Michael Weatherly is Dr. Phil

NCIS' Michael Weatherly to Play Dr. Phil in CBS Drama Pilot Bull

Departing NCIS star Michael Weatherly is staying in the CBS family, thanks to… Dr. Phil?!

The actor has signed on to play the title role in CBS’ Bull, a drama pilot based on talk show host Phil McGraw’s early days running one of the most prolific trial consulting services of all time. According to the official character description, Weatherly’s “Dr. Bull” — who heads a company that analyzes juries to help develop defense strategies — possesses a physicality, feral intelligence and bruising candor that make him magnetic to women.

McGraw and Paul Attanasio (House) serve as writers/EPs on the potential series, which co-stars Six Feet Under‘s Freddy Rodriguez and Rescue Me‘s Geneva Carr. Rodrigo Garcia (In Treatment, Six Feet Under) will direct the pilot.

Weatherly’s casting comes as he prepares to say goodbye to NCIS, and his character of Tony, after more than a decade. His Bull deal was actually foreshadowed in his formal exit announcement back in January, with CBS saying at the time that it looked forward to “continuing to develop projects” with the actor as part of his “ongoing [CBS] development deal.”

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  1. Lillian says:

    Sounds interesting, I’ll certainly check it out. I’d love to see what Michael does with the role.

  2. dkwilley says:

    love Michael, but wouldn’t watch a show about that quack if I was paid……

  3. Lynne says:

    I’ll watch anything he does.

    • teresa says:

      I’m with you, Lynne! Michael could read the phone book and I’d watch. And just note that we’re talkin about Dr. Phil before he was known to us as Dr. Phil and a great tv writer (House) on board. I’m just happy that we’ll have more of Michael Weatherly on a weekly basis than we’ve been able to get on NCIS for years!

  4. Kristen says:

    Oh Michael…. I’m not sure what to say about this..

    • How about “congratulations on landing the lead in your own show and following your own happiness”?

      • darkangel200 says:


      • teresa says:

        I’ll second that!

      • I have seen the clips of Michael Weatherly for his new show Bull. One comment does he have to have that scruffy facial hair? In my opinion it looks terrible on him. Maybe I’m just used to seeing him w/o that scruffy facial hair.

        • Theresa Wagner says:

          I have watched the 2 shows that s aired. Michael Weatherly is Great on Bull. Excellent Actor. I have never seen him on any other show. But will always watch him in anything he plays in from now on. I will let all my friends know how Great this show is. I had no idea Dr Phil was involved. But this is such an interesting one of the Best Shows on TV. Also it doesn t hurt that Michael Weatherly is very handsome and has a great Personality. Love This Show!!!!

  5. CAN says:

    Why leave a hit show for another show?

    • Stacey says:

      He wants to try other things. But 13 years is a too long. He is too identified as Tony DiNozzo! And with NCIS still airing.

    • Andrea says:

      Because it’s a lead role. Michael is THE lead. Mark’s the lead on NCIS. I’m interested and I think this could be like Scorpion in the sense that it’s based on Dr. Phil like Scorpion is based on Walter O’Briian. I think license will be taken here as well, and I bet it will be scheduled on Tuesday night. I hope it does well, and I will watch.

      • teresa says:

        Ditto! As I said earlier, I’m delighted that he’ll be starring! I’m tired of watching NCIS to catch 5 minutes of Michael here and there and that usually as jarring comic relief

        • Erin says:

          I couldn’t agree more Teresa. The last several seasons have been a total waste of Weatherly’s talent. The writers seem to have gone out of their way to make Tony nothing more than a disrespected idiot. Meanwhile Gibbs walks on water and saves the day week after week. So tired of it. Congratulations Michael. Can’t wait to see “Bull”. I hope it’s well written and like the premise

    • Normandy says:

      He’s betting on himself, taking a big pay cut to become the lead of his own series. At least he had something in development before he quit. This isn’t like TR Knight leaving Grey’s Anatomy with nothing lined up or Shelly Long leaving Cheers to pursue a film career.

    • John NYC says:

      He’ll be the title character if this one: aka The Star.

      Plus this may not have been the specific “why”, just what he was free to pick having finalized his NCIS run.

  6. CactusRose says:

    C’mon! Those stupid Staples ads on this page are making it IMPOSSIBLE to read the page. It’s either jumping all over or not moving at all! PLEASE fix this1 It’s so annoyinG!

    • Ro says:

      They’re not going to ‘fix’ anything. This is how they make their money. You should be able to hit the x in the corner so the add doesn’t launch.

