For fans of NCIS, constant character changes are simply a part of the game, as actors come and go on the show rather frequently. However, when Michael Weatherly, who played Anthony "Tony" DiNozzo, departed from the program after 13 years, it came as quite a shock to many. In the time since, he hasn't strayed far from the spotlight at all, starring in the CBS show Bull.
Things are seemingly changing again in Michael's life as it was just announced that Bull has been canceled by the network. Now that Michael won't be dedicating his time to that show anymore, is it reasonable to believe that Tony might come back to NCIS after all? Keep reading for what we know so far.
Will Tony come back to 'NCIS'?
It's important to note that neither Michael nor his representatives have said that he will be returning to NCIS at this time, and any notion of such is purely speculative. However, given the fact that Bull, the CBS show that he has been starring in over the course of its last six seasons, is coming to an end in May 2022, Michael will likely have some free time again.
"I’ve decided it’s time to pursue new creative challenges," he told fans in a tweet about the Bull's cancellation.
Michael was seemingly tired of working on NCIS after so many years when the role on Bull came his way, and the actor saw it as a natural progression to keep things fresh and interesting. Now that Bull is wrapping up production and fans have constantly speculated ever since his departure if Michael would find his way back to NCIS, it seems like the perfect storm of factors to make it happen.
It's not like he's entirely against the idea either. "I absolutely see worlds where [Tony] DiNozzo and other characters could pop up [again]," Michael told Digital Spy back in 2017. "It is something I'm very keen to explore when the time is right. [Cote is] one of my favorite people. For eight years, we got to have a lot of fun. Certainly, in terms of chemistry, I've never had anyone like that rattle my brain!"
What happened to Tony on 'NCIS'?
Given how much has changed in the time since he left the show, it's important to establish some context as well. Remember that Tony was written off the show at the time because Michael Weatherly needed a break.
"It came about at the right time," he told reporters shortly after the Season 13 finale. "I was burnt out by NCIS and I was ready for a new challenge. Sometimes change is as good as a rest."
He also revealed in another interview that losing Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) was an eye-opening moment for him.
"[Tony and Ziva’s] great dynamic, the badinage and sparring and flirting between those two characters and how they would swing from siblings to near lovers and back to buddies, that was gone, and then I got to the point where I felt I’d stayed at the party for too long," he told TV Insider.
"I would look around the room and other people were really in sync and having fun. The show was a huge success, but I just suddenly realized that I probably had other things that I should be doing."
As previously mentioned, now that Bull has come to an end and Cote is back on NCIS, fans want a Ziva-Tony reunion. That reality, coupled with the fact that Michael has always been open to returning means the star could very well make his way back to the NCIS universe. Nonetheless, with no official details yet, we'll be eagerly awaiting an announcement (just like every other NCIS fan).
You can check out NCIS on Mondays at 9 p.m. EST on CBS.