'NCIS': Why Michael Weatherly Could Return as Anthony DiNozzo

NCIS already made fans' dreams come true with the surprise return of Ziva David at the end of Season 16. Could the Season 17 premiere bring another surprise appearance? With news that Cote de Pablo will be back in the Season 17 premiere episode to finish up her storyline, it seems like the perfect time for the father of Ziva's child, Tony Dinozzo (Michael Weatherly) to make his return to the show.

Weatherly has previously said he would return to the show if the timing was right, and since he is still in the CBS family on his show Bull, it seems like seeing Tony again might be a real possibility.

According to TVInsider, Bull ended its third season in a way that an episode with limited appearances from the titular character might not be too strange. It has been three seasons since Tony left NCIS. His character decided to leave the team after Ziva presumably died, leaving the child she and Tony conceived but she kept secret alone and in need of her father.

With the truth out now that Ziva is in fact alive, maybe Gibbs' (Mark Harmon) first order of business will be to let Tony know his former love is not dead. Tony could help the team solve the case that has both Ziva and Gibbs in danger and giving the couple their long awaited happy ending, along with their daughter Tali.

NCIS fans were shocked at the end of the Season 16 finale when Ziva made her triumphant return to the show with a grim message for Gibbs.

"Hello Gibbs. No time for pleasantries. You're in danger," Ziva said as she walked down the stairs to Gibbs' basement.

After the pair stood quietly staring at each other, Ziva cut the silence saying: "Well, aren't you going to say something?" Gibbs stayed in shock and simply said her name before the episode ended.

The show kept the big surprise a secret by filming de Pablo's scenes after wrapping filming for most of the cast and crew. After airing the episode, showrunners Frank Cardea and Steven D. Binder revealed the scene would not be the last viewers saw of the fan-favorite character.


"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 in May.

Are you ready to find out what happens next? NCIS will return for Season 17 Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.