'NCIS': Could Cote de Pablo Return as Ziva Full-Time For Season 18?

Cote de Pablo’s return as Ziva David has been the most-talked about development in season 17 of NCIS. After making a big splash in the fall finale, Ziva is set to appear one more time when NCIS returns to CBS in January. Fans have loved watching Ziva return to action, but what are the chances that De Pablo comes back full-time in season 18?

De Pablo talks about her ‘NCIS’ return

De Pablo returned to NCIS in epic fashion at the end ofseason 16 and fans have been looking forward to her appearances ever since. Shewas heavily involved in the first two episodes of season 17 and returned foranother two-episode arc that spans the fall finale and the upcoming installmentin January.

When discussing her decision to return to the series, De Pablo revealed thatshe always held out hope that she would come back to NCIS. According to People,the actress was waiting for a good storyline to develop and wanted hercharacter to return for a good reason.

“I hoped that at some point something like this could happen and it’s just so the stars aligned and here I am with this guy,” de Pablo shared during an interview with her NCIS co-star, Mark Harmon. “I said give me a really good reason to come back.”

The developments in the mid-season finale of NCIS has left fans hoping that a reunion between Ziva and Tony (Michael Weatherly) is still in the cards. But as far as Harmon is concerned, having De Pablo back on the set has been a huge boost to the entire cast.

“You forget the energy she brought and how special this characteris in many ways and how, in so many ways, it completes the show,” Harmonstated.

‘NCIS’ execs explain why they brought Ziva back

Just like DePablo, NCIS executive producer Steven D. Binder did not want tobring Ziva back just to satisfy fans. In a recent interview, Binder explainedhow they wanted to dig a little deeper into Ziva’s history and avoid a“cheap publicity shot.”

“We, as a staff, spent quite a bit of time trying to find a storythat fit. We wanted it to be full,” Binder said.

So far, it is safe to say that the series has accomplished thatgoal. Ziva’s return has explored quite a few elements of her past, and thewriters came up with an amazing way to tie everything together.

Based on Binder’s comments, it also seems like they want to tella larger story with Ziva, which bodes well for her future in the series.Unfortunately, nobody has confirmed that Ziva will be back in season 18, sothere is no telling what producers have in mind for her.

De Pablo did, however, discuss leaving the set of NCIS andrevealed that she feels completely different this time around.

“It’s a different walk away and I’ll leave it at that,” shestated. “It’s a beautiful walk away.”

Will Ziva and Tony reunite on ‘NCIS’?

One thing that will probably determine De Pablo’s future on NCIS iswhether or not Ziva and Tony reunite this season. Ever since she returned tothe hit crime procedural, fans have been wondering when the two will get backtogether.

Producers have been coy about bringing Michael Weatherly back, but De Pablo recently revealed that her former co-star is definitely interested in a Ziva and Tony reunion.

“When Michael and I talk, and we talk very often, welaugh and we say, ‘Oh my god, do you think these characters will ever see eachother again?’ And the answer is always, yes, we’re just wondering whereand when,” De Pablo shared.

The only tricky part about bringing Tony back on NCIS isWeatherly’s schedule. The actor is currently starring in his own series, Bull,so getting the filming schedules to match up is going to be difficult.

If Weatherly does not reunite with De Pablo this season, it issafe to say that Ziva will be back in some capacity until that happens.Producers are well aware that fans want a reunion, so ending her storylinewithout one would not go over well.

What’s next for Ziva?

One of the biggest revelations in the fall finale of NCISwas the fact that Tony and Ziva have been in contact since her death. Thismeans that Tony knows Ziva is still alive. It also opens the door for a futurereunion, especially now that Sahar has been taken down.

We do not know if Tony and Ziva will reunite when NCIS returns next month, but executive producer Frank Cardea recently teased that fans will learn more in the coming episode.

Cardea stopped short of confirming anything, and Binder teasedthat Tony and Ziva’s relationship is a little more complicated than what theycan cover in a single episode.

“In terms of the effects on the relationship going forward,that’s a trajectory that wouldn’t be answered in one episode anyway,”Binder explained.

The producers did not say anything about De Pablo returning as afull-time cast member after season 17, but there is little doubt that fans areall for it.

NCIS is slated to return to CBC on January 7.

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