‘NCIS’ Alum Michael Weatherly Explained Why the Show Is an ‘Institution’

by Joe Rutland

If anyone would know about NCIS being an institution on television, then it would be former cast member Michael Weatherly.

Weatherly, who played Agent Anthony DiNozzo on the CBS drama, talked about his old show in an interview with Assignment X.

By the way, Weatherly is now starring in the drama Bull, also on CBS.

“I think it’s really transformed and become all these different things,” Weatherly said in 2015. “First, it was a spinoff of JAG, then it was its own weird little thing, then it became a kind of pop-cultural like, ‘Ahh, do we have to pay attention to that because it’s doing well? Let’s hope it goes away. ‘

“And then it didn’t go away and now it’s an institution that people now shrug off as an institution, but we were the underdog for so many years,” Weatherly said.

‘NCIS’ Star Said He Thinks Franchise Coalesces, Brings People Together

The Bull actor said he thinks the franchise, in general, coalesces. NCIS brings everyone together and he says that it really makes people aware.

“I mean, I’m highly attuned to the criticisms or the snarky [magazine] reality of high-middle-lowbrow entertainment criticism, as opposed to just popular culture,” he said.

Weatherly said he enjoys NCIS and has for the different things it has been over the years.

The actor said in 2015 that he takes great pride that NCIS was pushed away because it was like the mutt at the door.

“And now we’re pushed away because we’re too successful,” Weatherly said laughing. “It’s a great problem. I call it ‘the Huey Lewis and the News’ problem. And it’s like, ‘I’d rather sell eighty million records.'”

NCIS airs on Monday nights at 9 p.m. Eastern, 8 p.m Central, on CBS. It’s the lead-in for NCIS: Hawai’i, starring Vanessa Lachey.

Weatherly, Holly Once Played Prank On Mark Harmon for His Birthday

One time, former NCIS star Lauren Holly and Weatherly teamed up to play a birthday prank on lead actor Mark Harmon.

Why? It was Harmon’s birthday.

Holly breaks it down with the Herald Extra. Now Holly played former NCIS director Jenny Shepard.

So, she and Weatherly got 150 shirts. They all read “It’s Mark Harmon’s Birthday!” and passed them out to the cast and crew.

Weatherly put crepe paper, helium balloons, and pinatas in Harmon’s trailer.

“But in true Mark fashion, I thought he was going to freak out at first and then ultimately love it,” Holly said. “But instead, he just loved it right off the bat. He was so happy and so touched. They had filmed the whole thing, his arrival, so he took the DVD home to show Pam [Dawber, Harmon’s wife]. She had a great laugh.”