Actor Michael Weatherly (ex-Cooper Alden, “Loving”) will be departing “NCIS” at the end of this season, the actor and CBS confirmed today. Weatherly, who is only one of four original actors to have appeared in all of the show’s near 300 episodes to date, portrays the widely popular Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo on the series.
“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 #1 drama in the world,” said CBS in a statement. “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 has an overall development deal with “NCIS” producing studio CBS Television Studios. He’s currently developing a “Little Women” drama project for The CW.
“DiNozzo is a wonderful, quixotic character and I couldn’t have had more fun playing him over the past 13 seasons,” wrote weatherly on Twitter. “Les Moonves [CEO, CBS Corporation] and CBS gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. I will miss the amazing crew and cast, who are like family to me, and to the fans all over the world — THANK YOU, it’s been a fantastic ride!”
With Weatherly exiting, only three original cast members remain, including series star Mark Harmon as Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Pauley Perrette as Abby Sciuto and David McCallum as Dr. Donald Mallard.
In an interview with Vulture Hound, published Monday, January 4, McCallum let slip that Weatherly’s departure was planned “a long time ago,” seemingly deflecting rumors that the actor was being let go from the show after pleading no contest to driving under the influence. He was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to take part in both a three-month alcohol program and a Mother’s Against Drunk Driving program, TMZ reported.
“When Michael leaves, there`ll just be three of us. I will go on doing Ducky for at least another year I believe, provided my health holds up,” said McCallum of his possible exit from the long-running series next season.
TV Line first reported the news of Weatherly’s departure.