updated - July 21, 2019 Sunday EDT
Cote de Pablo will exit NCIS, one of the most popular shows on TV, after eight seasons with the series, according to reports released Thursday. No clear reason was given for the move.
Cote de Pablo 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).
"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," De Pablo said in a statement.
However, 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.
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."
NCIS is TV's most-watched series, averaging around 22 million viewers - up about 7% from previous season. It also ranked No. 1 in the 25-54 demo. NCIS is also licensed in more than 200 markets and ranks as cable's No. 1 off-network drama in domestic syndication, boosting ratings for USA Network.
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