NCIS shocked fans during the final seconds of their Season 16 finale when Ziva (Cote De Pablo) showed up to warn Gibbs (Mark Harmon) about his life being in danger. But, those few seconds weren’t enough for fans, and they want to know if and when they will get to see Ziva again.
Showrunners Frank Cardea and Steven D. Binder have already confirmed that Ziva will be back in the Season 17 fall premiere as her “warning to Gibbs unfolds.” They say that the “surprise moment is just the beginning,” but they wouldn’t give any more information about what Ziva’s role will be or if she will be involved with the CBS procedural past the premiere.
De Pablo’s surprise appearance at the end of Season 16 was the first time fans had seen her character on the show since 2013 when the actress suddenly left NCIS for personal reasons. But, fans always knew that there was a chance she’d come back at some point because even though Ziva was presumed dead at the end of Season 13 due to an explosion a full three years after she left the show, fans never saw a body.
De Pablo herself said in an interview at the time of her exit that there was always a chance she could return to NCIS someday.
“The greatest thing about this last episode is that Ziva doesn’t die. As long as a character doesn’t die, the character can always come back!” De Pablo told TV Guide Magazine.
Now the question is just how big of a return will this be, and if CBS will go to great lengths to promote it. Fans would love to see some behind the scenes pics and videos of De Pablo on the set when the cast returns to begin production of Season 17 on July 15th. Will the network capitalize on this long-awaited return and try to boost their ratings even higher with a full-on Ziva promotional campaign ahead of the fall premiere?
— Sandra Bridgeman (@sybridge) June 30, 2019
There are still so many possible storylines for the former Mossad operative and they could possibly lead to the return of Michael Weatherly, who played Ziva’s love interest and baby daddy, Tony DiNozzo.
NCIS and CBS have a golden opportunity to really take advantage of the return of a fan favorite and see those ratings continue to climb even though the show is fast approaching a nearly two-decade run.
Season 17 of NCIS will premiere Tuesday, September 24th on CBS.