NCIS Weatherly Leaving DiNozzo

Michael Weatherly Leaving NCIS: Will There Be Tears? Is Tony the Only Exit? And More Burning Qs Answered

Michael Weatherly‘s send-off from NCIS, the show he has called home for 13 years, promises to be a “emotional roller coaster” when the season finale rolls around on May 17.

Thus far, we know that the original cast member’s final episode is titled “Family First” and it revolves around the just-launched manhunt for Jacob Scott, the MI-6 black sheep who is targeting NCIS agents past and present, former director Tom Morrow (played by Alan Dale) being his first victim.

As part of our May Sweeps/Finale Preview Q&A, TVLine invited NCIS showrunner Gary Glasberg to field some burning questions about the swan song he has in store for Weatherly/DiNozzo.

HOW WILL DINOZZO BE WRITTEN OUT? | Tony will need to make some difficult decisions in the finale, capping an arc in which he has been prompted to reconsider his arguably sad status quo. “It’s something that we’ve been kind of hinting at throughout the whole season,” says Glasberg. “We established early on there were choices that Tony was going to be making as he’s looking at his career… He’s going to find himself at a bit of a crossroads, with some significant issues to deal with.”

WILL ANY FAMILIAR FACES RETURN FOR THE BIG GOODBYE? | Robert Wagner, as DiNozzo Sr., is among the confirmed encores for what Glasberg describes as “a lot of reflection and a lot of soaking in what Tony DiNozzo was to the show for many years. Expect to see a significant guest cast, and expect to really reflect on what Michael Weatherly has meant to NCIS.”

DID WEATHERLY’S CBS PILOT IMPACT HIS SEND-OFF? | Two months after announcing his NCIS exit, Weatherly booked the lead role on Bull, a CBS pilot loosely based on Phil McGraw’s early days as a prolific trial consultant. So understandably, he at one point needed to duck out to film that. “He’s super-prominent in some parts [of Season 13’s final stretch] and lighter in others,” Glasberg acknowledged. “At the end of the day, it didn’t affect things much at all.”

WILL THE NCIS FAITHFUL SHED TEARS? | And might Gibbs be among them? “People should absolutely be planning on some really serious, heart-wrenching moments. There’ll be tissues involved,” Glasberg attests. “I’m very proud of the emotional resonance of what this is,  even in terms of what we’re filming right now in the finale.” The EP promises meaningful exchanges between DiNozzo and each of his fellow team members, including “an amazing moment with Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon) that really resulted in something that I didn’t see coming.”

IS DINOZZO NOT THE ONLY EXIT? | After all, NCIS on May 10 is introducing two new characters — 24 alum Sarah Clarke’s FBI agent, and Duane Henry’s MI-6 operative — both of whom have the potential to become series regulars next season. To those questioning the uneven “math,” Glasberg says, “I really wouldn’t read into that. These are two actors and two characters that we were intrigued by and interested in working with, and we’ll have to see where it goes. But no, it wasn’t about subtracting in one pool and adding to another.”

MIGHT DINOZZO BE (GASP) KILLED OFF? | Hey, we had to ask! “I would just say that he’s prominent all the way through this final episode,” Glasberg responded, adding: “I want people to understand that Tony DiNozzo will always be a part of this family — but they should also prepare for an emotional roller coaster.”

Want more scoop on NCIS, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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106 Comments
  1. FY GG says:

    Wonder if Mike Frank ghost making an appearence. That would be neat, a novelty and organic ;(

  2. I don’t think Tony’s status quo is sad. He may not be able to be with his one true love, Jeanne, but he is doing what he intended to: saving lives and making a difference. Tony and Michael will be very sadly missed. He’ll leave a really big hole in the show.

  3. as524 says:

    Sigh…as usual, GG is promising the world with whipped cream & cherries on top. His history though is for massively under delivering on what he blabs.

    • Jeri says:

      I think the show will miss Tony more than they would miss Gibbs. Tony was the life of the love, the fun-loving yet hard working professional. It will be harder for NCIS then it will be for Tony/Michael. Good luck to both.

      • as524 says:

        Agreed….
        The damage GG has done to Gibbs with the push forward of making sure he is the be all & end all of every single story is permanent & off putting to a lot of fans.
        While I hope NCIS continues to be successful – especialy for the newer cast members, I’m having issues with the GG/Harmon version of the show we’ve been fed for too many seasons

      • Alice Grant says:

        Professional??? With his behavior he would have been fired from anything but a government Job (you just can’t get rid of the civil service, union you know).

