While NCIS fans mourn the absence of agent Ziva David, written off the show after actress Cote de Pablo opted not to renew her contract, showrunner Gary Glasberg is looking ahead to a Ziva-free NCIS and what that’s going to look like.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Glasberg admits that not having Ziva on NCIS is a “huge deal”; for the show. “To suddenly not have Ziva present is something that we’re absolutely going to feel moving forward and if we didn’t feel it we’d be cheating ourselves and the audience,”; he says. “That empty desk is something that we’re going to acknowledge…we’re really trying to approach this as realistically and organically as possible, and it’s going to take time for our characters to move on and they all have opinions and thoughts about that and it’s been worked into the storylines and hopefully people will go through the process with them.”;

In fact, Glasberg promises that upcoming episodes will remind viewers what they love about the show in the first place. Next week’s episode, he explains, “really feels like a strong, old-time NCIS episode. Granted there’s an acknowledgement that that desk is empty, but we’re really back to normal to a certain extent…we’ve got some really good stuff coming up — really solid shows and guest stars…familiar faces and good stories and then that’ll lead us up to the introduction of Ellie Bishop.”;

Bishop, who’ll be played by actress Emily Wickersham, is being brought in to fill the void left by Ziva, but Glasberg says he doesn’t “view her as a successor. The way we approached it was, how do we bring someone new into the fold? What could she bring to the group and to the party? Bishop is a NSA analyst, and she’s a thinker. She looks at the world in a very global way; she looks  at everything, life, in a global way…so I think she’ll provide something different.”;

NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST/PST on Global.