Scoop: NCIS Promotes Ziva's Successor to Series Regular -- Get a First Look at Ellie Bishop

Two weeks ahead of her NCIS debut, actress Emily Wickersham has been promoted to series regular status on the CBS drama — and we’ve got a first look at the new addition to Gibbs’ team.

RELATED | NCIS Season 11 Spoilers — Find Out Who’s Returning

Filling the void left by Agent Ziva David’s abrupt departure at the start of Season 11, Wickersham’s character, NSA Analyst Eleanor “Ellie” Bishop, is described as “a mysterious mixture of analytic brilliance, fierce determination and idealism,” someone who specializes in international threat assessment and global preparation.

RELATED | NCIS Boss Discusses Ziva’s Exit: What Changed? Was a Kiss Cut? Could She Return?

Get a first look at Bishop working with Gibbs’ team, then read on for more:

Gut Check
Gut Check

Bishop will be introduced in the Nov. 19 episode of TV’s most watched drama when it is discovered that SecNav was bugged during a confidential briefing — a security breach Bishop predicted two years ago in a threat analysis. Working side-by-side with Gibbs & Co., Bishop will help determine who is behind the crime.

RELATED | NCIS Season 11 Spoilers — When Will Ziva-Less Tony Get His Groove Back?

Explaining the new character’s creation, showrunner Gary Glasberg tells TVLine, “What drew me to Bishop is how she views the world. She looks at things in a global way — and that’s true of personal lives as well as the work.” Meaning, “She will shed some light on everybody, on who our people are, as well on the way that politics and terrorism and crimes are handled. She possesses an interesting mind, an intellectual, smart way to approach doing what this team does — not with kicks and punches and knocking down doors but by really thinking. She’s very much a thinker.”

Wickersham’s previous TV credits include several episodes of FX’s The Bridge (as Annabeth Gish’s wicked stepdaughter) and The Sopranos.

Want more scoop on NCIS, or for any other show? Email and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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  1. courts says:

    Does she shoot electricity from her fingertips?

    • Chris says:

      Lol! I immediately thought this! :)

    • ELIZA MURRY says:


      • Holly Seaton says:

        I Absolutely agree. Ziva’s history was so tied into the whole story line of NCIS. They should of paid her what she was worth. I can’t even watch it now!

  2. Chloe says:

    Disappointed. I was hoping it would be Borin.

    • echo14612 says:

      Yeah. I was hoping for Borin, too. I guess the desired demographics dictated somebody younger. The new character they’ve designed does sound intriguing, though.

    • Pat D. says:

      +1000 on this. I had high hopes after last week’s teasing, too.

      Oh well.

    • Angie says:

      I’m with you Chloe, I was REALLY hoping it would be Borin. IMO she fits in so well & also gets along well with everyone-even Gibbs. Oh well, here’s hoping she will not stick out like a sore thumb lol!! Good Luck Bishop:)

    • Dennis says:

      She might be lead in the new spin off in development

    • Cindy says:

      I agree 100%…I thought the chemistry w/Borin (Diane Neal) was great and up to the level of Ziva (Cote de Pablo)…well almost..I know several of my friends are finding it hard to stay in ‘tune’ w/NCIS since Cote left, and were excited w/the slight encouragement at the end of last weeks episode between Gibbs & Borin (Mark Harmon & Diane Neal). I will of course stay tune and see if this new character/actress can hold my interest.

    • Pickle8182 says:

      I was hoping they waited a season to replace her. Looks like they gave this one an attitude already. Hate that. “Mysterious and fierce determination.” Oooo. Sounds like Ziva. I was hoping a little more opposite.

    • JC says:

      I agree – it’s too bad they didn’t go that route.

    • Maka556 says:

      Why? Do you hate Borin? It would be a demotion for the poor woman!

    • Duane says:

      Yes, my wife and I wanted Borin’s character played by Diane Neal to become a regular on NCIS. She already had an excellent rapport with the entire cast. Don’t the producers and writers realize that?

  3. BJ says:

    Intriguing! I’m interested to see how she meshes with the characters,

  4. Fan says:

    I’m really excited about this. It’s going to be fun having a Probie for Tony and McGee to train up, and a chance to see Team Gibbs through the eyes of a newbie is going to be interesting too.

