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If you are a fan of NCIS, by now you probably know that Michael Weatherly's Tony DiNozzo has left the TV series. The popular actor was lucky enough to hop directly from one project to the next and will actually be starring in the new CBS series Bull this fall. Recently, the actor spoke out about his new series coming together, and explained exactly why he ultimately opted to sign on for CBS' Bull. Here's what Michael Weatherly had to say:
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.
While it sucks to hear Michael Weatherly say he was burnt out by the TV series that made him a household name, we can imagine that the grind of playing the same character for 13 seasons could be challenging, and Weatherly has been open about that fact over the past few months. When CBS brought the new opportunity to the actor, he said that he jumped at the chance to take on a new role, rather than choosing to take some time off as so many other actors involved with long-running TV programs have. Taking no time off might not be the choice all of us would make in that same situation, but it is worth noting that Michael Weatherly is in his prime earning years right now. Continuing as a series lead on another show is a sound choice.
Honestly, working as a lead on a network TV show is a lot of hard work day in and day out. The actors film at weird times and during odd hours. Because network TV also produces far more episodes than cable or streaming services (22 episodes is a full season order but some shows do mor), this can go on for a good part of the year. Sure, the actors get nice breaks during the summer and on holidays, but it's still a long work schedule.
We don't know exactly how Michael Weatherly managed to hop from one CBS project to another, but we do know that CBS desperately wanted to keep the actor in the CBS family. Bull EP Paul Attanasio also noted at TCA (via THR) that CBS did want to keep Weatherly around:
I think CBS was really eager to keep Michael for the obvious reasons. There is nothing in entertainment like a star in a star part.
So, if I had to do a little inferring, I would guess that Michael Weatherly was looking to leave NCIS when his contract ended. CBS found out, and figured out a way to keep the actor on TV. It actually worked out pretty perfectly, as the Eye Network currently has Bull set to air just after NCIS and just before NCIS: New Orleans on Tuesday nights. You can see if the two shows complement one another pretty soon, too. Both hit the fall TV schedule on Tuesday, September 20. If you haven't taken a look at what to expect from Bull on CBS, you can find the full trailer, here.