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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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Well Sue - it's recently been made public that MW, PP, and SM are supposedly under contract through season 11. If it's not true and MW left the show, I'd be out in a heart beat. He's the only character who can still surprise me at this point (although I love DM as well).

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I knew that Ducky would be back I just knew that, but as for anyone leaving the show I would have to believe we will no longer be seeing my favorite character other than Gibbs and that's DiNuzio, I believe DiNuzio will not return for Season 10, and he will certainly be missed his character has made me laugh, cry, his sense of humor,he had the best lines, his movie contributions to whatever case they were working on, but I am afraid to say I think Tony is killed in the elevator and will not return to the show for 10th season and he will be missed by me that's for sure, and I don't know who will ever be able to take his place. Sorry to see you go DeNuzio. NCIS is my favorite show on television and it has been for 10 seasons.

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tony needs to go so they bring in a new member to the team for gibbs to train .i would promote him or have him get hurt in way so he carnt continue to be a agent anymore ..if
not please dont ler him or ziva get together it would be wrong for that to hapen.and its about time to find out how gibbs gets the boats out of the basment.more gibbs dad please

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What happens to Mcgee! thats what i want to know he got the biggest hit of the blast!

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my husband and i have watched every single episode of ncis in order, from the very first show, i also watch every single repeat on every channel so i think you could say im obssessed. i was devestated when kate died and it took me a while to warm to tiva but she is definately one of gibbs kids. i cannot wait for season 10 to begin, i was relieved when i found out ducky was not written out as i did think he was leaving. They all have to return, the family cannot suffer a death all the characters are what make ncis so fabulous. come on autumn i feel like a little kid waiting for christmas day.

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@Bobby, that is similiar to Criminal Minds, Prentiss. Cliche but could work. Maybe Ziva talks to Tony who's been put in a medically induced coma. Ziva doesn't realize Tony can hear her feelings for him. He flatlines by design to keep him protected and then the rest of your storyline. The ripple effect could last through a nice arc of three episodes.

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that was hard to see ducky flop. and everyone get blown up. but good show.please let everyone come back love the show never miss a show...

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i think a good episode for next season would be that they are on a mission and some one holds a gun up to ziva but tony jumps in the way of the bullets to save zivas life, and while the doctors say that they do not now if tony will survive he admits his feelings to ziva and she starts to realise that she has deep feelings for tony too and as this happens tony dies but what the team does not now is that a doctor was able to resusitate him and bring him back to life, the reason the team does not now is that there is a hit set on tony and that the director kept his survival silent to minimise the threat on his life, the director moves tony to a secure facility and get better, tony then finds out who has set the hit out on him so he comes up with the idea of him going undercover as a marine at the funeral to pay there respects but he must not give himself away to the team so he must not show his face but the reason tony is at his funeral is his sources has told him the man who put the hit on him is going there so he is undercover to catch him, as he is waiting there the man walks up the coffin as it is being put in the ground, that is the man so tony runs jumps over coffin hole and coffin and on the man and arrests him and as he does this his hat falls off and his team are shocked that he is still alive.

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Can't wait for "10"- love to see Tony & Ziva thrown together as a Mr . Mrs. Smith type love/conflict/ witty & sexy type couple

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Just love the show.Just love Gibbs. Mcgee and Abby would be a lovely couple...So glad to hear Ducky will be back...Cant wait to see the show.