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Much has been made of Cote de Pablo's exit after eight seasons on "NCIS." Executives are now casting for her predecessor, who will have a huge role to fill in the upcoming season. They released a description of the new female character known as Bishop.
She "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," Executive Producer Gary Glasberg told TVLine.
Fans don't need to worry about not seeing enough of Ziva David, de Pablo's character, in the new season. She will be given a true, respectable exit that will leave room for her return.
"The first two episodes are all about Ziva's departure," Glasberg noted. "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."
Producers are hoping to have some fun introducing a rotation of characters and guest-stars to help bridge the gap between de Pablo's exit and the newest cast member's entry. De Pablo's predecessor is scheduled to make her debut in January or February.
"I've had 8 great years with 'NCIS' and Ziva David," de Pablo said in a statement. "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."
Glasberg promised that Ziva would not be killed off, as was the fates of the two other lead female characters.
"It's not what this character deserves. I like the idea of doing this one a little different and respecting who Ziva is," Glasberg explained.