Who will be Ziva’s successor on “NCIS” after Cote De Pablo leaves the show? A new character named Bishop.
With the departure of actress De Pablo from the long-running CBS hit, “NCIS” producers are casting a replacement to the show’s leading lady, according to TVLine.com.
Citing “casting intel,” the new 20-something female character named Bishop is “bright, educated, athletic, attractive, fresh-faced, focused and somewhat socially awkward. She has a mysterious mixture of analytic brilliance, fierce determination, and idealism. She’s traveled extensively, but only feels comfortable at home,” TVLine says.
The new full-time cast member could begin working in mid-October, and make her on-screen debut in a January or February episode. Leading up to that, the counter-terrorism procedural drama will use different people in the leading role.
Fans will have the chance to say goodbye to Special Agent Ziva David, the Israeli character played by the Chilean-born De Pablo, who announced her decision to leave the show last month after eight years. She will appear in the first two episodes of Season 11, which the network promises will provide “appropriate closure in this chapter of Ziva’s story.”
“The first two episodes are all about Ziva’s departure,” “NCIS” Executive Producer Gary Glasberg told TVLine recently. “And then in the third episode we introduce, for instance, a woman in her 50s who is a few days away from retirement and just needs to fill the desk time. She, in theory, knew Gibbs all the way back to the days of Mike Franks. So we’re going to bring in people like that and have some fun with different characters. And then, hopefully, when people are comfortable enough, one will walk in and be The One.”
“I feel like I am leaving my family,” she told the magazine. “What I want to say most of all is thank you to the fans and to the people who have been so supportive of me and of the show, who have made the show the great success that it is.”
CBS CEO Les Moonves said recently at the Television Critics Association press tour that the network offered her “a lot of money” to remain with the show. “Then we offered her even more money. We really didn’t want to lose her; we love her, she was terrific.”
“NCIS” began in 2003 as a spin-off of “JAG.” It features the fictional Major Case Response Team of NCIS agents based at Washington Navy Yard in Washington D.C. In 2009, that series spun off “NCIS: Los Angeles.” “NCIS” is scheduled to return Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. ET.
By Ken Mandel