According to the latest Q ratings (which poll entertainment consumers to gauge stars' popularity) Pauley, 44, is TV's most popular actress, and has been for years. While Pauley has enjoyed her reign as the queen of the small screen, she admitted this year was different.
"It's better this year, because this year the No. 1 male actor on TV is my co-star Michael Weatherly," Pauley told ET's Kevin Frazier. "It's more fun that it's the two of us this time."
Pauley's real-life male counterpart, Thomas Arklie, is ready to spend the rest of his life with the actress, as they've been engaged since 2011. Despite their love for one another, the couple has said that they would not marry until same-sex marriage was legal. Currently, same-sex marriage is legal in most states, but Pauley and Thomas are holding out for "federal marriage equality."
"For us, it's just keeping the fight alive," said Pauley.
Another fight that Pauley has kept alive is the fight against AIDS. She participated in AIDS Walk on Sunday and has supported the cause for nearly 20 years.
"To see tens of thousands of people out there was so inspiring," said Pauley.
Watch the video for a look at tonight's episode. NCIS airs Tuesday nights at 8/7c on CBS.