  5. tejasjulia says:

    Looking forward to seeing how the character works in. Glad she’s a thinker.

  6. tejasjulia says:

    Also looking forward to the team having a probie, just wish it had been someone completely green.

  7. Sammy Thinks says:

    “Filling the void”? Dream on.

    • dmac says:

      I for one am very excited about the new addition; however, I can hear the Ziva fans already… What I find interesting is all her followers predicting that her leaving was going to be the end of NCIS and yet their numbers are as good as they always were.

      • sara says:

        Speaking for myself, I am a die-hard Ziva fan. I was, and still am, very upset by her leaving the show. (So much, in fact, that I am hoping it’s all a ploy for whatever the grand scheme is this season, and she’ll be back next season when it’s all been resolved). I’ve watched pretty much every episode since she left waiting for the acknowledgement, the sadness, or whatever for her not being around. I am very happy that Tony, at least, is particularly affected.

        That being said… I am also a fan of NCIS. This new character sounds very intriguing, and I’m excited for the possibility of what she can bring to the team. She sounds entirely different from Ziva, which I think is exactly what is needed. Will I be comparing her to Ziva? Of course, but this Ziva fan is very excited about Ellie Bishop’s introduction.

      • Val says:

        I have watched NCIS from the beginning. Ziva leaving has made a huge change in the dynamics of the show. I didn’t finish watching last weeks episode because it was so lame. I am not sure if it isbecause Ziva is gone, the writers missed the mark or what the problem is. But something better fix it or I will stop watching.

        PS my sister and her hubby were disappointed also.

        • Marissa says:

          It is so good, Val, that 19 million fans disagreed. The ratings are outperforming some of last year’s episodes on a week by week basis.

        • K. Tinkle RN says:

          I’m already there. Nothing new here,

        • as524 says:

          How can you know it’s lame before you watch something? Most of the ziva centric ep previews & a ton of publicity for non-ziva centric eps were so focused on ziva / tiva over the years that many fans quit the show altogether. I found it was perfectly fine to fast forward thru ziva scenes without missing the plot . That is lame when one can do that.

  8. JBC says:

    Couldn’t they have tried her out first to see if the fans liked her, before making her a regular?

    • Alison says:

      Thank you – that’s exactly what I was thinking! I know when they started out, they planned on the character being there on a temporary basis at first, to see how things worked out. Given that they’ve made her permanent now, they clearly liked working with her and liked how the character fit, but they should’ve waited to see how the fans responded before changing her status. It’s such a rare thing for a show to start out with a temporary setup like this – usually they just go ahead and sign a series regular replacement from the start, and I was applauding their foresight – and now I feel like they’ve failed to follow through on a HUGE advantage of doing it that way.

    • Dr. Rookie says:

      The should learn from Ashley Seaver from CM, she never fit that team.

    • as524 says:

      Why? They didn’t do that when ziva/cote replaced Kate/Sasha

      • John 1138 says:

        I wonder who HIMYM would have wound up with if they’d posted all the screen-tests online and put it up for a fan vote?

        Now THAT would have taken fan pandering to all new levels… lol

    • jenferner8 says:

      They did try her out, just because we haven’t seen her first few episodes doesn’t mean it won’t work. This is same thing that happened when Hook joined OUAT, granted he wasn’t “replacing” anyone but Colin was made series regular before his first airdate and he is currently one of the best characters on the show. Clearly NCIS thinks this is a good fit and that’s enough for me right now. It’s not the fans decision but if it doesn’t work the viewers will make sure the show knows!

    • as524 says:

      Yeah sure….so the ziva fans & those involved in that wretched ‘campaign’ could take to social media & slam the character & the actress the way many have been doing since cdp quit at the last minute

      Besides the fans aren’t in charge of casting – fortunately

    • Donna says:

      This isn’t a reality show where we get to vote in our favourite housemate. She would probably only be on contract until end of year and then will get a full year if all goes well for the remaining episodes. I am looking forward to seeing her and how she interacts with all the characters.

