Season 11 of "NCIS" came with big changes, as actress Cote de Pablo decided to quit her role as Ziva David on the hit criminal procedural show. While intially the creative team behind the show stated that they would be rotating actors until they found the right fit to replace her, the network really quickly honed in on actress Emily Wickersham to join the team full-time as Eleanor "Ellie" Bishop, an NSA analyst that joined the team in a recent episode. Executive producer Gary Glasberg has described Wickersham's character to be a "thinker" and someone who is "bright, educated, athletic, attractive, fresh-faced, focused and somewhat socially awkward." RELATED: 'NCIS' Season 11 Ziva Spoilers: Does New Michael Weatherly Interview Hint At A Cote De Pablo Return?
"She looks at the world in a very global way; she looks at everything, life, in a global way," said Glasberg to Entertainment Weekly. That's a big part of the way that our group is evolving. Our agents are evolving - they're looking at terrorism in a different way, they're having to approach crimes in a different way and I think that having that view of the world is something that our people don't necessarily have much experience in." Glasberg continues: "So I think she'll provide something different. I think she'll emotionally provide something different. Emily Wickersham is a terrific actress. I've now spent a bunch of time with her; I'm really excited about what she's going to bring to this and how she's going to bring the character to life. We'll have some fun with it."
And while CBS has backed the new actress as the replacement of Ziva, hardcore fans of the character are still holding on to hope that de Pablo will return to reprise her role in the current season or the seasons to come. "The greatest thing about this last episode is that Ziva doesn't die," said de Pablo to TVGuide of returning "NCIS." "As long as a character doesn't die, the character can always come back. Not that it would actually matter, because we bring back characters from the dead all the time on 'NCIS!'" More recently, actors Michael Weatherly and Pauley Perrette shed more light into why de Pablo chose to leave the show at a CBS International press junket in November. "At the end of the day, not only can you not make decisions for other people, but often you can't understand theirs...I guess it was just a life decision," said Perrette about de Pablo's departure. Weatherly, meanwhile, stated: "Cote's still figuring out the life part," said Weatherly of de Pablo's decision to leave the show. "She just wanted a break."
Many online outlets are suggesting that fans have accepted Ellie Bishop as the replacement for Ziva David. While we're not sure about that, one thing we can say is that we're glad there's no love story between Ellie and DiNozzo, as the former is married. "This is a very different relationship from anything we've had," Glasberg told TVGuide, adding that Bishop's husband will be an attorney with the NSA. "There's something interesting in this world when you have a spouse you can't tell everything to, and taking on the added responsibilities of this new job could come with consequences." Tell us what you think about Bishop by taking the poll below.