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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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Someone posted about hating "motor mouth and Tadpole"... who are they referring to? Sounds dumb, but I don't have a clue.

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I have loved this show from the very beginning. The greatest cast, they just belong together. Mark Harmon is such a regular guy - ran into him during the summer in Lake Arrowhead, so gracious. Please do not ever end this show, won't know what to do on Tueday evenings.

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I just watched the series finale (Yes, it has NOT currently aired in Aussie yet) but it came out on DVD so I FINALLY watched it there. Wow! What a cliffhanger! I was nearly in tears! Thankgoodness for a) spoilers and b) we (hopefully) won't have to wait long for Season 10 to air! All I can say is, thankgoodness for the internet! Can't wait for the TIVA moments, love them to bits!! :D

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I love NCIS and JAG before that. I think Ziva and Tony should get together also. I like Jamie Lee Curtis and I could see her and Gibbs together. I hope NCIS doesn't end for a long time.

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I am glad all the regular cast is coming back i hope the do not bring JLC back, she made it the worst season ever to watch

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i do hopethey all makeit back,me 2 whats up with timothy,has been lookin ill 4 sometime now,jamie lee stay with u r horrors and out of ncis,gibbs,whatever happen with u and the army lady,u 2 were a good fit,,i know i'll need tissues,,can u make sure days ahead,we no when its gonna b own,,mayb the show should b a 2hour 1,,that way u could show more back sences,,hope2 c u all come back??lol,ncisyeah!!!!!!

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What is it with the writers of NCIS, most of the female love interests are awful and painful to watch, I just fast forward if Tadpole or motor mouth are in it, hate them, can't stand watching. Are their NO nice not anorexic middle aged women who are still good looking that can be cast, who can be written as nice - the other stuff is SO Days of Our Lives. The rest of the writing on NCIS is better than that, except for the Gilligans island tendancies - you know will it, wont it, will it wont it. Get them off the metaphorical island already, its been done. Love the cast, the writers are too involved in their own world. They need to listen to the public a bit more.

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started watching because my Mom loved it so much and I wanted to enjoy something with her so bought all the dvds for me and her to date and caught up. Good to know Duckie doesnt die, but Im worried about McGee. Its obvious something is wrong with the actor, wish he would just tell his fans would support him, so I wouldnt be surprised if he leaves.

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Absolutely love this show as it is - glad on one from the family died or I would not watch the show that much - I hope the family actually develops successfully which would be a great change for some show to take on and a real challenge!

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This is my favorite show. Please don't let Jamie Lee Curtis come back and mess up Season 10 like she did Season 9. Leave her out of it and let the show be like it was before. I adhere to the old adage: If it ain't broke, don't fix it!