Cote de Pablo, second from left, will be leaving an 'NCIS' cast that includes, from left, Sean Murray, Rocky Carroll and Mark Harmon.(Photo: Sonja Flemming, CBS)
Bill Keveney, USA TODAY
TV's most-watched entertainment program is losing one of its mainstays.
Cote de Pablo is leaving NCIS, where she has played special agent Ziva David, a former agent for Israel's Mossad, for eight of the show's 10 seasons. The character has been a key member of an investigative team led by Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), often sparring playfully with fellow special agent Anthony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly).
She will return in the fall to conclude Ziva's story on the CBS drama, which trailed only NBC's Sunday Night Football in viewers last season. The show begins shooting its 11th season next week.
The actor acknowledged her executive producer, Gary Glasberg, Harmon and fellow cast members in a statement. "I've had eight great years with NCIS and Ziva David. I have huge respect and affection for Mark, Gary, Michael, David (McCallum), Rocky (Carroll), Pauley (Perrette), Brian (Dietzen), Sean (Murray), all of the team and CBS. I look forward to finishing Ziva's story."
CBS thanked de Pablo in a statement.
"We respect Cote's decision, thank her for being an important part of the NCIS team and for eight terrific years playing Ziva David," the statement said. "Cote and CBS share a great respect for the NCIS audience, and we look forward to working with her and the producers on appropriate closure in this chapter of Ziva's story."