By Staff Reporter, Sep 19, 2013 10:44 AM EDT
(PHOTO CREDIT: AP Photo/CBS, Michael Yarish )
Cote de Pablo is leaving "NCIS" in Season 11 and the network is reportedly searching for a new leading lady to replace Ziva David. Fans were relieved to learn that Ziva won't be killed off like her predecessor and that her romantic tension with Anthony DiNozzo will be addressed. "Even if you're a casual viewer of the NCIS, even if you've only seen one marathon on USA, this season premiere and the first couple episodes you're going to want to check out," Michael Weatherly told E! News. "Even if you hate Tiva [Tony + Ziva], even if you love the Tiva, if you're ambivalent, it's like a big Christmas stocking on Christmas morning." RELATED: 'NCIS' Season 11 Spoilers: Michael Weatherly Spills Details About Ziva And Tony's Romance
Actress Emily Wickerman has been cast in the role of Bishop to be the potential successor of Ziva, reports TV Line. The network has already revealed that they will be rotating a series of actors to see who the best fit with the team is. As such, Emily Wickerman will be on "NCIS" for a guaranteed three episode arc, with an option to become a series regular if the audience and character work out well. Emily Wickerman is most famously known for playing Rhiannon, A.J.'s girlfriend in the final season of "The Sopranos" and she is currently playing arecurring role on FX's "The Bridge." RELATED: Ziva's Successor: 'Bishop' Will Join 'NCIS' After Cote De Pablo Exit
As for the character of Bishop, she has been described as someone who 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." But before Bishop arrives, the show will experiment with some new characters. "The first two episodes are all about Ziva's departure," executive producer Gary Glasberg recently told TVLine. "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."
If you're worried about the turn the show will take after Cote de Pablo's departure, then know that the show is, as always, in good hands. Actor Mark Harmon, who plays Gibbs, went on "The Arsenio Hall" show last week to reveal that the show is resilient to change and will continue being great. The actor stated that "it's up to this highly professional group to use that as a springboard to get better, to improve and to stay No. 1." Mark Harmon added: "We've had a lot of changes. We've managed to get better with the changes both in front of the camera and behind the camera." RELATED: 'NCIS' Season 11 Spoilers: Executive Producer Writes Letter To Fans Calling Cote De Pablo Character Ziva Departure 'Television History' [VIDEO]
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And it's not just Mark Harmon, as executive producer Gary Glasberg even wrote an open letter addressing Ziva's departure and what can be expected in the upcoming season. "I did not plan on the departure of Ziva David. We've been busy the last couple of months making this work and handling the situation," Glasberg writes. "Now I've finally 'come up for air' and I wanted to reach out to you, the greatest fan base in the universe and fill you in on what's coming, how we are feeling about all this, and assure you we're doing some really terrific work and feeling confident about moving on." He further adds that Ziva's departure was a surprise to everyone. "The amazing resolution you're going to see is pretty damn heart wrenching and we're incredibly proud of it," Glasberg said in the letter. "Prepare yourselves for a moment in television history. Images that will end up in the archives. I couldn't be happier with how my "NCIS" family stepped up and did some of the most emotional work we've ever done." Season 11 of "NCIS" will premiere on CBS Tuesday September 24. RELATED: 'NCIS' Cote de Pablo Exit Does Not Concern Mark Harmon; See What Gibbs Has To Say About Ziva Leaving