CBS on Thursday confirmed that "NCIS" star Cote de Pablo will leave television's most popular drama series during the upcoming season
De Pablo, who plays agent Ziva David, said in a statement: "I've had eight great years with NCIS and Ziva David. I have huge respect and affection for Mark (Harmon), Gary (Glasberg), Michael (Weatherly), David (McCallum), Rocky (Carroll), Pauley (Perrette), Brian (Dietzen), Sean (Murray), all of the team and CBS. I look forward to finishing Ziva's story.
The news comes just ahead of the start of production on the show's upcoming 11th season.
A CBS spokesperson said: "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."
The actress joined NCIS in season 3, following the departure of Sasha Alexander. The show's writers quickly established a friendship between her character and Weatherly's Anthony DiNozzo. In recent seasons, the sexual tension increased and brought hints of a possible romance.