NCIS Boss Addresses Whether Michael Weatherly's Tony DiNozzo Could Return Now With Bull Ending

Michael Weatherly has portrayed Dr. Jason Bull in CBS’ Bull for six seasons, but he’ll be saying goodbye to the character when the series finale airs on May 26. Now the series is ending, is it possible that we’ll see the return of his beloved Special Agent Tony DiNozzo on NCIS? Executive producer Steven D. Binder is opening up about the possibility.

Ever since the announcement was made that Bull is ending, NCIS fans started planning Weatherly’s long-awaited return to the CBS flagship series, an event which would mark DiNozzo’s on-screen reunion with Cote de Pablo’s Ziva David. Steven D. Binder told TV Insider that while he would have loved to have Weatherly come back to the series by this point, it never worked out due to Bull; though that's one particular obstacle that may not be a problem in the future.

I absolutely would love to do something like that. That’s going to depend on Michael Weatherly. He and I have talked over the years about it, and he was always on Bull, and [since] he was on Bull, it just seemed weird and not right.

It makes sense that it never worked out with Michael Weatherly because of Bull, as it might be odd to have the same star on two different shows as two different characters on one network at the same time. Luckily, that didn’t stop the actor from still pulling off an NCIS reunion here and there on his own show. Just recently, fans were treated to a reunion when Sasha Alexander, who portrayed Caitlin Todd for the first two seasons of NCIS, directed the April 28 episode, “Opening Up.” There were plenty of behind-the-scenes pictures from the actors and CBS, which definitely made fans yearn for an even bigger reunion.

With Season 20 of NCIS on the way in the fall, Steven D. Binder admitted that an Anthony DiNozzo return may not be in the cards in the near future, but there's still hope:

The last conversation I had with him was that he’s going to take some time off and rest because he went from a very difficult schedule on NCIS to headlining his own show for six years, through COVID, but I can say that I consider him a friend, so it’s not a difficult conversation to have with him. It’s just a question of whether or not it works out.

After being on NCIS for 13 years and then going right into Bull for six years with a pandemic in the middle, who can blame Weatherly for wanting a break? Thankfully it seems like the door is always open for him to return to his former show. NCIS is certainly going strong, despite the departure of Mark Harmon as Gibbs.

Even though Michael Weatherly left NCIS in 2016, he remained close to his former co-stars from his NCIS days. Earlier this year, he posted a touching tribute to some former co-stars after randomly catching an old episode to get away from “crazy news.” He also frequently interacts with Pauley Perrette, who portrayed Abby Sciuto for 15 years on the series. 

While it looks like we won’t be getting Anthony DiNozzo any time soon, hopefully it will happen sometime in the future. Since NCIS doesn’t have an end in sight as of yet, there is still plenty of time. Plus, Michael Weatherly does deserve a break after working in the CBS spotlight for nearly 20 years straight. 

Don’t miss the series finale of Bull on Thursday, May 26 at 10 p.m. ET on CBS. All seasons of NCIS are streaming on Paramount+ with a subscription if you want to get your Tony DiNozzo fix while anxiously waiting for his return.

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.