    • Steve says:

      We havent seen her on screen debut yet. Theyll be numerous episodes ahead of us so they have tryed her out & they probable feel she has jelled with gibbs and co

    • T says:

      Yep! I was thinking the same thing – I loved Borin and was hoping for her. And now this – another blonde!! Ick. I hated the last silly one (what was her name? Barrett?) She and Tony had zero chemistry but we were supposed to believe they were an item??? Please. Stick with the brunettes….or interestingly, another redhead. We all know that Gibbs has a thing for redheads……

    • rita marra says:

      yes i would see bishop a regular on the show rita

  9. hello says:

    Is there a chance she is a lesbian so the shippers will spare us of their obsession

  10. Mary Beth says:

    Eh. Let’s see how it goes.

  11. John 1138 says:

    I’m a bit relieved Bishop’s got experience as the probe hazing had gotten quite old, the place isn’t a frat house.

    Borin’s too good (that last episode she totally rocked it) to be left on the shelf. Especially as that character interacts with Gibbs on an entirely fun level I haven’t seen for a while from him. That’s a female character they DO seem to be able to write well for in Gibbs scenes.

    And he DID offer her a job… which she didn’t turn down……

  12. Dr. Rookie says:

    So this character is closest to Kate than to Ziva based on work experience and knowledge. Ziva’s intellect was never used as an asset; that could have balanced her better over the years. I really liked Kate so this seems interesting to me. And yes, I want her to be married and with a family; that could give her more depth when speaking to victims and families.

    Finally, no shippers please! I am happy that TIVA is finally over :)

    • kellie says:

      Agreed! I was never a Tiva fan and am really glad that we can move on from that. It seemed like the past 3 seasons were all about Ziva’s drama so a change of pace will be nice!

  13. RJ says:

    The wailing and gnashing of teeth has begun. I’ve heard utterly delightful things about this actress and hope she’ll find a good home at NCIS.

  14. Karen says:

    Along with everyone else disappointed that it’s not Bohern She has much better chemistry with the group. Oh well I’ll still watch either way. It is my favorite show and has been for all seasons

    • John 1138 says:

      It might be that’s Borin’s been written just a bit too alpha to have alongside Gibbs all the time? Though that could easily work, she and Mark have great scenes together, but a constant presence would be a shift from Gibbs as the leader with a team of subordinates. A bit like Fornell? Best in moderate doses to keep the dynamic fresh?

      And it’s not like that door was closed in that final scene in his basement, not at all. (and again the actors related so well with each other throughout: just a great scene, I LIKE grinning Gibbs).

  15. Daniel says:

    I am excited about her character! I also like the storyline in which she is set to make her debut – an NSA analyst trying to find out why a government official was being bugged (I sense some irony here ;)

  16. Annie says:

    Still hoping we will see Borin again in the future. I think she would fit perfectly on the show. With that said, willing to give Bishop a chance.

  17. Leanna says:

    Can’t wait to see what she brings to the table!

  18. as524 says:

    Am excited to see what EW brings to the table as a Bishop & very relieved that we don’t get another shoot/punch/throw a paperclip first, think later type of character

  19. Svenja says:

    I take this as a good sign. It means in her first episode she must have worked. Emily seems really nice. Congrats to her. I like how different she is from Ziva. A copy of Ziva would have been wrong. I am happy. I hope she will turn out to be as good as I think she will be. I like stability. And who knows maybe one day Ziva will come back for an episode or more and then we get to see a dynamic between these two women. Would be interesting.

  20. auntiemm says:

    I was hoping they’d just left it open with a fill-in. I liked the idea of different faces for the others to play off.

  21. BenM says:

    I was hoping for Born(e?) or the techy-nerd girl McGee was(?) with.

  22. Val says:

    I just looked up Emily Wickersham on IMDB. I see she has been in sort of a lot of stuff. But I ahve never heard of her at all. Here to hoping she works out. After last weeks lame show I am not sure how much longer I will be watching. I feel really bad for saying that but it is just the way it is.

    • Lyn says:

      She played a pretty good part among the strong cast of “The Bridge” — written as a spoiled, mean girl — but strikes me as really young for this part although she’s in her late 20s. Oh, well, we have “Abby” as a goth teenybopper type at 40-plus, so maybe they will age this new character up a little bit!

