The cast and crew of NCIS have started filming Season 17 of the popular CBS procedural, but producers are keeping the details of Cote de Pablo’s (Ziva) return so secret, no one knows why she is back or what her storyline will be. Why is CBS keeping everything under wraps?
As fans know by now, Ziva appeared in the final scene of the Season 16 finale, but it was so brief and mysterious, the cameo led to more questions about the character. Is she really alive? Is she back for good? Is she coming back for just the Season 17 premiere, or will she be a part of the entire season?
This storyline is so top secret that it isn’t clear if de Pablo has made it to the set yet. Star Wilmer Valderrama told his followers on Instagram that producers have told the cast not to share anything with anyone. However, he did give fans their first look at Brian Dietzen as Jimmy Palmer.
Dietzen also tweeted a pic of his character’s glasses and wrote, “Time to put these on my face again, #HereWeGo #NCIS #Season17.”
Thanks to social media posts from a few cast members, we know that production for the premiere episode has begun, and a lot of the cast is on set – Valderrama, Dietzen, Emily Wickersham, and Sean Murray. But, there is still nothing from de Pablo, which is odd because the table read for the premiere made it clear that the episode centered around Ziva.
However, as CarterMatt pointed out, Valderrama only showed one side of the table at the reading, so it’s possible de Pablo was intentionally left out of the shot and was sitting on the other side.
The thing is, everyone knows that de Pablo will be in the premiere, so why is CBS keeping her out of every set picture and not sharing any details about her return? The secrecy could be the network’s attempt to produce some killer ratings when the show returns in September. Instead of teasing fans with pictures of Ziva from the set, maybe they are waiting until right before the premiere to unleash the promotion.
One NCIS Star Only Learned About Cote De Pablo's Ziva Return When The Episode Aired – CINEMABLEND https://t.co/vVGRsdq2eM
— Gilles Manem (@gilles_manem) July 26, 2019
In this day and age of internet spoilers, this could be a plan to keep anything from leaking before the season starts.
“This surprise moment is just the beginning,” said executive producers Frank Cardea and Steven D. Binder. “We are thrilled to share that Cote de Pablo will guest star in the NCIS season 17 premiere this fall as Ziva’s warning to Gibbs unfolds.”
Season 17 of NCIS premieres Tuesday, September 24th on CBS.