    • AnnieM says:

      CactusRose: If you’re on a computer, make sure the pop-up blocker/ad blocker is installed and/or enabled in your browser. if on an Android phone or tablet, go to the Play Store and download Boat Browser Mini, which has a pop-up blocker integrated, and the default setting is usually already on. if you are on a Mac, iPhone, or iPad, sorry, I have no idea – maybe a helpful Apple person could chime in. Hope this helps. :-)

    • Gemini says:

      Get Adblock — it’s free and works !

    • Jerrie Klenk says:

      Add block…

  7. Stacey says:

    I think if this show makes the schedule, and there is no guarantee that it will but it will be a tough go to accept him as another character that quickly. If he had stayed away from television for a season or so… This will be too quick of a change. I do wish him well and this works out for him, but I am going to have a hard time accepting him as not Tony DiNozzi in a matter of only months if this show makes it to the air

  8. Leanna says:

    Interesting, I’m sad to see him leave NCIS, but glad that he’s getting his own show. I’m very curious how he is going to exit. (I hope they don’t kill him off)

  9. Joni says:

    Glad the show isn’t going to be based on his Phil’s talk show career. I’ll give it a try.

  10. datdudemurphy says:

    A whole lot of meh

    I’d rather he had stuck with NCIS

  11. Darlene says:

    Fantastic! I love court room dramas! Great way to see it all from a different angle. I am looking forward to seeing him as a different character. He’s such a good actor!

    • Sherri says:

      Me, too!

    • darkangel200 says:

      I agree, Darlene. So much negativity. It’s a drama, not a reality show. As for leaving a hit show, they wasted and threw away his character years ago, so can’t blame him for wanting to move on. I’ve seen him other things besides NCIS, and can’t wait to see what he brings to this.

    • teresa says:

      Agree completely – he is a very talented actor who was being under-used for years on NCIS. Just had a thought – if this gets picked up, wonder if Jesse Stern will have to give up video-gaming and go back to writing for tv?!!!

  12. Zeph says:

    Not a Dr. Phil fan, but I like Michael as an actor so I’d be willing to give this a try….

  13. MMD says:

    Yuck!!!!!!! Not even to see Michael Weatherly will I even give it a glance! What a step down imho

    • Really? It’s a step down for him to go from being second banana on a show where the focus has been less and less on him for the past two seasons, to being the lead on his own show? To go from being, as Michael Weatherly himself has said, “the idiot child in the corner” to a character who “possesses a physicality, feral intelligence and bruising candor”? He’s not playing Dr. Phil, he’s playing a character based on Dr. Phil’s early life. Just like Emily Deschanel is not playing Kathy Reichs, she’s playing Temperance Brennan, a character based on Kathy Reichs’ life.

      • teresa says:

        So well put! Thank you!

      • Night Owl says:

        The show has an interesting premise, and a great actor for the lead. It definitely has possibilities and I’ll be checking it out. Regardless of how you might feel about Dr. Phil personally, I guess I just don’t think he (nor anyone else) should have that kind of power over your decision of whether a show that has a the premise and the lead is worth checking out. Just my thoughts.

  14. schiss says:

    I’m afraid he’ll just be “Tony” in any other role. I didn’t know him as an actor before NCIS. He seems to be more of a comedian to me. Altho NCIS is a drama, he was the primary character to offer comedic relief. I will watch, however, just to see if he can leave his funny man persona behind.

    • Darlene says:

      You should watch him in Dark Angel. Totally different character and definitely not a comedy role. Some of Michael’s Dark Angel fans didn’t even know that ‘that guy” they were watching on NCIS was Logan Cale.
      Also totally different in Charlie Valentine (The Hitman Diaries) movie. Great character and nothing like Tony DiNozzo. Heavy, character study type of movie.
      I’m glad your going to watch. Really, he left his serious and darker characters behind to be Tony DiNozzo. The man can act.

      • Stacey says:

        But Dark Angel was a few seasons. And he was on NCIS as Tony for 13 YEARS. That is a long time to be identified as a role and to be that quickly turn around lose himself in another role, I don’t see it. I wish him well. And it might work out. But he was so unknown when he was on Dark Angel. Now everyone knows him due to NCIS! He is really talented and it might work out. But still not sure this is the role. But who knows.

  15. Bill Cord says:

    It might be an interesting series and explains Weatherly leaving a hit show.

  16. ndixit says:

    Hmmm. It doesn’t sound interesting but I am assuming they will spice it up if it gets picked up. I am glad MW is getting lead roles. He is an exceptional talented and underrated actor with comedic and dramatic chops. It will be hard to separate him from Tony though.

