NCIS Season 17 Is Bringing Back Tony's Dad In A 'Very Unusual' Way

NCIS Robert Wagner Anthony DiNozzo Senior CBS
(Image credit: CBS)

It has been a while since NCIS fans have gotten to see Tony’s dad, Anthony DiNozzo senior (or Tony, for that matter). The senior DiNozzo appeared last season, bringing some drama for Brian Dietzen's Jimmy Palmer. Well, prepare for Season 17 to deliver yet another return for the older DiNozzo. Tony’s father will be putting in an appearance on NCIS and in what is being billed as a wholly unique way.

Robert Wagner will reprise his role as Tony's old man for an upcoming episode, according to what NCIS executive producer Frank Cardea told TV Insider. When can you expect to see him? Fans will not have to wait long, as Cardea said that the episode is “coming up shortly.” That is not all Cardea had to tease!

How Tony, Sr. will make his return was also hinted at, and it sounds exciting! You can count on things getting both personal and professional when Robert Wagner’s fan-favorite character makes his latest NCIS venture. What is Tony’s dad getting up to? On how his upcoming return unfolds, Frank Cardea said:

He is introduced on a personal nature and then gets involved in the telling of the story of the case.

Like I said, exciting, but you can now also add intriguing to that description! Frank Cardea also described the NCIS episode heralding Tony, Sr.’s return as “a very unusual departure for us.” It will be fun to find out what, exactly, that means. Will it be a standalone episode? Or something even more out of the box?

Season 17 had been full of surprises, and they do not appear to be letting up. The return of Tony’s dad comes as the mother of his grandchild has returned from “the dead,” in a storyline that has brought a lot of twists and turns to a jam-packed season.

Tony knows that Ziva is alive. So far, though, there has been no on-screen reunion between the estranged lovebirds. Will that have changed by the time that Tony’s dad arrives on the scene? NCIS fans will have to stay tuned. As for what is known about this fatherly return, it sounds like something personal brings him on board.

I may be reading a bit too much into this. However, it sounds like Tony, Sr. may be narrating the case, because NCIS’ executive producer indicates that he is involved in the “telling” of it. Maybe that should not be taken too literally...Or perhaps it should? The plot thickens!

Time will tell what unravels with the elder Tony's return. The wait to find out should not last long! Fans are undoubtedly hopeful that his son will eventually put in an appearance, too. It would be the closure that the Ziva storyline needs. One thing is for sure, this is going to be interesting. Robert Wagner has made numerous appearances over the years, and fans will soon learn how this one differs!

NCIS continues Season 17 when it returns as one of this winter’s premieres on Tuesday, January 7, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. You can currently check out Tony’s dad’s previous visits via past seasons streaming on Netflix among other 2020 premieres.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.