Actor Michael Weatherly, star of NCIS, TV’s #1 drama, is leaving the series after 13 seasons. He is an original cast member of the series which was spun-off from the JAG TV series in 2003.
CBS confirmed the departure:
“After 13 years on ‘NCIS,’ Michael Weatherly is leaving the show at the end of this season. He is a valued part of the CBS family, and the immense charm and talent he brings to the screen as ‘Very’ Special Agent Tony DiNozzo has helped make ‘NCIS’ what it is today — the No. 1 drama in the world. We thank Michael for all of his contributions to this successful franchise and look forward to continuing to develop projects with him as part of our ongoing development deal.“
Weatherly played ‘Very’ Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo and is only the third lead actor to depart the series in its 13 seasons. Actress Sasha Alexander left the series after season 2 by having her character NCIS Agent Caitlin “Kate” Todd killed in that season’s 2 episode finale. Sasha Alexander currently stars as Dr. Moira Isles on the populat cable TV series Rizzoli and Isles. Actress Cote de Pablo, playing NCIS Agent Ziva David, who joined the series after Alexander’s departure, left the long-running drama after Season 11 opting to stay in her character’s homeland of Israel. Beyond these three, the only other non-lead, but regular cast member to depart the series has been actress Lauren Holly, how played NCIS Director Jenny Shepard, that saw her character killed at the end of NCIS season 5.
Michael Weatherly took to twitter to comment on his departure:
“DiNozzo is a wonderful, quixotic character & I couldn’t have had more fun playing him over the past 13 seasons. Les Moonves & CBS gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. I will miss the amazing crew & cast, who are like family to me, & to the fans all over the world — THANK YOU, it’s been a fantastic ride!“
Many NCIS fans have wondered about the character of Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo. He is ready for leadership, and has turned down previous offers, so it is likely the character will move to finally assume the leadership of his own NCIS team elsewhere. Does this mean a third NCIS spin-off with Weatherly as lead? Possibly, but it seems that in any event you may see Michael Weatherly soon enough on a TV close to you in the years ahead as he continues to have a deal with CBS that may see him star in and/or produce other shows for the network.
NCIS has spun off 2 current TV series successfully: NCIS: Los Angeles in 2009 (seen at 10 p.m. on Mondays) and NCIS: New Orleans in 2014 (seen on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. following NCIS). NCIS: Los Angeles attempted to create a TV spin-off notionally titled NCIS: Red in 2013, but that series was not picked up after the teams debut in a two-part episod in season 4 of the series.
Will we see a character from any of the NCIS spin-offs, successful or not, join NCIS to fill the hole left by Weatherly’s DiNozzo or will a net new character join?
Prior to his NCIS gig, Weatherly is best known for playing Logan Cale, opposite then real-life girlfriend Jessica Alba, in James Cameron’s Dark Angel from 2000 to 2002. Alba and Weatherly went their separate ways professionally and romantically after the series concluded its 2-year run.
We at InsidePulse wish Michael Weatherly all the best in his future projects and thank him for his work on NCIS.
Tags: Dark Angel, ncis, ncis: los angeles, ncis: new orleans, ncis: red, rizzoli and isles