The 17th season of NCIS is officially in production. Series star Wilmer Valderrama took to Instagram last week to share an exciting selfie from the first table read of the season, featuring himself and other members of the cast.
The actor gives the peace and love sign at the camera during the read through, as most of the other members of the cast and crew look the other way, seemingly paying attention to a speaker off camera. Co-star Emily Wickersham, who plays Eleanor Bishop on the CBS crime procedural, can be seen giving a smile and a wave at the camera.
"Aaaaaaannnd we are back on set, the first table read for #NCIS Season 17th. [green checkmark premiere," Valderrama wrote in the caption of the post. "This season premiere is [fire emoji]."
He concluded his post teasing the return fans cannot wait to see unfold on the screen when the show returns this fall, writing: "(One word.. Ziva)."
Fans of the actor took to the comments section to cheer on the show's upcoming return, and sharing their excitement to see what Ziva David's (Cote de Pablo) surprising return.
"OH SO HOPE ZIVA IS BACK. The show has gone So DOWNHILL since her character left!!!!!" One user commented.
"I bet Ziva is on the other side of that table!" another user speculated.
"This is the content wE NEEEEEEEEED," another user wrote.
"Omg I cant wait to see it. Ziva Ziva. We need Tony too please," another fan wrote, hoping for more returns in the Season 17 premiere.
The premiere episode for next season will center on the direct aftermath of Ziva's surprise return in the final seconds of the Season 16 finale. The finale saw the presumed dead character arrive by surprise to Gibbs' (Mark Harmon) basement with an eerie message about his safety.
"Hello Gibbs. No time for pleasantries. You're in danger," Ziva said as she walked down the stairs to meet her former boss.
After the pair stood in silence for a second, Ziva spoke again: "Well, aren't you going to say something?"
The episode ended with Gibbs staring in shock before saying his former co-worker and friend's name.
After the shocking scene aired in May, showrunners Frank Cardea and Steven D. Binder promised the cliffhanger would be explored and lead to a bigger story that would unfold in the fall.
"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 showrunners said in a statement.0comments
The announcement led many fans to hope that the return also means an appearance from former NCIS cast member Michael Weatherly, whose character Tony DiNozzo left the series after Ziva's supposed death in order to take care of their daughter.