  17. Eurydice says:

    He’s one of the most popular actors on CBS’s most popular show – I think they’re going to try hard to give this every chance. My first reaction was “Oh, ok”, but I’ll give it a try just because it’s MW.

  18. Well Michael I wish you everything that you hope for you and your family – I’m sure anything you do will be entertaining and successful – I’ll be routeing for you. I’ll still watch NCIS, it won’t be the same without you of course but it’s a good programme with great characters. I’m looking forward to seeing you in your new character and getting to know you and admire you. By the way I think you are gorgeous!!!! Best of Luck in anything you do xxxxx

  19. It will be very difficult to see Michael in ANY role other then Tony, which he is great in. Too bad he is breaking up a fantastic group. By ‘Tony’

  20. Luis says:

    I’m sorry, does Dr. Phil read that plot synopsis and pleasure himself?

  21. As long as he stops before the talk show part starts it sounds very interesting. I will check it out for sure.

  22. LaraS says:

    Interesting. I’m not really a fan of Dr. Phil but I like Michael and I hope there’ll be a chance for it to air in Germany as well. Definitely going to miss him on NCIS but I’ve seen some of his other projects and he IS very talented and able to portray different characters. I wish him well and I can only hope that his fans will be happy for him. Even if the show wouldn’t be as successful as NCIS is, it’s still a great chance and opportunity for Michael to show a different side of his acting range. What makes me happy is that he stays with CBS. Can only hope it’s not going to be a disaster like the other small series they did with a certain woman who left NCIS. Love Michael.

  23. JenJ says:

    About to puke with this announcement, think I’ll pass on watching that show. But he would have made a great McGyver, though. I wish he’d have been cast in that upcoming reboot. THAT is something I would definitely watch him in.

    • Darlene says:

      Isn’t that supposed to be about a young McGyver? Michael is an amazing actor but playing a ten years younger McGyver before he honed all his skills would be a stretch, even for the amazing Weatherly!
      Or is this yet another reboot of the series that seems to pop up every couple of years?

  24. Not really interested, i’m so going to miss Tony but good luck Michael. i wish him the best.

  25. darkangel200 says:

    Congrats to Michael. Can’t wait to see what this talented man brings to a new show. Maybe those who think he can only be “Tony DiNozzo” should check out his body of work. NCIS made him famous, but he had talent long before that.

  26. Peachy/Carol says:

    Michael Weatherly is an extremely talented and handsome actor. I’m sad that he is leaving the role of Tony because it fit him so well. However, I believe that any project he undertakes, will be a success. Best Wishes and I’ll stay a fan forever.

  27. Roxanne says:

    He should stay on NCIS….won’t watch a show about a quack….sorry to see you leave NCIS…playing Dr. Bull will end you career…and that kind of stupid show won’t last.

  28. HAP says:

    Why the Hell is Paul Attanasio slumming with Phil McGraw?

    • Darlene says:

      Maybe he sees it as an opportunity to bring a good legal drama with a different point if view to television. Put his Harvard Law graduate pedigree to some use.

      He’s name on this project actually adds to my interest in seeing this show make it to air.

  29. jj says:

    I will definitely give it a try. I do miss watching him and thoroughly enjoy his crossover in NCIS LA earlier this season.

    But I just cannot watch NCIS anymore. Not since the introduction of Bishop, she is DREADFUL. Character is horrible and the actress can’t act if her life depends on it. So no. Just no.

  30. Don’t do it!!! Dr Phil is a first class joke…you are too good of an actor…do not waste your time on Dr Phil stuff…they can get martin short to play him.

  31. Tresa Smith says:

    Can’t stand Dr. Phil.

  32. Donna2712 says:

    I am not surprised he has landed a new show so quickly. I think this has been lined up for a while. I will certainly check this out of it is picked up. Michael is a talented actor and I am sure he is looking forward to stretching his acting muscles after playing DiNozzo for 13 years. That is a long time to play one character, and a character who hasn’t been utilised well for many years now. For those freaking out about the “Dr Phil” connection, the character is only based on his early career. I am sure the writers and Michael will make the character their own and will be unrecognisable from the Dr PHIL who was on tv. I look forward to seeing Michael as a lead and allowing him to act as a new character.

  33. sorry sounds boring. will not be watching

  34. Charla Dunlap says:

    Hopefully they don’t “kill Tony” just in case this bombs he can come back from the foreign assignment!

