Moonves says Cote de Pablo was offered, in his words, "a lot of money" because the network didn't want to lose her from the crime drama. Moonves says the offer was then upped.
But he says the actress decided she didn't want to continue on the show.
He noted the social media outcry from de Pablo's disappointed fans, but asserted that CBS did everything possible to keep her.
A representative for de Pablo didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
"NCIS" stars Mark Harmon as head of a Navy criminal investigations division. It returns for its 11th season this fall.
More Entertainment Headlines
Robin Williams estate fight settled Saturday’s highlights on TV Weekend best bets: Circus, Sausage Fest, Vikings ... Matt Damon’s isolation in ‘The Martian’ parallels his intentional departure from the Hollywood celebrity fast lane Concert features Lynnwood trumpet player Great beer and food makes NYP a good hangout ‘The Walk’ isn’t a towering achievement See incredible Impressionist art collection in Seattle
Our to-do list full of ideas for your weekend
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.