‘NCIS’: No One Knew About Cote de Pablo's Ziva Return–Not Even the Cast

Fans are still reeling from the NCIS season 16 finale. Viewers don’t really know what to make of it. It was certainly a shocking surprise ending. If you’re a longtime viewer, you’re probably still in shock, but no one is more surprised about the ending than the NCIS cast. That’s right—not even the cast knew Cote de Pablo’s Ziva would be making a return. Here’s how the producers pulled off Cote de Pablo’s surprise Ziva return.

Why the NCIS cast didn’t know Ziva was returning for the season 16 finale

The NCIS producersare good at keeping secrets. No one had a clue Cote de Pablo would reprise herrole as Ziva David. No one knew except Mark Harmon, that is (he is theexecutive producer after all). TVLinerevealed how the NCIS producers kept Cotede Pablo’s return as Ziva David a secret. The bosses told the publication thatthe final scene was omitted from the script and call sheet. Only a few peoplegot a copy. “Showrunners Frank Cardea and Steven D. Binder held copies of thescene pages; the scene filmed with a skeleton crew at midnight, after the fullcrew had been wrapped for over an hour; and de Pablo arrived to the stages viaa back gate entrance, to film the scene with series lead Mark Harmon,” reports TVLine.

They’ve been planning Ziva’s return all along

Viewers were unsure if Cote de Pablo’s Ziva storyline wouldbecome anything, but during the NCIS season16 finale, they got a treat. Although it wasn’t clear to fans what would becomeof the Ziva teases, the producers knew what they would do all along. ShowrunnerSteve Binder told TVLine he didn’twant to leave the teases up in the air. “It’s such a great thread, I’d hate toleave it on the table. But like anything, we don’t just want to tease thetease. If we do pull at it, we’re going to have something interesting behindit, and not just keep doing the same beat over and over again,” he told thepublication.

 Fans have been angry about NCIS’ Ziva storyline

Fanshave been quite angry about Ziva’s storyline leading up to the NCIS season 16 finale. Many complainedthe producers were just toying with them and that Ziva would never return. Theyconcluded Ziva’s earlier appearance during season 16, episode 13 it was just away to get ratings, and that Ziva’s appearance didn’t mean anything. However, afterthat shocker of a season finale, fans aren’t sure what to think anymore. Weguess we’ll just have to wait for season 17 to see how it all goes down.

Read more: ‘NCIS’:Fans React to Cote de Pablo’s ‘Ziva’ Return

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