    • Lad says:

      You’re sugar coating it. He’s lying. That’s better:)

      • as524 says:

        LOL….

        true – I’ve often wondered where the storyline would be now had David McCallum not ‘revealed’ the news in the UK interview

    • Ever since Gary Glassberg took over the NCIS series has changed and not for the better. The actors were like family without jealousy and were doing a fine job with their individual charcters. It started out worse when he forced Cote Di Pablo to quit. i don’t know how but he certainly did. Now Micheal Weatherly quit/has been fired and this will give a big whole in the series. Who is next. ? I am betting on Ducky will be next because he is older but still does a wonderful job. Then Mark Harmon will be replaced with that guy who is Ncis New 1Orleans named King. Can’t stand the guy that is why I won’t watch it. It is too bad….Glassberg is not a good producer and I have noticed that since he took over the reins. I think he wanted his own show, but he has ruined the NCIS that I loved. Did you notice? It has lost its number one status. Goodby NCIS you are on your way out to be replaced with some dumb series like Walking Dead. What a terrible show. Good Luck to Micheal. And Cote too…Hope to see you both on TV in a successful series.

      • as524 says:

        First off, GG did not force cdp to quit. Shouldn’t believe everything that the small group of ziva fanatics post.

        MW is leaving on his own, of his own choice. Should Harmon step down it will be HIS choice. And King will not be replacing him. McCallum has already spoken about possibly only staying a year. Given his age and the commute he makes, that wouldn’t be a shock. As far as NCIS being on its way out, that started as soon as the idiotic season of tiva was announced.

  4. Andrew Hass says:

    I don’t think Tony is going to die but maybe he gets hurt.Then been hurt and possibly almost getting killed causes Tony to leave to see what else is out there for him or he goes traveling with his father.Plus i’m sure Tony will have goodbye scenes with all the characters.

    • Erin says:

      I don’t think Tony will get hurt. I don’t think that the current writers are allowed to write Tony as a hero or as the character that viewers are led to worry about. Gibbs is the only regular who can be injured or heroic these days. I fear Tony’s exit will be because he has somehow screwed up or missed something that gets someone else killed or hurt. That would be more consistent with the current ptb assasination of the character.

      • as524 says:

        I agree that the writers only write Gibbs as heroic these days….however I think GG is going to write Tony as leaving because he needs to’find himself or change himself’

        Glasberg is an unimaginative twerp and I fully expect him to simply copy his story for ziva’s exit for Tony…

  5. Ted says:

    Why did they kill off original NCIS director Tom Morrow after keeping him around all these years? He was one of the more underappreciated characters on the show. Did Glasberg and the writers run out of ideas again?

  6. darkangel200 says:

    Thanks, Matt and thanks for asking the “will he die” question, even though we all knew it wouldn’t be answered. The large guest cast mention worries me, because come on, I want it to be about Tony,not the always-present guest cast. But I’m happy to hear he will get a proper goodbye with the team, if Gary is right. Dreading this, but at the same time excited at the prospect of Michael Weatherly getting a chance to do other things and stretch his considerable acting chops.

  7. Samantha says:

    What I think what might happen is that Tony gets worried about Ziva, since the killer is targeting NCIS agents from the present AND past. I don’t think she will actually make an appearance, or maybe only in the last minute or so, but I do think it might be a real option that he realizes he wants to get back to the life he had back then. Not the job part, but the feelings he had. Why else would the big killer story be about someone who targets NCIS agents? And then the episode be about finding the killer and his struggle about what he wants in life, since he’s kinda forced to think about that stuff.

    Read on E! that they just shot a Tony/Gibbs and Toby/Abby moment. Getting really curious about the episode!

    • No reason for Tony to be worried about Ziva, Juniper Strike took place 3 years before she ever stepped foot in NCIS The “hit list” contained several names (other than Morrow) and not a one of them is anyone we’ve ever heard of before – not even Gibbs.

  8. Mr. Smith says:

    As with the recent cast reductions on “Castle,” these shows owe EVERYTHING to their viewers. I would venture to guess that a majority of NCIS viewers would like to see Tony and Ziva reunited before he leaves. Shows such as these should honor their viewers instead of doing what they might think is proper.

    Just sayin’….

    • MMD says:

      Not this one. As Michael Weatherly has said that fans read way, way more into that relationship than there actually was.

