Many NCIS fans continue to hope for another return of the popular agent "Ziva David," played by Cote de Pablo. In 2013, the actress exited the hit show and left a void for six seasons, until she briefly returned in season 17.

NCIS: New "Ziva David" comeback in season 18 or beyond?

Cote de Pablo's comeback in NCIS season 17 had fans jumping for joy, but clearly they want more "Ziva" — and they want her to stay. For the "Ziva" fans out there, series producer Steve Binder recently addressed how they're approaching her future on the show.

Speaking to TVLine, he said: "It's always going to be, 'Let's not grab Cote and stick her in.' It's, 'Let's come up with a story first, and see if it's something worthy of bringing that character back.'"

Though Binder didn't declare a new comeback, he did leave open the possibility of a return. He added: "We've really played, for now, all of the cards there are to play [with 'Ziva'], so we have no plans at the moment, but we're certainly always open to it."

NCIS producer on Cote de Pablo returning: "Always open to it"

So, if the NCIS team sees another viable return for "Ziva," she could make another comeback. Binder's comments also suggest de Pablo is on board to return, too. Though, it sounds unlikely that she'll be back this season, after the surprise return in the season 16 finale and season 17.

Coté de Pablo at the end of 2019 

NCIS season 18 spoiler warning: During season 17, NCIS was the most-watched scripted TV series and season 18 is now underway on CBS. The first episodes featured flashbacks to the young "Gibbs" (Mark Harmon) and how he solves his first case and meets "Ducky" (David McCallum) for the first time.

"Ziva" has not yet appeared in the flashbacks. Still, the series had another surprise for viewers: Mark Harmon's son Sean starred in the special 400th episode in the young version of his father's role. Actor Adam Campbell also reprised his role as the young "Ducky" in the episode.

Episode 3 of season 18 aired on Tuesday night, but fans will now have to wait until Tuesday, Jan. 5, for the next episode. Worldwide viewers still await a premiere date for season 18.

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