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NCIS: Mark Harmon Breaks His Silence on Cote de Pablo's Exit

NCIS Sonja Flemming/CBS

Cote de Pablo's offscreen boss has already opened up about her departure from the CBS procedural juggernaut NCIS, and now her onscreen boss has some things to say.

While appearing on Thursday night's Arsenio Hall Show, Mark Harmon finally broke his silence on the character of Ziva exiting the series after eight seasons

"We've had a lot of changes, and we've managed to get better with the changes both in front of the camera and behind the camera," he said. "We have another change this year, with Cote leaving, it's up to this highly professional group to use that as a springboard, to improve and stay No. 1."

VIDEO: Cote de Pablo's farewell begins in new promo!

Pablo announced her exit from NCIS back in July, shocking fans and causing a massive Twitter and letter-writing campaign to "save" Ziva. Executive producer Gary Glasberg recently responded to the masses, insisting that the writers were handling her departure with "the utmost care and decency."

"It's okay to be sad. But, then, don't forget what we're good at. We like to make you smile. We like to rock your world and leave you on the edge of your seat," he said in an open letter. "The amazing resolution you're going to see is pretty damn heart-wrenching and we're incredibly proud of it. Prepare yourselves for a moment in television history."

VIDEO: NCIS cast talks about Cote De Pablo's exit

Watch Harmon's full interview on Arsenio below. 

NCIS' season premiere, titled "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot," airs Tuesday, Sept. 24 on CBS.

PHOTOS: Great guest stars on NCIS

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