ground. When the show was pitched, Weatherly was two years into Bull. It’s not clear whether MIA still is kicking around in development.

De Pablo’s Ziva left NCIS in 2013. Weatherly exited three years later. NCIS writers had Ziva go back to Israel. Emily Wickersham, who portrayed Ellie Bishop, took her place in the cast.

Michael Yarish/CBS/2012

Dead or Alive? NCIS Fans Didn’t Know Ziva’s Fate for Awhile. Then It Changed Again

We didn’t know what happened to Ziva until Weatherly left the show. It was explained that Ziva and Tony had a daughter named Tali. But Ziva was killed in an attack at her father’s farm. So Tony left NCIS to raise his daughter.

But you know this is TV and anybody can be resurrected from the dead if a producer believes it can goose a plot. Ziva returned to NCIS in 2019 for a brief run. She explained that she survived the attack at her father’s farm, but went deep undercover to look for her killers. Odette was her undercover handler. Coincidentally, Bishop left the show in May after deciding to train with Odette for a deep undercover assignment. It broke Torres’ heart, but those details are for another story.

The chemistry viewers saw on screen between Tony and Ziva was authentic. The two are very good friends.

In a 2016 interview with Deadline, Weatherly talked about their first screen test together, adding that de Pablo still looked a lot like Salma Hayek.

“I remember so vividly the screen test with Cote,” he said. “I just remember her cold stare. She just loathed me instantly — and I mean Michael Weatherly — but we quickly became very close friends.”