Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Michael Weatherly Leaving NCIS

© by Gerald So | | 8:00 A.M.

Weatherly, who has played Special Agent Tony DiNozzo since NCIS's backdoor pilot in 2003, announced yesterday he would leave the show at the end of this season.

The fact that DiNozzo has been fully fleshed out over thirteen years makes Weatherly's departure easier to take than say, Kate Todd's, who was killed off after two seasons. Then again, DiNozzo has been the spark of much of the show's humor as well as its younger man of action. I don't see McGee or Bishop filling the action void as Kate, Ziva, and Tony did. In those aspects, Weatherly is most difficult to replace.

Is it too much of a stretch to wonder if Weatherly's departure puts NCIS's renewal for Season 14 in doubt? If I were an executive, I'd want some assurance the show post-DiNozzo could still hit all the notes it does now.

Promoting a recurring humorous, physical character like Abigail Borin (Diane Neal) or recent DiNozzo ex Zoe Keats (Marisol Nichols) would be an easy transition, but there are also several episodes left this season that could introduce a new character.

What kind of sendoff would I like for Tony? What if he simply retires, as Ziva did, and reunites with Ziva as a bonus?

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