By Peter Lesser ( | First Posted: Jul 11, 2013 12:22 PM EDT

When a show has been on the air for 10 seasons, its natural to see actors come and go. It's the laws of nature. Nothing is permanent, especially in Hollywood. It's always sad to see your favorite actor leave. Sometimes it can change the course of a series entirely, for better or for worse. "NCIS" is now approaching its 11th season and much to fans dismay, or great joy depending on who you are, one of the show's central characters will be leaving in the fall.

Cote de Pablo, whose contract expired at the end of season 10, will make an appearance at the onset of the upcoming season, according to TVLine. She's making her brief return to conclude Ziva's story. Then it's time to say goodbye.

"I've had eight great years with 'NCIS' and Ziva David," Pablo said. "I have huge respect and affection for Mark [Harmon], Gary [Glasberg]. Michael [Weatherly], David [McCallum], Rocky [Carroll], Pauley [Perrette], Brian [Dietzen], Sean [Murray], all of the team and CBS. I look forward to finishing Ziva's story."

CBS had their own nice comments to share. "We respect Cote's decision, thank her for being an important part of the NCISteam, and for eight terrific years playing Ziva David. 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."

In season 10, Ziva and others had resigned from "NCIS." Then as the season ended with a four-month time jump, the agents, including Ziva, remained unseen. Her decision to leave, however, comes with curious timing. The show is scheduled to resume production next week and will now have to adjust to her absence.

So as we countdown the days until the show's return, prepare yourself for a heartfelt goodbye. It will be hard to see her go, but there's plenty more to look forward to as the season unfolds, don't worry.

"NCIS" will return to CBS September 24.

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