'NCIS' Sets Premiere Date for Season 17 Following Massive Ziva Cliffhanger

06/13/2019 06:26 pm EDT

NCIS fans still have some time to wait before finding out what happens after Ziva David's surprise return, but at least they know when it's happening.

CBS released premiere dates for its entire fall schedule, announcing the beloved crime procedural will return for its 17th season on Tuesday, Sept. 24.

The show will start the night's primetime schedule at 8 p.m. ET, followed by the premiere of FBI Season 2 at 9 p.m. ET and spinoff series NCIS: New Orleans returning for Season 6 at 10 p.m. ET.

The Season 17 premiere of NCIS will finally give fans answers as to Ziva's (Cote de Pablo) surprise return in the final seconds of the Season 16 finale.

Ziva, believed to be dead for a few years now, returned at the end of Season 16 when she walked down the stairs to Gibbs' basement in a shocking cliffhanger that left fans overjoyed.

"Hello Gibbs. No time for pleasantries. You're in danger," Ziva said to a stunned Gibbs.

After the pair stood quietly staring at each other, Ziva broke the ice saying: "Well, aren't you going to say something?"

Gibbs continued to be in shock at seeing his former colleague before simply saying her name as the episode wrapped.

The character previously left the series when she left love interest Tony (Michael Weatherly) in order to avenge her father's death. She was presumed dead after Tony's exit from the series, when it was revealed Ziva had given birth to a daughter and he stepped away to take care of her following her death.

The show hinted at her possible return earlier in Season 16, after Bishop (Emily Wickersham) discovered Ziva's old home and helped solve a cold case, later receiving a letter presumably from the beloved character, asking Bishop to keep her secret in order to keep her family safe.

NCIS kept the surprise return a secret, even filming the final scene from the finale with a skeleton crew and keeping the scene off scripts in order to keep the cameo under wraps.

Showrunners Frank Cardea and Steven D. Binder revealed soon after the episode aired that while de Pablo will not return to the show as a series regular, she will be guest starring in the Season 17 premiere.

"This surprise moment is just the beginning. We are thrilled to share that Cote de Pablo will guest star in the NCIS Season 17 premiere this Fall as Ziva's warning to Gibbs unfolds," the statement released by the writers a the time read.

NCIS will return Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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