    • Jane says:

      I am most definitely not one of those who want to see him reunited with Ziva. I was always ambivalent about their relationship or lack of one, however this should be about Tony not about Ziva. I don’t want her any place around his final episodes. So what you are “just sayin” you are not just saying for all of us.

    • Max says:

      “Majority”? Uh, no. I wish people would just speak for themselves instead of exaggerating numbers to sound better. The final show with Michael Weatherly’s character Tony, should focus on him and his future decisions. Not turn it into some usual soap opera fare where he rides off into the sunset with Ziva and their “secret” lovechild that she has magically kept hidden for the past three years–bleah and essh. Frankly, Michael Weatherly and ALL of the FANS deserve something better than that! An original story line for one of the original cast members.

      • MMD says:

        Exactly!!! You said what I was really thinking but was afraid to add because of getting attacked by all the shippers.

      • datdudemurphy says:

        Agreed….Tony’s last episode should be about Tony, not “Tiva”…..let it go, people.

        • Jack99 says:

          Ziva is part of Tony’s life. You need to get over it.

          • as524 says:

            As a former team mate….
            so does that mean tha Viv, Balboa, Pacci’s ghost, Dorney’s ghost, Kate’s ghost & Paula’s ghost will all appear as well?

    • as524 says:

      Majority? No…

      Castle was billed as a ship show. NCIS was not.

      ziva’s story is over & the character should have NOTHING to do with Tony’s exit. The supposed ship was fanon, not canon. This is about TONY. Not a high school romance some fans can’t be bothered to let live only in their imaginations.

    • Even Michael Weatherly has said Tiva was only in the minds of some viewers so I very much doubt there’s going to be any kind of reunion since there was no “union” in the first place. After 13 years, Tony and Michael deserve their own ending without tying his/their exit to a character and actress who departed 3 years ago.

    • John NYC says:

      Nope. Not even a little.

      It’s Michael/Tony who’s leaving the focus should be on that, not sine long ago side issue.

    • Paige says:

      Just because the Tiva fanatics are the most vocal does not mean they speak for the “majority”. They certainly don’t speak for me. The finale should be 100% Tony/MW all the way celebrating 13 seasons as Very Special Agent Anthony Dinozzo.

    • Not if they want to honour this viewer, who has watched since the show was two episodes on JAG. Personally, I want Tony’s exit to be about Tony, not about a character who left three years ago. I want him to leave to go onto greater things and get the promotion he so richly deserves.

    • Andrea says:

      I don;t need Ziva, like Ziva, want Ziva to return, and I most certainly do not want Ziva in any sort of coupling with Tony.
      Also just sayin’

  9. I wonder if Ziva and Borlen are going to show up. I hope they give him a promotion to go somewhere. He deserves better.

  10. I am going to miss Michael Weatherly, but I know he deserves to do better. May Mike Franks and Kate will show up as ghosts, and also may Jeanne Benroit will also show up.

  11. Leo says:

    G.G’s writers know how to write emotional. If Gary says this is gonna be emotional, be prepared it’s gonna make fans cry, it will be memorable.

    • as524 says:

      While I’m betting I will cry it won’t be because of the talent (?) of the writers. It’ll be because, even in the farewell, there’s a colossal misuse of a very gifted actor & the wonderful character he created for fans to enjoy.

      GG is all about his comfort food formula. & the writers?

  12. Jeanne says:

    I bet his Dad will die. Kicking in motion that Tony needs to move on. I also think there will be a Kate ghost.

  13. Jordyn says:

    Tony and Ziva ride off into the sunset together. Please oh please oh pleeeeese!

  14. as524 says:

    Honestly what is with GG that he has to make Tony out to be some pathetic creature in the midst of an ‘oh woe is me! who am i’ crisis in order to give the character a decent goodbye? That isn’t Tony, never has been.

  15. auntiemm says:

    I don’t want him killed off and hope we just trade him with the MI5 agent next episode. Save the last episode for goodbyes and Tony’s greatest clips.

    I was bummed to see Morrow die. So Fornell gets his job making room for the new FBI agent? I can’t see them killing Fornell as Gibbs’ last friend. Always hoped the series finale found the two of them on a beach somewhere running a boat shop/bar.

  16. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for this! Gives me more insight. Looks to be one with tissues involved.

  17. Kat says:

    I would love it if they brought on Diane Neal’s character Special Agent Abigail Borin as a series regular! She and Gibbs get along great and she’s familiar to fans!