  35. Seriously, he’s leaving NCIS to do this dreck? I believe his ego is showing…doesn’t like playing second fiddle to Mark Harmon. I predict he will be sorry. I won’t watch the real Dr. Phil, much less a take-off of Dr. Phil.

    • John NYC says:

      Not going to be “Dr Phil”: it’s going to be a legal drama based on the jury consulting company the guy ran before “Dr. Phil”.

      ” based on talk show host Phil McGraw’s early days running one of the most prolific trial consulting services of all time. According to the official character description, Weatherly’s “Dr. Bull” — who heads a company that analyzes juries to help develop defense strategies”

  36. frannie1918 says:

    Its not gonna make it. Won’t watch don’t like Dr. Phil. You left a good thing for carp

  37. grys03 says:

    Like Michael but this…
    Maybe they can give him superpowers & a sidekick, a dog with a crack habit & a boyfriend who dreams about being an astronaut
    Still wouldn’t watch it , but hey might be more fun

  38. Carrie says:

    This is a talented man. But he’s making two mistakes:1 ) go away for a season or two – don’t jump right into another role, because you are making it more difficult for NCIS fans to accept you as someone else. 2) Pick an action-adventure or mystery series, with comedic elements. That would play to his strengths.

  39. I seriously don’t get this at all.

  40. auntiemm says:

    Loved him in Dark Angel, NCIS and even the guest spot on Major Crimes but no how no way this.

  41. Maryann says:

    I loved Michael Weatherly in Dark Angel, but I just never cared for Tony, even though I am a huge NCIS fan. On the other hand, I absolutely cannot stand Dr. Phil. Not sure at this point if I will check out the new show, since the character he plays may not remind me that much of the character it is based on. In any case, I wish Michael the best. Maybe this will be the role I was hoping to see him in when he first left Dark Angel and I heard he was going to be on NCIS.

  42. Oh Michael Weatherly, what happened to you? Remember in Dark Angel when he was hot and cool and making out with Jessica Alba? That Michael Weatherly could have gone places.

    This show sounds TERRIBLE, I almost gagged in my mouth reading the description. Even without the Dr Phil angle it would have been repulsive, but add on that and yikes. Hardest of passes.

  43. Chris H says:

    What Crap! He leaves a great show like NCIS to play Dr. Phil on a show that 90% most likely won’t even be picked up. Plus the whole premise of the show sounds boring. Wow Bad call on his part.

  44. Gunny says:

    I’m really sad to learn that Michael is leaving NCIS for a project that will last 3-4 episodes before the plug is pulled. He’s better than “Bull”.

  45. Desiree Fox says:

    Michael, when I heard the news I literally broke down and cried for hours! I could not believe that our beloved Dinozzo was choosing to leave a show where your character is so critical and we count on seeing you every week, but then to learn that you’re leaving to play dr. Phil?!! All I could think was if you’ve never played a part that was literally career suicide, that this was it! Please, please reconsider. If you must shoot this pilot, at least let the writers of NCIS write you out where you can come back when this awful project fails. I hate to be a negative person about this, but seriously, Dr. Phil?!! He is totally irrelevant and no one cares about his ” early years”. If CBS actually picks up this series I believe in my heart that it will be very short-lived and you will have walked away from One of the best characters in television history. I wish you much love, hope for success, pray that you’re not committing career suicide, yet because I love you so much I still wish you Godspeed.…
    PS after the exit of Ziva and season 11 I was actually surprised that the show went on, however it’s very difficult to watch Emily Wickersham seem to struggle to give NCIS anything of value. I think a better choice would’ve had been to have filled that role with CGIS Abby I just pray to God they don’t kill off Tony so that the door is left open for him to return. I understand the excitement of being the “star” of your own show but again, Dr. Phil! Irrelevant…

  46. Pete says:

    Looking forward to seeing the talented Mr Weatherly as yet another character.

  47. John says:

    I would like to him in a remake of TV show “Hart to Hart”

  48. chuckfanforever says:

    This too shall Fail……

  49. JR says:

    Ahhhh, I was hoping Weatherly would be in the new Star Trek series.

  50. This sounds stupid, I can’t believe he decides to leave NCIS and his first project is to play a struck on his self, womanizer, based off of Dr Phil! It sounds silly to me, I sure wont be watching it! Why is it every time an actor/actress decides they’re going to to leave a show they have been on a long while, the next job that they choose to do is almost always something stupid! I mean I could understand if he picked a character that was allot different from Tony, but this character sounds like he allot like Tony, struck on himself, but is probably not going to be as likable as Tony was! Especially if he is anything like Dr Phil!