Cote de Pablo leaving NCIS CBS Ziva David season 11 - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Major "NCIS" star exiting show, will not return for season 11

NCIS is losing one of its major characters as the hit CBS drama prepares to launch its 11th season.

Cote de Pablo confirmed Tuesday that she would not be reprising the role of Ziva David, a role she played for eight seasons.

De Pablo says she will stay with the show long enough to give closure to her character, but not long enough to finish season 11.

"I've had 8 great years with NCIS and Ziva David. I have huge respect and affection for Mark, Gary, Michael, David, Rocky, Pauley, Brian, Sean, all of the team and CBS. I look forward to finishing Ziva's story."

CBS and CBS Television Studios issued a joint statement when confirming the news: "We respect Cote's decision, thank her for being an important part of the NCIS team, and for eight terrific years playing Ziva David. 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."

She joined NCIS in season 3, following the departure of Sasha Alexander, who played Caitlin Todd.

Pablo says when she auditioned, the character was European but it was unspecified where she was from. After she got the part, they changed Ziva to an Israeli, and 48 hours later she had to shoot and had to learn a monologue in Hebrew.

"One week from today, we start shooting the first episode of #NCIS season 11! Expect awesomeness," co-star Brian Dietzen, tweeted on Tuesday. "I love my #NCIS family. All of em. Tremendous group of people. We will work our butts off to give you our best season yet!"
NCIS, a drama about criminal investigators working for the Navy and Marines, returns for season 11 on September 24.