'NCIS' EPs Tease Robert Wagner's 'Unusual' Return as DiNozzo Senior

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NCIS fans will see Anthony DiNozzo — Senior, that is — again in Season 17

Robert Wagner is returning to the CBS drama "in an episode coming up shortly," executive producer Frank Cardea told TV Insider. "He is introduced on a personal nature and then gets involved in the telling of the story of the case."

And it sounds like Senior's appearance will be a bit different this time. It's "a very novel way for us," executive producer Steven D. Binder interjected, with Cardea adding that Wagner's episode is "a very unusual departure for us."

Wagner has appeared in 13 episodes and was last seen in Season 16's "Bears and Cubs." We know he's in touch with his son, so did he have any idea that Ziva's (Cote de Pablo) alive? We'll have to wait and see if his episode addresses it.

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Exec producers Frank Cardea and Steven D. Binder preview the winter return and what's next with Gibbs and Phineas.

He's not the only actor returning. Expect to see Don Lake back as Gibbs' (Mark Harmon) Navy friend Phil. Plus, the EPs hope to get Joe Spano back as Fornell. And it would make sense to see Fornell again, considering that Episode 8 just teased that Gibbs left work to help his friend with his daughter, Emily, though there was clearly more going on than he shared.

And fans might want to refresh their memories regarding an episode from Season 16. "We've been laying some Easter eggs starting with Jen Corbett's "Crossing the Line" episode last year about an arc we're building towards," Binder teased.

(Michael Yarish/CBS)

In other words, while everyone's waiting to see what comes next with Ziva and Gibbs after the shocking fall finale — and if Tony (Michael Weatherly) returns — in the winter premiere, there's plenty to look forward to in subsequent episodes.

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