NCIS showrunner Gary Glasberg is not yet ready to talk about the season-ending exit storyline for original cast member Michael Weatherly, but he does affirm that nothing was ruled out when deciding how to write out Special Agent Tony DiNozzo.
“We’re really trying to give everybody something that leaves them satisfied,” Glasberg told TVLine during an interview set up to promote next Tuesday’s episode, the series’ landmark 300th.
Since Weatherly has been with the CBS series since its September 2003 launch, Glasberg acknowledges that DiNozzo’s departure is “a huge deal, and I’ve been literally thinking about it for six months now…. Lots of planning.”
Luckily, Glasberg did not have to deal with this dilemma on his lonesome. “I will say that when you have a writing staff, people that have been involved as long as some of these writers have, they get super excited about what we’re doing,” he shares. “That makes me happy, because it means we’re on the right track.”
In a TVLine poll, 28 percent of respondents expressed their wish that Tony reunite with former agent Ziva David (played by former cast member Cote de Pablo) before riding off into the sunset, while 22 percent preferred to see him leave D.C. to head up his own NCIS team elsewhere.
Again, Glasberg is playing his cards close to the vest, though he does allow that Ms. David will likely merit at least a mention. “You can’t have Tony leave the show and not get into that in some respect,” says the EP, “so plan on it being discussed and handled, even if it’s in background.”
NCIS resumes Season 13 on Tuesday, March 15 with its 300th episode, titled “Scope” and guest-starring Taye Diggs (Private Practice).