‘NCIS’: Could Michael Weatherly Return To the Show in a Different Role Than Before?

When television shows list their accolades, they have to be very specific, so bear with us here. As of last year, NCIS is the second-longest-running scripted, non-animated U.S. primetime TV series on air.

The 19th season of the JAG spin-off aired back in September 2021 and will wrap up next month. With the final episode approaching, fans are already looking forward to Season 20 and making guesses as to what it might look like. One NCIS star, in particular, Michael Weatherly, has been a hot topic.

Weatherly, who plays the fan-favorite character, Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo, left the show almost 7 years ago in the final episode of Season 13. Rather than making a more permanent exit, DiNozzo simply resigns from the unit. He’s suffering severe mental anguish, as he believes his long-time love interest, Ziva, to be d******d.

In a 2016 interview, Michael Weatherly explained the real-life reason for his departure. “I was burnt out by NCIS and I was ready for a new challenge. It really felt like a circle that had gone all the way around. And I really felt happy with the resolution of character and my time on the show.”

Though it’s been years since Weatherly’s departure from the show, NCIS fans still lament the loss today and wish for his return. Well, they just might get it – but not in the way you probably expect.

You see, Michael Weatherly not only has acting experience but has dabbled in directing as well. In fact, he’s already directed two episodes of NCIS, one in Season 8 and another in Season 10. Since leaving the procedural drama, he’s been working on another CBS series entitled Bull. However, Bull is now coming to a close, leaving Weatherly conveniently available for more directing work.
‘NCIS’ Season 20 Speculation Aside From Michael Weatherly Return

Season 20 of NCIS has yet to be officially confirmed. However, fans feel confident in their assumption that it will happen. It’s doubtful that Mark Harmon will return, as his character, long-time team leader, Jethro Gibbs, retired to Alaska early in Season 19. With that in mind, we’ll likely see more of Gary Cole as Alden Parker, FBI Agent and current unit leader.

Unless the final two episodes throw some curveballs, we can also safely expect the return of Rocky Carroll, Brian Dietzen, Katrina Law, and other NCIS staples. Now, some fans are theorizing that Anothony DiNozzo and Ziva David will return, but it’s hard to say whether this is likely or simply fans wishing to see their favorites again.

Having heard nothing concrete one way or the other, all we can do is take shots in the dark. But who knows – Weatherly has simultaneously acted on and directed episodes of NCIS before, maybe he’ll do it again!