NCIS fans know no one can replace Michael Weatherly as Anthony D. “Tony” DiNozzo, Jr. Weatherly played the special agent in the series for over 300 episodes from 2003 to 2016, and the casting directors knew from the start that Weatherly was the top choice to play DiNozzo. So, what has Weatherly been in since leaving NCIS behind? Here’s what to know.

What has ‘NCIS’ star Michael Weatherly starred in since his exit?

Michael Weatherly was a leading star in NCIS, but he couldn’t stay on the show forever. Tony DiNozzo was last featured in 2016, and he left off by deciding to focus on raising the daughter he had with Ziva David. Showrunner Gary Glasberg spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about Weatherly’s retirement from the series.

“Michael Weatherly has been an enormous part of NCIS from Day 1. I can’t replace Michael Weatherly,” Glasberg said. “But, what I can do is continue to move forward and come up with new characters, stories, and find new ways to let remaining cast evolve, come up with new, exciting things and perspectives for us to continue to dig into and peel back the layers. It’s not easy to say goodbye.”

So, what did Weatherly pursue after NCIS? He left the series to star in Bull that same year, 2016. Weatherly played Jason Bull from 2016 to 2022 before the series was canceled after six seasons.

“It came about at the right time,” Weatherly told reporters about leaving NCIS for Bull, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I was burnt out by NCIS, and I was ready for a new challenge. Sometimes, change is as good as rest.”

Weatherly chose to leave Bull after six seasons, which ultimately resulted in the series’ cancellation. He was also involved in a sexual harassment controversy after co-star Eliza Dushku formally complained about Weatherly’s conduct.

As for what the actor’s up to after Bull, he’s reportedly making music with Casey Hooper. It’s unclear what Weatherly plans to do on the small screen next.

Michael Weatherly as Tony DiNozzo in 'NCIS'
Michael Weatherly in ‘NCIS’ | Jace Downs/CBS via Getty Images

Will he ever return to ‘NCIS’?

We’d love to see Michael Weatherly return to NCIS as Tony DiNozzo. While it seems like a stretch for Weatherly to return for season 21, rumors suggest the actor’s ready to make his grand reappearance. But the rumors add that Weatherly insists on returning with Cote de Pablo, who played his love interest, Ziva David. Weatherly also allegedly wants to return with Robert Wagner, who played his father in the show.

“Michael loves to stir things up and get fans excited about his comeback, but he’s doing himself no favors by being so demanding,” an insider told Radar Online. “The bosses are tearing their hair out over their terms.”

Additional sources claimed that the current NCIS cast would rather see Mark Harmon return as Leroy Jethro Gibbs than see Weatherly return. However, this remains a rumor for now. If Weatherly does return, we imagine both fans and the cast would welcome him.

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