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NCIS: Cote de Pablo's Return as Ziva Will Last Longer Than We Thought

NCIS Ziva Staying Season 17

The danger that Ziva David “rose from the grave” to warn Gibbs about in NCIS‘ May finale will take longer to deal with than previously believed.

TVLine has learned that in addition to continuing her shocking encore in the CBS drama’s Season 17 premiere (airing Tuesday, Sept. 24), de Pablo will appear in at least two more episodes beyond that, possibly to air in the back half of the season.

“We knew from the get-go how long we were going to have her for, at least a minimum,” co-showrunner Steve Binder shares with TVLine.

Co-showrunner Frank Cardea says that arranging de Pablo’s comeback “started about two months before it happened. We contacted her and she was agreeable, and it really worked out well.”

In agreeing to reprising her role, de Pablo “had a very specific take on where Ziva had been, and that became the seed for what we ended up doing,” says Cardea. “She could have been working for Mossad, there were a bunch of things…. But when she comes down the stairs, saying, ‘You’re in danger, there’s no time for pleasantries,’ that was her. That was her idea of how the character should come back — from a place of surprise, and from a place of jeopardy, and in the middle of some chaotic event that’s about to occur.”

Cardea reveals that the nature of the danger at hand “has to do with what has happened to [Ziva] and where she has been for the past four or five years,” ever since she “died.” And make no mistake, she and Gibbs are “both in jeopardy.”

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