‘NCIS’ Season 17: Do Fans Want Ziva Or Abby To Return?

There has been a lot of talk about returning characters for NCIS Season 17. Most of the discussion has been about Cote de Pablo’s Ziva, whom fans learned is alive and well this season. But what are the chances that some of our other favorite characters — namely Pauley Perrette’s Abby — return to action next year?

Former 'NCIS' stars Cote de Pablo and Pauley Perrette
Cote de Pablo and Pauley Perrette | Photo by Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

All the ways Ziva could return in ‘NCIS’ Season 17

At this point, it seems unlikely that we’ll see de Pablo return by the Season 16 finale of NCIS. Although the character has been mentioned several times this season, there just isn’t a lot of time for her to make a big impact on the storyline.

Even if we get a Ziva cameo in the season finale, it will likely be brief and leave us with a major cliffhanger for Season 17. Bringing Ziva back in Season 17, on the other hand, opens up a number of exciting possibilities.

According to Carter Matt, producers could bring de Pablo back as a recurring cast member or a full-timer, depending on how they want to wrap up her storyline. If they go the part-time route, then we’ll probably see Ziva become a special contractor for the team, where she takes on the more difficult cases they come across.

This would give us plenty of Ziva cameos without having to create a larger story arc. The series could also re-introduce de Pablo as a full-time cast member, though this would probably require another character to leave for budget purposes.

There is also the chance that Ziva never returns in the flesh and is only mentioned in conversations, but let’s be honest, fans would not be happy with that outcome.

Will Perrette reprise her role as Abby in ‘NCIS’ Season 17?

Apart from Ziva, fans would be thrilled if Perrette returned as Abby next season. Perrette left the series back in Season 15 amid rumors that she was feuding with Harmon. The actress has been enjoying life outside of spotlight ever since, though she is reportedly getting ready to start a new comedy on CBS called Broke. If the series does well, Perrette probably won’t have room in her schedule to return to NCIS even if she wanted to.

There’s also the idea that the series wants to move on with Perrette’s replacement, Diona Reasonover, and expand her character before bringing Perrette back.

That said, the show did not kill off Abby, who is still good friends with Sean Murray’s McGee. That definitely leaves the door open for a short cameo next season, which would not interfere too much with Reasonover’s Kasie.

How do fans feel about Ziva or Abby returning?

Carter Matt recently did a poll asking fans who they would like to see return to NCIS Season 17. Over 100 people participated in the poll, which also featured characters like Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), Hollis Mann (Susanna Thompson), Abigail Borin (Diane Neal), and Alex Quinn (Jennifer Esposito).

Ziva easily garnered the most votes with 51 percent, while Abby came in third at only 9 percent. Tony, meanwhile, came in second place with a whopping 24 percent of the vote.

If NCIS decides to bring Ziva back, there is a chance that Weatherly returns for a short cameo as well. Weatherly left the series in 2016 to star on his own show, Bull. The actor has not commented on the return rumors, but it would be nice to see Ziva and Tony reunite.

Why did de Pablo leave ‘NCIS’ in the first place?

De Pablo’s exit from NCIS was a major shock to fans, many of whom are still recovering from it. With her return seemingly on the horizon, fans may be surprised to learn that CBS did everything in their power to keep de Pablo from leaving.

In fact, the network offered a large salary to the actress and, when she opted out of her contract, they offered her even more to stay. But at the end of the day, de Pablo said she left the popular series for personal reasons, though she never divulged any more details.

NCIS Season 17 will premiere this fall on CBS.