The Surprisingly Sweet Reason Michael Weatherly’s Tony DiNozzo Left NCIS

The original NCIS which has spawned several spin-off series will soon be approaching its 10th anniversary within a few months.

Like any show which has continued for so long, NCIS has seen numerous prominent characters come and go throughout its 19-season run. One such long-serving character Tony DiNozzo, played by Michael Weatherly, unfortunately, left the series in season 13 to the dismay of many fans.

However, Weatherly’s reason for departing NCIS was surprisingly earnest, as he missed his on-screen partner and close friend Cote de Pablo.

Weatherly’s character Tony DiNozzo started out as the light-hearted senior agent on the team. Although he could be rebellious at times, he was always a dedicated part of the NCIS agency. His easy-going and sometimes comedic nature often provided a lighter tone to the severity of the series, making him a favorite among fans.


In the early seasons of NCIS, DiNozzo was often depicted as a bit of a womanizer. However, this aspect of his character was toned down, and he developed a close bond with fellow agent Ziva David, played by Cote de Pablo.

The show eventually saw the two engage in a romantic relationship, to the further delight of the series’ viewers who had become obsessed with the slow-burning romantic tension between the pair. Unfortunately, most of the details of their relationship were depicted behind the scenes. As both actors left the show before the two characters could fully see their affection realized on-screen.

According to later statements, after hearing the producer’s plans for her character in the upcoming seasons, de Pablo, who disliked the direction of the storyline, decided to leave the show during its 11th season. Without the chemistry between the two characters, Weatherly felt the show became boring.

He has since revealed that losing one of the better aspects of his role on the show, DiNozzo’s dynamic with Ziva, was the main reason he chose to exit the series. His character was portrayed as leaving the NCIS after he learns he has a daughter with Ziva, who has supposedly died in a mortar attack. Although later it was revealed she had actually survived.


After Weatherly’s time on NCIS, he has since grabbed the lead in the legal drama series ‘Bull’. Which has recently just aired its final sixth season. Rumors of his return to NCIS have of course been circulating, however, he has yet to make an official statement on the possibility.

When questioned about a possible comeback for DiNozzo’s character, showrunner Steven D. Binder was thrilled at the prospect. Promising that although the decision ultimately was with Weatherly, he would love to see the actor return to the show. Maybe Tiva (Tony and Ziva) fans will get to see their on-screen romance happen after all if they both return.

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