‘NCIS’: Why Former Star Michael Weatherly Thought He ‘Knew More Information’ About Show Playing ‘No. 2’ Behind Mark Harmon

by Robert Davis

In a recent interview, Michael Weatherly said he “knew more information” about NCIS while playing the show’s No.2 role behind Mark Harmon.

“When you are No.1, there are people who don’t want you to know certain things,” Weatherly said during the interview. “Whether it’s a legal liability or it’s just that they don’t want to bother you, everyone wants to kind of keep you in a bubble. And I watched Mark [Harmon] fight very hard to stay out of that bubble and try to stay in touch, or stay integrated and have the information.”

NCIS is a police procedural series that profiles the day-to-day lives of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The agency is the primary law enforcement agency of the U.S. Navy, though its functions oftentimes involve the Marines as well.

Weatherly played the tough-nosed Anthony DiNozzo on the show for the entirety of his 13-year stint. Harmon, on the other hand, played the main character, Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Harmon has appeared in over 400 episodes while Weatherly lasted just over 300.

“People want to isolate you to protect you, but sometimes that isolation can sometimes have a negative effect,” Weatherly said. “It actually creates an anxiety because you think “oh, I don’t know what’s going on.” Then you get anxious and behavior starts to happen where maybe you start acting in ways that you shouldn’t.”

Weatherly on ‘NCIS’ Success

NCIS is one of the most-watched shows of all time. According to the latest Nielsen ratings for the week ending on June 21, NCIS was the fifth-most watched television series. It earned a rating of 2.6 and had over 4 million viewers tune in.

Yet, the show has seen a recent turnover of high-profile characters. Since debuting in 2003, regulars like Sasha Alexander (Caitlin Todd), Lauren Holly (Director Jenny Shepard), and Cote de Pablo (Ziva David) have all left the show. Weatherly left in 2016 to take the lead role on the CBS drama “Bull.”

Several of the stars the left the show said they didn’t like how their characters were developing. According to CinemaBlend.com, de Pablo said that about her character as well as Paulette Perrette, who played Abby Sciuto.

“It’s a lot of pressure to carry a show,” Weatherly said. “To know that the success or failure of a show largely hinges on your performance. You know, in success I would probably not take credit, but in failure I would say “it was all me”.”

Weatherly on “Bull”

Since leaving the Navy life behind, Weatherly has taken on a similar role. This time, however, he’s the star.

In “Bull,” Weatherly plays the smart-alec Dr. Jason Bull. Bull is described as “the ultimate puppet-master” by IMDb and combines psychology, human intuition, and come cunning to bring criminals to justice.