  23. Pete says:

    Interested to meet Bishop.
    I really hope they do a better job of writing her than so many of the other female characters – Ziva included, at times – but we’ll have to see.
    I liked the idea of them giving her a try before she became a regular, but in reality what matters is that she fits with the cast. Even without the haters – who won’t like her on principle because she is not Ziva – I imagine that her reception will be mixed, based on the comments that have been made about any and every guest character so far this season.

    I liked Ziva when we first met her, and felt that the character never lived up to the initial promise, especially that she seemed to divide the team more and more over time. I have been bowled over by the return to the team feel after the initial boring “Ziva goodbye” episodes and hope that can continue with the newbie,
    And, please, please, return to subtext and offscreen partners rather than overt romance. Give us viewers lots of hints, nuggets and double entendres and let us use our imaginations as to who might partner up – if we want. We each have different life experiences and therefore different views about which pairings ‘are made for each other’ – and for any viewers that don’t see a particular pairing, having them obviously getting together onscreen is a big turn-off. That’s one of the reasons the Tiva/no-Tiva wars got so nasty.

  24. K. Tinkle RN says:

    OK. I was waiting to see what the producers would vomit up and “presto” here she is. Long stringy blond hair and the attempted hard arse with no real appeal. Thanks, but I’ve had enough. Too much other trash on TV to stay with this one.

  25. CBWBDK1 says:

    That little girl will ruin the series.

  26. James T Johnson Jr says:

    What happen to the episode of the Mentalist that was to show Nov.3 they had an old rerun.

  27. Susan Seeley says:

    Disappointed that Ziva is not coming back on NCIS season 11! My husband and I really liked her a lot. I’m sure this new actress will do well, but used to the old team to stay the same though

  28. Pat says:

    I will wait to pass any judgement on this actress who will be replacing Ziva. I will have to see her in a couple of episodes before I can say that she is a good fit for NCIS. I still miss Ziva, so for me this actress has some big shoes to fill.

  29. 4thjet says:

    Can’t believe no one else notice the new character’s name is the same as on Fringe the daughter of Olivia and Peter, her name was Ellie Bishop!?!

  30. ChuckMeForever says:

    Only clicked to see a better picture of the new babe….Honestly Don’t care for the show any longer. I x’d it Long before Ziva left. I admit I will watch an episode or 2 here and there but Tuesdays are no longer reserved to watch NCIS…I instead watch my DvR’d Blacklist episode….Or re-watch a Castle episode…

  31. tp says:

    I thought they were going to rotate some people in and out for a minute. I was looking forward to seeing the germaphobe. Maybe even having her be changed by now.

  32. liz says:

    I LOVED Kate, hated Ziva. Pretty excited about Bishop. :)

  33. Flowers says:

    Why not Borne!!??

  34. Rusty says:

    I am disappointed that Diane Neal wasn’t chosen, but she had better show up either in her own spin off or at least 3 to 6 shows a season. She is a breath of fresh air to the guys and a very good actress and to top it off, she gorgeous. Been a fan of hers for many years. Hope she gets the opportunity to show that she can be a lead instead of a costar or supporting cast member.
    I have no opinion of the new girl, will reserve any judgement till I see how the writers blend her character and how she jells with the other cast members and especially how she gets along with Pauley Perrette. Even though they will be in character, if Pauley likes her, it will show through the acting and on to the screen. She is the glue and the solvent of this show. If she doesn’t click with her….. well they can always kill her off.

    • John 1138 says:

      Agree on all counts. The get along with part is what I feel makes Diane Neal’s scenes with mark work so well, they just seem to be having a lot of fun with them and I must admit I MUCH prefer grinning Gibbs as he was introduced to us in China White. The closing shots when he’d get in the hot sports car and grin away always were a nice ending scene.

      There was a long interval where I don’t recall Gibbs doing much of that, but they write him that way when Borin is in the scene a lot I’ve noticed.

  35. cj says:

    Eleanor? What is she 93?

