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NCIS Boss Offers Update For Fans Hoping Michael Weatherly Returns As Tony DiNozzo

Michael Weatherly in his last scene on NCIS screenshot.
(Image credit: CBS)

Now that CBS drama Bull is done and Jason Bull's story is finished, fans have been hoping for Michael Weatherly to return to NCIS to reprise his role as Tony DiNozzo. With the actor no longer busy elsewhere on primetime this fall, could he return for the upcoming 20th season? Showrunner Steven D. Binder recently opened up about it.

Michael Weatherly portrayed the NCIS Special Agent for the first 13 seasons of the long-running CBS series. Following the announcement of his exit, Weatherly revealed the reasoning for his departure, noting it was a combination of Cote de Pablo’s departure and his desire to expand his roles. Steven D. Binder has an update for fans, telling TVLine what the possibility is like:

Wouldn’t that be great? When [Michael] left NCIS, he said to me, ‘I am never going to do network television again.’ He had just had some kids, and the hours are so long… but then this Bull thing landed in his lap, and again he was working like a fiend. So I suspect — forgetting Tony DiNozzo for a minute — that Michael Weatherly is on vacation. I’ve known him for a while, and I think he needs to chillax and go someplace tropical. I haven’t spoken to him about that, but we’ve talked over the years, and that’s my guess.

Although these comments definitely don't guarantee Michael Weatherly returning as DiNozzo, the NCIS boss sounds enthusiastic about the idea! Fans just have to remember that Weatherly basically went straight to Bull following NCIS, and Bull just ended in the spring. It makes sense that Weatherly might want to take a break from acting and relax before jumping into anything.

This isn’t the first time that Steven D. Binder commented on Michael Weatherly’s possible return. Ahead of Bull’s series finale in May, the showrunner expressed his interest in having the actor come back to NCIS. He mentioned that while he has talked to him about it over the years, Bull meant the timing would be complicated. Hopefully, those talks will pick up now that the show is done and Weatherly is more open. 

Meanwhile, as the series prepares to premiere the next season, the show may deliver some references to another fan favorite who left NCIS. Based on some other comments from Binder, fans may finally get an update on just what Pauley Perrette’s Abby Sciuto has been up to since her exit. Although Perrette has been adamant about not coming back to NCIS (especially now that she has retired from acting), at least getting an update about what Abby has been doing since her injury would be a treat as the show moves forward.

As for what's on the way sooner rather than later, NCIS will be kicking off its  20th season with a crossover with NCIS: Hawai’i. Some have been hoping there will also be a crossover with NCIS: LA, so fingers crossed that it will be sometime later in the shows' respective seasons. It should also be interesting to see if Tony DiNozzo does come back and how he’d play a part in the series.

Don’t miss NCIS premiering on Monday, September 19 at 9 p.m. EST on CBS! Check out CinemaBlend’s 2022 TV schedule to see what else to look forward to in the coming months!

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.