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Even though CBS claims that Pauley Perette and Mark Harmon settled their differences, Pauley is not returning to NCIS.

In fact, rumor has it that the seemingly unstoppable series is going to feature yet another dramatic casting shakeup.

Could Gibbs get the boot and be replaced by a character fans never thought they’d see again?


Rumors have been circulating that NCIS could have a major casting shakeup.

Some speculation shared to Reddit suggests that the show may lose its 67-year-old lead, played by Mark Harmon, for a familiar face.

“Gibbs is old now, I stand by that the only way this show can continue is if Ziva takes his place as team lead,” writes one Redditor.

That same post continues: “Oh how wonderful that would be.”

“They could just write that for her child’s protection Tony is taking care of her in hiding,” suggests another.

That Reddit post adds: “I wouldn’t be mad at all, anything to have her back.”

Back in 2005, Kate was famously murdered during an episode that shocked NCIS fans to their cores.

This is when Cote de Pablo joined the cast, playing a complicated and tough-as-nails Mossad agent, Ziva David.

Her character was a relentless badass, and brought something to the show even as characters and fans alike were mourning Kate.

But in 2013, Ziva was seemingly killed off. It was years later, in 2016, that she surprised fans by being secretly alive.

Could she make a return and take the helm of the show?

NCIS Cast Photo

Not all NCIS fans are convinced — particularly those of the older demographic who want their regular dose of Mark Harmon.

“Heard what I hope is a stupid rumor; that ‘Ziva’ will be replacing ‘Gibbs,'” one woman tweeted.

The tweet continued: “The only way I will continue to watch #NCIS is if Gibbs is promoted to Director.”

“I’ve stuck with you through ‘Kate’s’ murder, ‘Tony’ leaving, ‘Abby’s’ leaving, & ‘Ducky’s’ reduced role,” the longtime fan wrote. “Enough.”

Clearly, there are strong opinions on both sides of the aisle.

Mark Harmon and Pauley Perrette

There may be some logistical, in-universe barriers to Ziva returning to the fold and taking the helm.

“[Timothy] McGee (played by Sean Murray) is the Senior Agent,” points out one Redditor.

(Most of us Millennials know Sean Murray better from his role as Thackery Binks in Hocus Pocus, but he’s been with NCIS for the long haul)

“And I really like him,” the original Ziva theorist replies. “But his character is not enough to replace Gibbs as team lead.”

“In regards to NCIS continuing in ratings,” the Redditor continues. “I think Ziva is the only beloved team member by fans who could carry this show.”

Still, some folks were simply not convinced.

“She’s the junior NCIS agent, had divided loyalties,” one Redditor argued.

Yeah, that was kind of her schtick for countless episodes.

Ziva also “has been missing for years & was officially considered dead,” the Reddit denizen countered.

The argument continued: “There is no explanation for how she could roll back in & take over the major crimes unit of NCIS.”

Another chimed in: “I love the whole cast but the main reason I watch it is because of Gibbs. If this is true I most likely won’t watch it.”

Look, if we’re living in a world where a character as rude as Gibbs has actual fans, surely anything is possible to get Ziva that promotion, right?