A longtime fan favorite on “NCIS” due to his hilarious commentary and fun personality, losing Tony DiNozzo, played by Michael Weatherly, was a big blow to the show.
Weatherly portrayed DiNozzo from season one all the way to season 13.
Mark Harmon’s Goodbye to Michael Weatherly
Over the past 18 seasons, many characters have come and gone. Others just left permanently, others returned in a recurring or guest position later on. Some even just faced irreversible death on the show, guaranteeing no future reunion.
Mark Harmon is both the star and the executive producer of “NCIS.” When Weatherly left, he recalled his last moments alongside his 13-year-co-star. In very much Gibbs fashion, Harmon kept it brief and as emotionless as possible.
“Mark is always gracious and always the gentleman, but like his character a functional mute. He was pretty succinct. He said, ‘Thank you and good luck,’ which I adored the simplicity of and appreciated deeply that he was giving his handshake and support … Mark is very old-fashioned, old-school gentleman and I’ve learned a great deal at his side and look to the future, taking a lot of that Mark Harmon wisdom with me,” Weatherly said in a 2016 interview with Parade.
It seems like Weatherly developed quite the bond with Harmon, just like his longtime character on “NCIS.”
Leaving ‘NCIS,’ Career After
So, why did Weatherly decide to leave the show after about 13 years?
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in 2016, Weatherly said “NCIS” had just run its course in his life.
“It came about at the right time. I was burnt out by NCIS and I was ready for a new challenge. Sometimes change is as good as a rest … It really felt like a circle that had gone all the way around and I really felt happy with the resolution of character and my time on the show,” Weatherly said.
He also got the opportunity to pick up a new role directly after leaving “NCIS” in 2016. He is the star of the TV series, “Bull” on CBS. His new character on the show is described on IMDb as “Brilliant, brash, and charming, Dr. Bull is the ultimate puppet master as he combines psychology, human intuition, and high-tech data to learn what makes jurors, attorneys, witnesses, and the accused tick.”
He also directed two episodes of the show. He similarly directed two episodes of “NCIS.”