Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo tease Tali's important role in NCIS: Tony and Ziva

It looks like the NCIS: Tony and Ziva show will be a family affair as the stars hint the duo's daughter is going to play a major role in things!
Michael Weatherly & Cote de Pablo of NCIS. Photo: Art Streiber/CBS © 2005 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved
Michael Weatherly & Cote de Pablo of NCIS. Photo: Art Streiber/CBS © 2005 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved /

The upcoming NCIS spinoff about Tony and Ziva is going to be more of a family affair! Find out more here!

NCIS is on a roll with the upcoming NCIS: Origins series delving into Gibbs’ past. More exciting is a Paramount+ series that reunites Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) and Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) on a new adventure. 

It’s been a unique relationship between the pair who started as bantering adversaries but clearly had sparks between them. It ended when de Pablo left NCIS in season 11 and Ziva was reportedly killed in the season 13 finale. It was confirmed that Ziva had Tony’s daughter, Tali and he left the team to raise her.

Ziva was revealed to be alive in season 16 and supposedly she and Tony got back together. The new series will have the pair running a security firm in Europe when it comes under attack and are forced on the run. 

Speaking to Deadline at the Monte Carlo TV Festival, Weatherly and DePablo were careful not to give away too many plot points of the show but mentioned how they liked the wider scope of the series. 

“We wanted to take these two characters away from the Agency and put them in a world, and the world that was attractive to us was international,” de Pablo said.

Weatherly stated, in an interview with Variety, a key issue is the trust between the two characters and "Trust doesn’t mean truth, doesn’t mean honesty. Just because I’m telling you the truth doesn’t mean you can trust me."

After all, Tali grew up thinking her mother was dead for years and the reality she was hiding in the world is going to be an issue. Add in how she's going to be hitting her teenage years, and you've got a recipe for one rebellious daughter.

De Pablo added a bit more on how important carrying on this legacy of the characters is. 

"It was always like, ‘whatever happened to Tony and Ziva, do you think they’ll ever get back together, where are they?’ And all of a sudden, we had the opportunity to put it together into a show. We’re trying to address all of these questions, and the idea of trust, and how they move forward… they’re trying to make things work while also parenting and having a lot of challenges thrown at them."

Among those challenges is the pair’s daughter and how she’s central to the series.

How important is Tali for the Tony/Ziva NCIS spinoff?

It appears that while fans are eager to see Tony and Ziva reunited, a real focus is on Tali, with Weatherly joking that the show should be called “Tony, Ziva & Tali.”

As noted, Tali is in the middle of the pair and likely still holding some anger at her mother basically abandoning her for some time. It could be that Tony mirrors the same feelings as he loved and mourned Ziva and finding out she was alive all along was upsetting.

So this adventure might turn into a bizarre "road trip" that has the trio finally addressing these problems and trying to come out of it with Weatherly pointing out how Tali is going to come first for Tony and Ziva.

"Every choice that Tony and Ziva have to make in their adventure, their child is first and foremost in the front of their mind. When we were on the NCIS the mothership, we didn’t have children. When you have a child, you have to navigate what is best for them. And then maybe you have a co-parent that you have a tumultuous relationship with… and oh, wait, we also have to save the world."

Thus, Tony and Ziva can’t just be risking their own lives on a whim but have to consider the danger they’re putting their child in. That will include each willing to sacrifice themselves for Tali and worried about leaving the girl without a parent. Of course, it’s likely Tali is a lot stronger than she seems and might be a good aide to her parents on their quest.

It's going to be interesting as clearly the trio have to find out who's hunting them and why while avoiding killers and maybe law enforcement, too. Yet it looks like this is going to be less spy show than a family drama and that's a fun direction to go in.

There’s still more to know about the show, but putting this family dynamic front and center promises to make the Tony & Ziva spinoff a bigger deal for NCIS fans. 

NCIS seasons 1-21 are streaming on Paramount+.