NCIS alum Michael Weatherly left his Anthony DiNozzo role behind in 2016 for Dr. Jason Bull—a courtroom consultant loosely based on Dr. Phil. The Bull star is in his sixth season with the show now, and he feels that it remains an under-appreciated CBS offering.
Michael Weatherly’s title character, a charming and brilliant psychologist, holds three doctorates. He knows what it takes to make a convincing argument in front of a jury. Alongside his team at the Trial Analysis Corporation, Bull works to make his clients look like model citizens.
For all of Dr. Bull’s charm and brilliance, the show hasn’t exactly been celebrated by critics over the years. That isn’t to say it’s been panned, but Michael Weatherly feels like it’s been a bit underrated. He cited some of the character choices the writers have made over the years as examples of quality. Dr. Bull faced the consequences of self-isolation in Season 2.
“I found it interesting, and I think Glenn Caron is an extraordinary writer, and I think Bull is a vastly under-appreciated show in terms of the critical appraisal of it, which is great because there’s nothing better than an underdog!” Weatherly told Heyuguys.com in 2019.
Whatever the critics are missing from the CBS series, it hasn’t been enough to stop Bull from continuing an impressive 6 season, 100-plus episode run.
‘Bull’: Showrunner Behind Michael Weatherly Show Leaves CBS
Glenn Gordon Caron, the showrunner and writer Michael Weatherly referenced, left Bull after Season 5 following a CBS investigation into a high turnover rate on the show’s writing staff. Despite a track record of success, Caron’s workplace was reportedly stressful and disrespectful.
A handful of former writers have since come out and shared their experiences working under Caron.
“I learned a lot about storytelling and about writing fast — that was valuable. But it was a toxic environment while I was there. And now that I have much more experience and I have been a showrunner myself, I can tell you, there are a lot of different ways to tell a writer that what they’re submitting didn’t work for you without attacking them in a cruel way,” producer Melinda Hsu Taylor told The Hollywood Reporter in May. “It is entirely possible to do this job with humanity and warmth and to treat people with respect, whether or not a pitch is working for you.”
Kathryn Price and Nichole Millard have since taken over as co-showrunners. And for all of the behind-the-scenes drama Bull has been through, the product on the screen has remained popular.
“More than 10 million people watch every week. Michael is loved by our audience, and even after these allegations came out, people continue to watch. So it’s a popular show that we want to keep on our air,” said the president of CBS Entertainment, Kelly Kahl.