Will Cote de Pablo’s Ziva Appear in ‘NCIS’ Spin-Off Shows?

The likely return of Cote de Pablo‘s Ziva David on NCIS is a coup in more ways than one — especially if the actress tamed the show’s alpha male environment to bring overdue respect to her character. The other side of this potential strategic plot development is de Pablo gaining a lot more power based on the popularity of Ziva.

If this is how NCIS ultimately ends soon, it’s arguably a fitting way to wind up what’s been deemed a possibly toxic environment for the lead actresses going back years. Maybe if de Pablo makes Ziva popular again, she’d be able to wrangle another deal for a prospective/speculative NCIS spin-off show, if not guest appearances on the other spinoffs.

What is ‘NCIS’ really planning for the Ziva character during Season 17?

Cote de Pablo
Cote de Pablo as Ziva David on NCIS. | Adam Rose/CBS via Getty Images

We’ve bounced the ball back and forth here a few times on whether Ziva will really be returning, is a figment of Gibbs’ imagination, or even if she’s a ghost. Based on the latest information available, it’s a sure bet Ziva really will be back in physical form. Whether it’s as a permanent cast member or just an occasional role for next season, it’s still up in the air.

What a lot of people want to know is whether Ziva’s boyfriend (Michael Weatherly as Tony DiNozzo) will also return. Without him there as the father of Ziva’s child, it’s going to seem unbalanced and a tad forced in the absence.

Writers will have to work around it for now since Weatherly is still tied to CBS’s Bull, despite sexual harassment accusations from Eliza Dushku bringing risk to the fourth season. Although considering Weatherly is on the same network, it seems he could pull off a deal to at least make an NCIS cameo.

Also, with Bull possibly not lasting past this upcoming fourth season, what are the chances of a Ziva/Tony spinoff series ever happening?

The 17th season of ‘NCIS’ might be the primer for a spinoff

No doubt there was some trepidation by de Pablo to return to her role, not knowing what the writers would agree to. Plus, it’s always risky to bring a character back after six years away.

Nevertheless, with de Pablo seemingly working close with the writers to bring a more respectful arc for Ziva, we could see her essentially become a runaway hit all over again. She could dominate the show next season, making it necessary for the producers to create a new spinoff based on the response.

The production team might have been searching for additional spinoff possibilities anyway so they can keep the franchise alive if the main ship sinks and NCIS: New Orleans/Los Angeles ever end. Even if Mark Harmon ultimately wants to stay home and be a normal husband/father/grandfather for the rest of his life, the other cast members can arguably make more NCIS offshoots or spinoff guest appearances worth watching.

Many of the sideline characters have ended up becoming more popular anyway, outside of Harmon/Gibbs still ruling the roost.

The tension and romance in a Ziva-Tony spinoff could be dramatic

Now that we know Ziva was apparently involved in some international espionage, continuing stories like this involving Ziva and Tony could become one of the top cop dramas on mainstream TV. A reunion alone of Tony and Ziva is likely going to happen eventually. Imagine how emotional that’s going to be after six (or maybe seven) years apart.

Let’s not forget when Tony quit NCIShe did so by walking into Gibbs’ basement to announce it. Notice the tie-in with Ziva returning recently to the same basement at Gibbs’ home?

Expanding the adventures of Ziva and Tony on a worldwide scale would make a spinoff show potentially worth watching, albeit more expensive to produce. Along with their romantic chemistry, it could be just what the production team wants. Fitting them into cameos in L.A. and Orleans would further expand their presence.

All anyone can hope for is NCIS sets the proper stage rather than pulls a rug out on fans who probably wouldn’t stick around if Ziva’s story fizzles.