  18. Pat says:

    I have watched this show from day one and I am most definitely going to miss Tony. One thing that I think might happen and this is only because of this past episode but might Tim be getting Tony’s apartment because Tony will be leaving the area?? Anyway, I will have my box of tissues ready to bawl my eyes out because of his departure.

  19. computertech says:

    They will most likely kill him off.

  20. Elnm says:

    I will not miss Michael Weatherly.

  21. Mommaknowsbest says:

    I’m wondering if David McCallum will be back next year.

  22. Kat Kosmic says:

    I, for one, would love the final scene being Tony walking into the elevator and Gibbs comes up behind him and gives him one last back-of-the-head slap. :)

  23. james scott says:

    does ncis have an office near tel aviv?

  24. Donna2712 says:

    What I think might happen is one of the agents on the list will be killed and he is a lead at another branch (Seattle, Hawaii, new York) and Vance offers Tony the chance to take the job. He sells his unit (not to McGee and Delilah as only a one bedroom and young couple would prob be looking for something bigger if starting a family) and moves off to his next job. Only mention of Ziva will be a “what could have been” conversation with Abby or McGee because no way he is going back to chase her after being rejected by her twice! Sets off for new pastures and a new life … or not I don’t write this thing.

  25. Bark Star says:

    I love the character and am sad to see him go. But there will be one good thing about it: It will finally shut up all the Tiva ‘shippers.

  26. Maria Capaldi says:

    Michael Weatherly will be missed terribly my husband and I have watched NCIS since day one the cast runs like a smooth car. The quick wit is incredible. He will be hard to replace….Best of luck looking forward to seeing you in other shows.

  27. Alice Grant says:

    Glad to see him go. there are only 2 people that would cause me to stop watching the show. Gibbs and Abby. Tony is just another Barney Phyfe . I can only feel embarrassed for him and that makes me very uncomfortable. My sense of humor is not the same as most people but I have enjoyed NCIS in spite of Tony.

    • as524 says:

      Interesting perspective because I cringe every time Abby is on screen because the character is so completely infantile . Don’t know how PP can keep playing her that way

  28. Steve says:

    The problem isn’t Michael Weatherly leaving the show, it’s that stupid Emily Weatherspoon or whatever her name is.That is why the show ratings dropped. Get her off the show!!!!!!!! She stinks as an actress!!!!!

  29. Cote De Pablo’s departure left a hole that has not been filled. Michael Weatherly’s departure is inconsequential. If NCIS lost Mark Harmon or David McCallum or Pauley Perrette or Rocky Carol the show would be irreparably damaged.

    • as524 says:

      The hole after 11×2 was amply filled by the subs from 11×3 until we met Ellie in November.

      As a core cast member, along with Harmon, McCallum and Perrette, Weatherly will leave a huge hole that will probably never be filled

    • mazel tov says:

      You cannot possibly be serious. Rocky Carrol adds little to nothing to the cast or to the storyline. The Director of NCIS is an easily filled role.

      As for Pauley Perrette get rid of her. In 13 seasons she has not grown emotionally or professionally. It’s still “Gibbs, Gibbs, Gibbs, Gibbs, Gibbs” (uttered 5 times), Major Massspec(I’m so tiree of that) and Caf-Pow. And that is about her entire repertoire.

  30. kath says:

    I completely understand why Glasberg wants to keep the specifics a secret but the only think I’m really interested in is whether Ziva is coming back.
    I bid adieu to NCIS two years ago (bored with the lack of subtlety and the same old storyline) but I’d watch again for Ziva.

  31. David Wolf says:

    Geezzz… if the producer’s HAVE to get rid of a character, why can’t it be a pansy like Sean Murray’s character, McGee?

    • as524 says:

      ahhh if only David…but it’s not getting rid of. MW chose to leave. Although with the way he’s been treated under GG’s reign who could blame him. As far as McGee goe, there’s just no charisma or chemistry. McGee’s best years were the ones where he played off of Kate and Tony. Pairing Gibbs with McGee as his second will fail as miserably as it did in season 12. There’s a reason so many refer to McGee as McBore

      • sadtonyfan says:

        Agreed. I adore Michael Weatherly but detest the writing of his character for the last several seasons. The current ptb are such douches that they’ve had McGee replace Tony as Gibbs’ most depended on agent two seasons now. How rude. They couldn’t even wait til DiNozzo was gone. This show runners contempt for DiNozzo and his fans has been appalling. I’m a little embarrassed for them.

