Fans of the popular crime series were overjoyed when "Ziva" returned to the series in the finale of 16th season. By the time the episode aired, no one knew that Coté de Pablo (39) would be returning to NCIS. In order to keep this secret, the producers took extreme measures.

Rocky Carroll talks about "Ziva's" return to NCIS

On the daytime show The Talk, Rocky Carroll (55), who stars as "Leon Vance" on NCIS, revealed that not even the cast knew about Coté de Pablo's comeback

"I’ve learned, being in this business for a while, that a lot of times when something leaks, when a secret leaks, it usually comes from the set. One of the things I thought was pretty genius, what they did: We shot a false ending."

NCIS season 17: Coté de Pablo is back as "Ziva David".

With this fake scene, the cast and crew of NCIS were lead astray. "We shot this false scene that was never going to air to begin with. Cast and crew, we finish the scene, the producers come up and say 'Thank you all for a wonderful season, have a great hiatus, we'll see you next year'. About an hour later, maybe 10 people come back, they bring in Coté and they shoot the scene," Carroll reveals.

Wilmer Valderrama on Twitter: "Welcome home, #Ziva"

When the episode aired "Ziva's" return was also a big surprise for the actors. Not only Carroll, but also Coté de Pablo's acting colleague Wilmer Valderrama is really looking forward to her return in season 17. On Twitter he wrote: "Welcome home, #Ziva"