Michael Weatherly: ‘I Hope’ I’m on ‘NCIS’ Again

Now that we know Cote de Pablo will appear on at least two episodes of NCIS’ season 17 to play out Ziva’s warming to Gibbs, fans are naturally wondering if Michael Weatherly can come back too. 

The answer to that is definitely – maybe.

Michael Weatherly from NCIS
Michael Weatherly from NCIS | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

Weatherly said in a very brief video interview that he hopes he can go back on the show – although whether he actually will is anybody’s guess.

What happened to Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo?

Like Cote de Pablo, who plays Ziva, Weatherly departed NCIS after being there for several seasons, and his departure turned out to be as dramatic as hers, albeit in a very different way. 

De Pablo appeared on the show from seasons 3 to 11, playing a Mossad agent who becomes the partner and lover of Tony DiNozzo, played by Weatherly. They were one of the most well-liked couples on TV, exuding great chemistry even in interviews promoting the show. However, de Pablo grew unsatisfied with the direction the show was taking her character, so she left in 2013. The show initially said Ziva died in an offscreen mortar attack, but this turned out to be a cover story so she could go in hiding to protect the family she had with Tony. She returned in dramatic fashion in the season 16 finale, warning Gibbs (Mark Harmon) that he was in danger. 

Weatherly had been one of the charter cast members of the show, and he stayed longer than de Pablo, departing in 2016 and moving on to the legal drama Bull. However, Weatherly got in trouble in real life after former Bull co-star Eliza Dushku accused him of sexual harassment. CBS paid her $9.5 million, while Weatherly apologized and got to stay on the show, although he had to take leadership training

Could Weatherly return to ‘NCIS’?

Since Weatherly and de Pablo’s characters were so closely tied together, NCIS fans naturally wondered if de Pablo could come back, maybe Weatherly could as well. Weatherly deleted his social media accounts after the sexual harassment controversy, but he gave a very short interview on Twitter 

“This is pretty much going to be the only interview that I give this year. So you got any questions for me,” he asks two women. One of them asks “Will you be on NCIS again?” 

Weatherly raises his eyebrows to the camera and says “Well! Will I be on NCIS again? I hope so! How’s that for an answer?” 

Notice that Weatherly said he hopes so. He didn’t say he would be. Of course, if he was going to be, he would probably be obliged to keep it a secret. And in that event, he probably wouldn’t even offer a tease. So fans probably shouldn’t get their hopes up. 

De Pablo has only been confirmed for a couple of episodes

Getting de Pablo back on the show involved quite a bit of legwork. The script pages were given only to the people who needed them, while the other cast members filmed what they thought was the ending. Then de Pablo entered the studio lot through a back entrance, and she and Mark Harmon shot the scene with a skeleton crew after the other cast and crew left for the day.  

The show has since confirmed that de Pablo will be back for two episodes to play out her storyline. The general consensus seems to be that de Pablo will not be a series regular again. 

As for Weatherly, only time will tell. One fan on Twitter said, “Oh my gosh his facial expression! He’s definitely coming back!!! It’s like he just wants us fans to have some kind of a hint!” But another said, “Michael has ALWAYS been the spin-master when giving interviews. Never quite certain when he’s serious or when he’s joking”