is a fictional character from the CBS television series NCIS, portrayed by Chilean-born American actress Cote de Pablo.Ziva first appeared in the Season 3 premiere episode, "Kill Ari (Part 1)", and became a regular cast member from the episode "Silver War".She replaced Caitlin "Kate" Todd (Sasha Alexander), who was killed at the hands of Ziva's half-brother, Ari Haswari (Rudolf Martin), in the Season 2 finale.
At the end of the day, I leave it in the hands of our fantastic fans and audience".
Outside of fiction, the cultural impact of Ziva became a subject of discussion among various critics, with academics and rabbis weighing in on the matter.
Newspapers such as The Jerusalem Post cite her as the only full-time Israeli character on an American mainstream network television show, Sasha Alexander's character Kate Todd was killed in the second NCIS season finale following Alexander's decision to permanently leave the show.
Shortly afterwards, series creator Donald Bellisario announced plans to replace Todd with another female lead.
Ziva is introduced to the show as an Israeli citizen, agent of Kidon unit of the Mossad, daughter of Mossad Director Eli David, and friend of NCIS Director Jenny Shepard.
She was assigned to NCIS as a liaison officer in an arrangement between Eli and Jenny, a position she held for four years until she returned to Mossad in the Season 6 finale, "Aliyah".
After being captured by terrorists in Somalia while on assignment for Mossad and presumed dead, she was eventually saved by Gibbs, Tony and Mc Gee, who brought her back to America.
In an interview with Deadline.com, executive producer and showrunner Gary Glasberg commented on Ziva's fate; "Tremendous thought was put into every element of what you saw last night..to the lines of dialogue, the specific wordage.
At the time, he stated that the new character would be "quite different" from the previous and of an undecided foreign nationality—"I want to go for a European or Australian girl who is very comfortable with her femininity and sexuality." Before joining the cast of NCIS, Cote de Pablo, who lived in New York at the time, had performed primarily in the theatre.
She was intended to portray one of the lead female roles in a 2005 Broadway musical version of The Mambo Kings and had turned down other television roles to stay with it.
During a screen test, de Pablo and other actresses were paired with Michael Weatherly, who went offscript by brushing her hair back and commenting, "You remind me of Salma Hayek." De Pablo described her response as follows: "I dismissed him completely.