Cote de Pablo leaving 'NCIS' after 8 years as Ziva David

July 10, 2013 at 11:13 PM

LOS ANGELES, July 10 (UPI) -- Cote de Pablo announced Wednesday she is leaving the long-running U.S. TV hit "NCIS" after eight years playing Israeli-born agent Ziva David.

She will appear in the CBS series' 11th season long enough to wrap up her character's story, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"I've had 8 great years with NCIS and Ziva David," de Pablo said. "I look forward to finishing Ziva's story."

Born in Chile and raised in Miami, de Pablo joined the show for its third season. "NCIS" was the most-watched series on television last year.

Mark Harmon, who has played Leroy Jethro Gibbs, leader of a team of Navy investigators, since the series began, has reportedly signed on for two more seasons.

In her statement, de Pablo said she has "huge respect and affection" for the NCIS cast and crew.

"We respect Cote's decision, thank her for being an important part of the 'NCIS' team, and for eight terrific years playing Ziva David," the network and studio wrote in a joint statement. "Cote and CBS share a great respect for the 'NCIS' audience, and we look forward to working with her and the producers on appropriate closure in this chapter of Ziva's story."

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