'NCIS' Season 11 Spoilers: 4 Theories How 'Ziva' Cote De Pablo Will Exit 'NCIS'

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Cote de Pablo signs on to play a role in a new CBS miniseries. CBS

Cote de Pablo is leaving "NCIS" despite CBS' attempt to keep the actress on board. "I've had eight great years with NCIS and Ziva David. I have huge respect and affection for Mark, Gary, Michael, David (McCallum), Rocky (Carroll), Pauley (Perrette), Brian (Dietzen), Sean (Murray), all of the team and CBS. I look forward to finishing Ziva's story," said Cote de Pablo in a statement. Read more details on her departure here: Cote de Pablo Leaving 'NCIS': 4 Things To Know About Her Departure.

While initial reports suggested that Ziva would not be killed off, the latest teaser suggests that her life is not safe. "It's not what this character deserves," executive producer Gary Glasberg said. "Also, [we killed off] Sasha Alexander's Kate character [back in Season 2] and I like the idea of doing this one a little different and respecting who [Ziva] is." Fans were relieved to hear that, but there's no guarantee how they'll wrap up her story line. What do fans know for sure? "The first two episodes are all about Ziva's departure," Glasberg said. "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 the different characters. And then, hopefully, when people are comfortable enough, one will walk in the be The One."

Fans have been incredibly curious about Ziva and Tony's potential romance and according to Michael Weatherly, there may be some interesting developments in that department. "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." More on that here: 'NCIS' Season 11 Spoilers: Ziva And Tony Romantic Storyline Confirmed By Cast. Curious how Ziva will leave the show? Here are three possible scenarios:

1. A relationship with Tony. If Michael Weatherly's hint is true, then Ziva and Tony will be addressing their tension in the upcoming episodes. One possible theory on how the actress can be written off the show is by getting into a relationship with Tony. Since their boss' rule prohibits a romantic relationship between co-workers, Ziva would be compelled to quit. This might be an excellent way to keep her out of the show but in the show in spirit. And this also opens doors for Ziva to return once in a while.

2. Death. Sure, the producers have said she won't die. But that doesn't mean she won't! They could be using it as a shocker to throw at viewers or keep her alive until the season finale and then kill her character off. While it may be repetitive--the show killed off another character earlier on in the series--and not a fan-approved move, it could be a last minute attempt at boosting ratings.

3. A change of heart. There's no denying that Ziva has had a turbulent life and maybe her character, much like the actress, will be looking for a change. This angle could involve her becoming homesick, needing to return to her family, or simply needing a change of pace after a near-death experience. This would fit in line with the fact that someone is targeting Ziva.

4. A protection program. We know someone is out to get Ziva so this option sounds like the most viable. It's been done before (on television) and guarantees that Ziva could return if Cote de Pablo decides she wants to return. This could also tie into theory number 2, as the producers could keep her alive for the season and then kill her character off in the finale for shock value.

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