  36. JC says:

    After skipping most of S10, I couldn’t make up my mind about whether to go back to watching NCIS this season or not. But I finally mostly caught up last week (I’m watching on my iPad via the CBS app so I’ll always be eight days behind). I think the season’s going pretty well. It will be interesting to see how this new girl fits in. I’m still a little doubtful – I would have preferred an older more experienced agent – but this description makes me a little more hopeful than the initial one. I’m glad she’s not so much of a newbie. I wasn’t looking forward to watching Tony and McGee haze the new girl. And I agree with all those that have said it’s too bad they didn’t just pull Borin in full time instead of trying to create a new character.

  37. Alisa Neely says:

    imo, TPTB should have WAITED to see what the reaction was to the replacement BEFORE making her a “regular”…..she doesn’t even air for another 2 weeks for GOD’S SAKES…..and i for 1 am THRILLED to be RID of ziva….who thought she was BETTER, then everyone else….and was treated as if she poop didn’t stink…..noooooo way, should she have been ALLOWED to give a SFA…i.e. TONY orders, as if she was the SFA…..and tony can FINALLY be the AGENT we know, he CAN BE……cote in NO WAY deserved to be PAID the same as MH, MW & DAVID.

  38. DeeLoge says:

    I think this new character will prove to be a great addition to the all male bullpen. As for Borin, I love it when she is on the show! I can’t wait to see what the writers give us in the upcoming episodes and the rest of the season.

  39. JBC says:

    I am not a “shipper” of any pairing. I liked both Kate and Ziva. I love NCIS and have enjoyed the show for a very long time. Hopefully there won’t be shipper wars as this new girl comes on. I am sure she will be fine. I just thought they wouldn’t do the obvious route with the cute young little blond. I have never seen her. I am sure they like her acting to offer her the role. Time will tell how she fits with the team.
    Reading from the comments,seems Diane Neal/Borin would be a welcome addition to this cast. I wholeheartedly agree. She and Mark Harmon have some great chemistry and her character is someone I could see as an agent in NCIS full time.

  40. Irishelf says:

    Notice that Ziva’s replacement is starting around Thanksgiving. I guess that’s so they can blame the holiday when the ratings drop. The show sucks without Ziva. Period. TPTB need to get their heads out of the sand and woo Cote back. I still think her departure was fishy. I have a strong feeling TPTB wouldn’t work around the personal situation Cote was dealing with (most likely, she needed some time off to deal with something and TPTB refused to cooperate-but I bet if one of her male costars asked for what she did, they would have gotten it). I really hope the realize their mistake and get her back once the personal situation has resolved itself! Until then, I will no longer watch. And for those who missed the petition to get her back, it can be found at change,org!

    • Alisa Neely says:

      the only 1’s who want cote/ziva back are HER FANS….the rest of us, are THRILLED to be rid of her…..everyone else had to take a backseat with ZIVA/TIVA….tony was DUMBED DOWN, to make her look good…..we rarely saw him down in the lab with abby….and ziva acted as if she was SFA, giving HIM orders……now, we can get back to the friendships that were LOST because of her….and a WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER tony…..and they OFFERED her MORE money, then imo and some other’s , she deserved…..she doesn’t have the LIST of work of MH, MW & DAVID(ducky).

      • Irishelf says:

        I hate to break it to you, but you are in the minority. Most of the episodes with the highest ratings and highest reviews were those episodes that focused on Ziva. And judging by the petition, many people want her back, far more than wanted her gone. You have the right to your opinion, but not the right to trash Cote and anyone who happened to like her and her character. And you don’t have the right to post false reasons for Cote’s departure to illustrate your point. If you actually read the articles from OFFICIAL sources, her departure had nothing to do with money. So please stop rehashing that false rumor. I really don’t understand your obvious hatred of Cote-what the heck did she ever do to you! Didn’t your parents ever teach you that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!?

  41. kath says:

    I wish her well, but I’m really not interested in the show now without Ziva.

    • Irishelf says:

      Me neither!! Maybe someone should start a petition to get rid of GG. It’s quite obvious that he isn’t able to handle the job, as the show started to go downhill after he took over. He also has a knack for creating horrible characters that most fans hate (like Ray Cruz, EJ Barrett and Samantha Ryan, to name a few) and seeing chemistry between characters that most fans do not. He needs to go. And after reading some of his comments, I am even more suspicious about Cote’s departure!

