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NCIS Season 10 Spoilers: What Comes Next

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The surprising, potentially tragic finale of NCIS Season 9 left lives at risk, the agency's offices destroyed, and 19 million viewers reeling. The repercussions of Dearing's terrorist plot were far-reaching, to say the least.

What can we expect next fall when NCIS returns for Season 10?

With so much up in the air, executive producer/showrunner Gary Glasberg discussed the fate of Ducky, who collapsed in the final seconds of "Til Death Do Us Part," what's next for Tiva, and much more from the finale.

Excerpts from Glasberg's chat with EW below:

Ducky on the Beach

On the "true" cliffhanger: "[It's] not the kind of thing you can do every year, but in this instance, we thought it was right and appropriate. We’ll pick things up with [Dearing] at the beginning of season 10."

"We'll wrap it up pretty quickly - we’ve done that before as well. It’ll probably get wrapped up in the first episode. And then we’ll get into a series of self-contained story lines after that."

On when NCIS Season 10 picks up: "I’ve been playing with this idea of picking up a few hours after we left off. And then somewhere around the middle of the episode, [jump ahead] and get us back into real time."

"This show has always sort of played itself in real time, so we’ll have to figure out a way for us to get us there, and I think I’ve come up with something."

On the fate of Ducky (and Palmer): "David [McCallum] and I talked about it for months, and he’s been preparing for it. He was absolutely 100 percent willing to play along, and we wanted to be very secretive about it and keep it under wraps, and it’s really going to give his character a new perspective on life coming back from what he experienced."

"I’m not going to play games with people. People know he signed a new contract and he is coming back, so it’ll be more about the way the character evolves and the fact that he’s got Palmer there to help him."

"As a medical examiner who deals with the dead, and deals with death on a daily basis, to have an experience like that is significant. And we’ll play that throughout the season.

DiNozzo and David

On what's next for Tony and Ziva: "I wanted to make sure there was at least one Tony/Ziva moment in the finale and I think that it provided that. The only other thing I’ll say is that it was no accident to put them in the elevator together in the end. So, we’ll have to see where that picks up with them in the season opener."

On the team's wedding gifts: "Having this team work together as a family is so important to us and it’s really important to the fans. I wanted to make sure that that moment was there - I didn’t want to rob people of the chance to experience some of the wedding, even though we weren’t going to see our people attending it."

"So the thought was to create that little moment in the squad room where we could see them interact as family members. And I hope it was successful. It was a nice little moment for everybody and the gifts were hopefully indicative of who they are. So I’m glad it came through."

On Scott Wolf's role in the finale: "I was really pleased with the way that arc progressed ... it was done in a way that only someone like Scott could pull off. He started off as sort of the standard villain but developed all kinds of complexity as the season went on into this fantastic moment of redemption for himself."

On the (possible) return of Jamie Lee Curtis: "We started playing around with this mysterious background of her ex-husband, from the get go in Season 9. We’ll have to see where it takes us and how it unfolds."

"The beauty of NCIS is that we can step away from a character for a very long time and revisit it down the road. That was very much a goodbye that happened between Ryan and Gibbs, and we’ll have to see how things unfold when we might be able to see her again."

UPDATES, 6/11-8/31:

  • Rocky Carroll (Vance) will be back this fall, having signed a new contract, as will Brian Dietzen (Palmer), who just earned a long-overdue promotion to series regular.
  • Michael Weatherly, Sean Murray and Pauley Perrette have all SIGNED NEW DEALS for Season 10, and beyond; they came to terms on two-year contracts in July.
  • Tony and Ziva will open the season trapped in the elevator ... by design.
  • Glasberg says the show may take things further with Tiva this season.
  • Robert Wagner and Daniel Luis Rivas will return as guest stars in the fall.
  • Billy Dee Williams has booked a guest role as a friend of Gibbs and his dad.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis is not coming back in the premiere or foreseeable future.
  • A psychiatrist will examine the team in the second episode of the season.
  • Palmer will step in as acting medical examiner after Ducky's heart attack.
  • Here are the first photos of the Season 10 opener, "Extreme Prejudice."
  • The first sneak peek of the episode is out! Check out the new footage!

UPDATE, 9/11:

Aside from obvious relief at the revelation that everyone will be back, what do you think these hints entail for next season? Share your thoughts on the finale, and NCIS Season 10, in the comments!

