It’s been said time and time again that nothing good lasts forever, and the casts of long-running hit TV shows aren’t immune to that claim. NCIS, a constant ratings topper for CBS, will be saying goodbye to one of the stars that has been there since the very beginning, as actor Michael Weatherly will be vacating the role of Senior Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo by the time Season 13 comes to a close.
Weatherly is one of the original actors that launched NCIS back in 2003 as a spinoff of Jag, and he’s been a major presence in all 293 episodes that have aired thus far. As the often impish Tony DiNozzo, Weatherly was a source of humor on NCIS, always joking and spouting movie quotes, and he was also something of a ladies man, even if he was often more interested in the ladies than they were in him. What is everyone going to do when he’s gone? At least, after that initial sigh of relief.
Thankfully, there’s no bad blood between Weatherly and CBS, where he’s got an overall development deal that will likely lead to future collaborations, according to THR. The actor has had nothing but good things to say about everything since the news was revealed. Here’s one of several tweets he sent out earlier today.
News of Weatherly’s absence may or may not come as a surprise to you, depending on how closely you’ve been paying attention to the U.K. magazine Vulture Hound. A few days ago, co-star David McCallum let it slip to the mag that Weatherly would be leaving the show, which pushed CBS and the producers to come out and make it official. Better late than never, I guess.
So when the certain-to-happen Season 14 kicks off later this year, we’ll just have McCallum, Pauley Perrette and Mark Harmon as the original players that are left (and Sean Murray, sort-of). Could this show lose Harmon as Leroy Gibbs and still continue? Luckily, we don’t have to worry about that just yet.
Considering Weatherly will remain on good terms with everyone, perhaps it’s possible that fans can look forward to seeing Tony again down the road, even if it doesn’t come until the series finale. If CSI can bring back Gil Grissom, everything is possible.
NCIS returns tonight, January 5, for the remainder of Season 13. To find out when the rest of your favorite shows are premiering and returning, check out our midseason schedule.