NCIS fans were tortured for a long time - now it's certainty: "Ziva" (Coté de Pablo, 39) is part of 17th season. This was confirmed by the producer duo Steven D. Binder (48) and Frank Cardea (72) directly after the last season finale. But what does the future bring for the popular character who has been considered dead since season 13?

"Ziva" and "Gibbs": They have an emotional season coming up

A first picture of the 17th season, which was published by "Entertainment Weekly", contains information about the season opener. You can see "Ziva" and "Gibbs" in the same clothes as in the last season finale. This suggests that only little time has passed between the two episodes. However, "Gibbs" has a head injury and the two agents seem to be in a dangerous situation.

Producer Steven D. Binder recently dropped another hint in an interview with Entertainment Weekly: "These are two huge episodes with lots at stake for Gibbs and Ziva physically and emotionally." It seems that "Ziva's" words will come true. She told her former colleague in the season finale that he was in danger.

Already one month before the premiere of the 17th season, theories about the future of "Ziva" are being diligently put forward. Some fans are even firmly convinced that she could replace "Gibbs" (Mark Harmon, 67) at the Major Case Response Team. But Mark Harmon will not turn his back on NCIS that fast, his contract runs at least until the end of the 17th season.

The 17th season of NCIS will have its premiere in the U.S. on September 24, 2019.