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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OMG I watched the season 10 premiere and believe me it was amazing. Also the part with Tony and Ziva was sooooo adorable. Like seriously this was an awesome premiere. All the waiting was worth it! :)

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Please don't bring Jamie lee back. I don't like
Her. Way too bossy for Gibbs. Her character does not fit. Bring back Colonel Mann

Sireadslot

I am passionate about reading and have litterally read 1000s of books and cannot convey the excitement/absolute joy from waiting for the next book in a series of one of my favorite fictional characters of which have surrogated their so very reallike 'selves' into my heart. I've had particular favorite family members from Huck and Bilbo and John/DeejahThorus...My all-time pre/actual/latter adolescence hero an actual local native from my own very 'roots' (me/KC he/Joplin,Mo) Robert Heinlein's Lazarus Long (Woodrow Wilson Smith) who's likely still alive & over 2000 years old in the 1980s.
as a 10 year old, I watched the fugitive as he found the 'one legged man'! I drove a tow truck during the Miami Vice/Hillstreet Blues faze that had at any one 'Thursday night' from 4-6 (maybe more) tow trucks parked out 'front'//Lived in Austin on workmans comp (high on the hog {& drugs} and the finest pawnshop TV set so I and a division of yellow cabs would 'plague' the entire block every week for "Wiseguy" and Tour of Duty and China Beach....So, after a solace to catch up on all my paperback surrogates,,I moved off the street with a new Christian friend that actually trustd me to be with U-verse, in months I caught up on every movie/series of any worth... The one I'd heard of 'even on the street
It is without any doubt the result of professions who have remembered all the variables that have worked so well in the past and just have that spark of 'chemistry' that is necessary for the outcome of any human 'venture' to have any true longevity! It's his charisma and of course the good writing that's got us all hooked/addicted to this drug of a TV event, going into it's 10th season. I can hardly wait and fortunate that I haven't any heart conditions...else I might not've made it, waiting for the upcoming season openerThanks for taking the time to let me share a little bit of who I am and thanks for visitn Casa Sireadslot

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I woul like to see Tony get a little tougher or edgier and some more episodes that focus some more on him and I love Zivas evolvement from assassin to investigator and ultimately I would like to see Tony and Ziva try to hide a relationship from Gibbs in upcoming episodes but he eventually finds out and Tony stands up to him about it that would make for some great shows.

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Please don't bring back Jamie Lee Curtis. She just doesn't fit with Gibbs. The anonymous redhead with the "To-die-for" convertible is so much better. Glad the whole cast is back minus JLC, at least for a while. Love the show. No phone calls allowed on Tuesday nights, or at least not answered during the show.

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Good to hear that Jamie Lee Curtis will not be back.Her character never meshed well with Gibbs and felt very uncomfortable. The woman who played the Coast Guard character was a much better fit. Gibbs and her character could have lots of fun together. Anyway NCIS can resurrect Gibb's best friend from the dead? What a major major mistake to get rid of Mike Franks. We always knew a special episode would happen when he and Gibbs were involved. And Ziva has got to get some strong plots again. Her character has become too domesticated-her tough edge has faded considerably. And time for Tony to grow up and not be so silly anymore.And tell Sean it's ok to eat a hamburger once in awhile, he's let himself so thin that he looks unhealthy.
All in all NCIS still is a very good show, just needs a few mid-course corrections.

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Thank GOD JLC will not be on the show. She look like a dike
dike { not that I have anything against dikes} or a sister. Gibbs is a fine looking man he needs a special woman that matches him. Thank you all for not killing off cute ducky. If what I read is true about Gibbs and his first wife that will be totally awesome.
I am so so glad that cute ducky will be ok.
He is a long time friend of Gibbs and he needs that more than ever since mike franks died. Has long has Tony is alive I will be glued to Tuesday watching him and his awesome playfully cute attitude. Ziva patronizing Tony and fighting her feelings is always intersting. McGee and Abby attraction is still there. But to see where abbey explore her brother will be interesting.
I like Vance glad he will still be there. Tony and jean should still explore their feelings. NOT that EJ woman.

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Will Billy Dee's character possibly be Leroy Jethro, the man Gibbs was named for? The age would be just about right, I think. If my math is off, perhaps it could be his son? I am disappointed we won't get Jaime Lee back, tho -- she and Mark have a nice chemistry, and it's about time Gibbs got on with his life (even Shannon said so ...) In all, I am very psyched!