‘NCIS’: How Actor Brian Dietzen Felt Show Changed When Michael Weatherly Left

by Megan Molseed

“Well, there are more pants, ’cause he used to take off his pants a lot,” joked “NCIS” actor Brian Dietzen of the changes the show saw after the exit of Michael Weatherly’s character Tony Dinozzo at the end of season 13.

In a 2017 Variety interview, the “NCIS” star opened up about the changes the show was witnessing at the time, and how he felt the changes would help move the series forward.

Tony Dinozzo served as an”NCIS” Special agent and a Senior Agent for the Major Case Response Team during the beginning part of the hit CBS show’s run. Dinozzo spent extensive amounts of time finding assignments in far-off places. He eventually left the team to connect with the daughter he shared with fellow “NCIS” agent Ziva David.

“Everything changes at some point,” the actor told the outlet. “Whether it’s story-wise on the show or whether it’s in real life when it comes to actors or producers or writers leaving.”

During the same interview, Dietzen noted that the changes may be tough. However, sometimes they help drive the show forward.

“You can either fight that, ” he said. “Or you can try to embrace new storytelling or a new character that’s come in.”

Dinozzo’s “NCIS” Exit Leads To New Storylines

And isn’t that a bit of truth? Tony Dinozzo was an “NCIS” favorite. His departure opened the door for Wilmer Valderrama’s Nick Torres to join the team. This addition brought with it many new and fresh storylines.

“There’s a sense of opportunity there,” the actor noted in the interview. “It’s been great to see not a singular direct replacement for his character come in, which I think would have been such a misstep.”

Brian Dietzen noted that bringing in the new faces built brand new storylines. The additions also helped to shape existing ones.

“They’ve brought in a few different characters to build the roles,” the actor explained during the interview.

Brian Dietzen’s “NCIS” character, Jimmy Palmer, joined the team as a part-time player at the beginning of the series. Eventually, Palmer was promoted to assist one-time examiner, Donald “Ducky” Mallard. Most recently, the character serves as the head examiner on the “NCIS” team following Ducky’s retirement from the position.