      • Marissa says:

        Why blame Gary? Cote’s negotiations were with CBS and not NCIS or any producers at NCIS.SOP for negotiations. You negotiate with the company, not the product the company produces.

        • Irishelf says:

          My 2nd cousin worked in Hollywood, so he knows more about the business than many of the people posting here. And I can tell you from talking with him that you are wrong in your assumption. Producers have a say in the negotiation process and if an actor stays or goes. To think otherwise is very naive!

          • Marissa says:

            I work in the industry and I can tell you you’re patently wrong. CBS handles contract negotiations for all products they produce. NCIS, Gary, Harmon, etc. were not involved in any aspect of any actor negotiations, never have been, never will be. Despite rumors to the contrary, nobody in the production office had any expectation that Cote would not sign on, up to the very week the announcement was made.

  42. barbara says:

    should have made borin (diane neal) part of the team personally i think her and gibbs click even tho alot alike. on the other hand gibbs tony and tim have been doing great on there own.

  43. SusanP says:

    A terrible selection. NCIS was the only commercial TV show with strong, evolving female characters and no airhead types. The start of the end for the show, unfortunately.

    • leia says:

      How do you know she’s not a strong female character, a thinker instead of a ninja assassin, doesn’t sound so bad to me, I also noticed a ring on the left ring finger, married perhaps? That might be a refreshing change if true.

  44. Irishelf says:

    Marissa-I have one word for you: Bull!

    • Marissa says:

      Irishelf, how could you possibly know, as you don’t know me, my coworkers, or have access to my resume. The fact that your distant relative has incorrect insight into the workings of negotiations, which Chris Willman, and I believe some of the professionals on this site have supported (CBS negotiating party, NCIS production not involved in any capacity) as well, demonstrates the lack of your practical knowledge of the entertainment industry, Go on, ask around–as Chris, Matt M, etc. who negotiates contracts. They’ll tell you the network and not the show brass, just as I have.

  45. Danny H says:

    No, nooo.. why another quirky white girl? Isn’t there enough of those in mainstream media already?

  46. JimE says:

    Just watched her. Just the personality that will fit right in and make Gibbs smile every once in a while as Cote did. I personally loved Sasha in the early days but Bishop looks like she will fit in. Cute and perky like Cote, even looks a little like her. Think they did that on purpose gang????

    • Norma says:

      OMG she doesn’t look like Ziva at all. And that’s OK. However wish this person could act. So boring!!! Hope the acting and storyline does improve.

  47. InMn says:

    Nope, don’t like this new character. Nothing against the actress.
    Granted this is only the first show, but this episode felt more like Rainman, than NCIS. This
    character is too ditzy, too babyish. I can stand young, but childish? Really?! I guess the show’s target audience is now those whose bedtime is 7:00 PM.

    • JimE says:

      Hey, I’m 75 and a retired FSS Special Agent. I love ’em a little ditzy. It relieves the tension of looking at chopped up remains at the bottom of a deep pit, believe me! And, yeah, she’s young but reminds me of an old girlfriend so she’s OK.

      • InMn says:

        Would that be the Foreign Service?
        Possibly why I don’t like the character – she reminds me of someone I knew in college who was similar but turned out to be very, very not nice.

    • Angel says:

      I agree with you. Character was boring and the actress can not act!!! She is just all smiles and hair. Hope this isn’t a sign of a new(?) NCIS. Yes I know only the first episode. So I will try to give it another look.

  48. Martha says:

    Didn’t like her. Nothing exciting about her. She was boring and full.

    Hopefully Cote depablo comes back again…or else ratings will go down…

  49. lily says:

    I miss Ziva :(

  50. Leanne says:

    I am disappointed its not Borin. This new girl looks too young and perky and no substance. The fact she is NSA is a bad choice as they are extremely unpopular at the moment. Hope I am wrong.

    • JimE says:

      Believe me, fresh out of FBI or NCIS training, they’re ALL young and perky! You would not want somebody who’s not! It’s a tiring job whether for real or TV so perky is good! Besides she’s pretty cute too and I’m old so I would know!!