  32. Nic says:

    Co written with Scott Williams, and with the entire writing staff and MW having input into this storyline, I have high hopes for MWs and Tony’s exit.
    I do hope Tony doesn’t just leave law enforcement – NCIS in particular, (I hope he it leaves MCRT) – behind completely – it’s hard to imagine him NOT as a cop. Sounds like we’re in for some more seriously introspective Tony. I expect we’ll see one of Jeanne or Zke back too, and that Ziva will be significantly mentioned (given it does sound like he’s bailing on law enforcement, just as Ziva did. Comments about he wants more or something similar to her).
    Apparently, from what I’ve heard and read, the Harmon/Weatherly scene was heart wrenching to film. I’m looking forward to seeing it, and dread it at the same time.
    I just hope MW is open to guest spots and Tony might drop in from time to time.

  33. The NCIS show has been a solid staple of what is good about broadcast TV.
    Mark Harmon and crew never fail to deliver. You always find a strong message
    in most of the shows delivered. Tony has always been a part of that image.

    Director and writers never really sure what to do with Tony. One day buffoon
    next day brilliant. However Michael Waverly has been a rock solid pillar in
    this shows success.

    He will be missed.

  34. CHARLOTTE A LE JUEZ says:

    I have watched NCIS from day one. Everyone will miss Michael Weatherly. The show will not be the same without his great sence of humor. GOOD LUCK MICHAEL

  35. FireMatt says:

    Did you seriously just write an entire article on NCIS send off and not mention Ziva once? the guy that does the articles for this site is a bitter troll and this is just more proof. Matt you’re pathetic and everyone on knows it. Your bias is just more proof

    • as524 says:

      Guessing the idea that Matt knew it would be pointless to ask about or mention ziva totally flew by you? I think the ‘bias’ you accuse him of is simply more evidentin those columnists & fans who still can’t let it go

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        LOL, do not get me started. I just asked Gary about Ziva last month, I was the reporter who asked the head of CBS about Ziva at press tour…. But no, I have “bias.” It’s amazing/sad, the short-term memories.

        Besides……..

        • as524 says:

          you have ‘bias’ because you aren’t touting the reunion and payoff of their fanon ship in big bold letters from now until May 16.

        • jo says:

          So Matt what did Gary finally reveal about the ending with Michael Weatherly. Or did he?? As others have mentioned and I really agree since him and Mark Harmon became producers of NCIS at the detriment of original Donald P. Bellisario, the show as never been the same. Too bad…..well as mentioned before would be nice to see Gibbs sailing off into the sunset with Abby on board…..

          Mazel Tov

  36. Kathy Howard says:

    My husband and I r really big fans of this show and I hate to see Dinnozo leaving ,he brings humor,personality,awesome sexy smile with a little bit of a sh#t eatin grin ,sneaky look and u know he is up to something,but anyway I feel like this is a well written show and all of the actors on here work well together and play off of each other well and that is what makes a show good.Michael you will be truly missed. GOOD LUCK!!!! My husband and I will be fans forever.

  37. Kaye says:

    Now that we know Ziva won’t be back we shouldn’t expect anything big. I don’t know I just don’t trust them.

  38. chester knowles says:

    Send tony to a post for ncis to another ncis post over seas with a directors position.

  39. maria tsioplakis says:

    I wish nothing but the best for him and his family.

  40. Deborah says:

    Let me guess…It’s CBS…home of the former “The Good Wife.” Wouldn’t surprise me a bit, if the ending of Tony is just as bad as it was for Alicia..It appears that the shows don’t even bother to care what the long time loyal viewers would like to have take place when it comes to the end of a show or a major character.

    • Jen28 says:

      Well, here’s a thought, try watching it first before whining about how “bad” it will be. This isn’t an article about The Good Wife, try and stick to the subject matter. SMDH

  41. Raymond Rich says:

    I’ve not watched it since they replaced Ziva with a blonde who can’t act. The worst case of nepotism that I’ve seen in a long time. So really I just couldn’t care less what happens to the show.

  42. Does no good says:

    This seems to be the only thing of interest on this site. If it weren’t for this mundane story and boring updates about Arrow there would be nothing to talk about

  43. Lynn says:

    Ok, This is my guess. Ziva dies in the explosion and Tiny finds out she had his baby but never told him. He leaves to raise his child who is probably 2 yrs old by now.
    I will miss his character but still love NCIS.