NCIS has thrilled and engrossed viewers for almost two decades now. It hit the airwaves in 2003 as a spinoff of JAG. Since then, it has gone on to become its own franchise, spawning several spinoffs. With so many episodes and storylines, viewers become attached to certain characters over time. However, many of those characters have since left the show. People like Michael Weatherly, Cote de Pablo, and Pauley Perrette were loved by fans. However, they all left the show for different reasons.
Out of those fan favorites, Michael Weatherly’s Anthony DiNozzo was there the longest. He first stepped into that role for two episodes of JAG. Then, he kept that role on NCIS. Weatherly was there for over 300 episodes of the show. That comes out to thirteen years of playing the same character.
Back in 2016, Michael Weatherly and other NCIS cast members appeared on The Talk. They were there to discuss the show’s 300th episode. During the interview, Weatherly talked about his decision to leave the show, comparing it to trading in a used car.
Michael Weatherly Was At The ‘End Of His Lease Agreement’
One of the cohosts said, “Now, Michael, fans of the show are still reeling from your recent announcement that this season is going to be your last season.” That brought a round of boos from the audience. They didn’t want to see Michael Weatherly or Dinozzo leave the show.
Michael Weatherly ignored the protests of the crowd and pushed on. He jokingly answered, “It’s like a trade-in on a car. You get to the end of the lease agreement and it’s like you’ve got to make a decision.” He continued with the used car metaphor for a moment, he gingerly touched his hair while adding, “I mean, my tires are bald.”
After that, Michael Weatherly got a little more serious. “Ya know, the extraordinary thing about NCIS is that it has absorbed a lot of changes over its thirteen years so far and it’s by no means done. I mean, we just got a two-year pickup for the show. And, when I say ‘we’ I mean that this is a family to me and I’m very excited about it.”
Then, Michael Weatherly circled back around to talk about his reason for leaving. This time, he skipped the used car metaphor. He started by saying that there comes a time when you have to think about making changes. He went on to say that a couple of years before that interview, he started looking at his life. At that point, he decided that he wanted to make room in his life for some changes.
However, Michael Weatherly had nothing but good things to say about his time on NCIS. “It’s been an extraordinary journey and hopefully they’ll let me come back and visit sometime.”