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Michael Weatherly just ended his six-season run on the CBS legal drama Bull. Now, fans are wondering if he will return to NCIS as Very Special Agent Tony DiNozzo. Weatherly has teased his possible return to the long-running CBS procedural ever since he left in 2016. But now, he’s not the only NCIS star who is hinting at Tony’s possible return.

Michael Weatherly as Agent Tony DiNozzo on the set of NCIS
‘NCIS’ star Michael Weatherly | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

Michael Weatherly has teased his ‘NCIS’ return for years

After playing DiNozzo for 13 seasons and more than 300 episodes — plus the exit of Cote de Pablo’s Ziva David — Weatherly announced his decision to leave NCIS. But in his exit statement that was released before his finale episode aired, Weatherly told reporters that he would always be open to returning in the future.

“I would absolutely be open to anything and everything – including things that no one’s even thought of yet,” Weatherly told People Magazine at the time.

A year later, Weatherly said during an interview that he would “never rule anything out” when it came to NCIS. He explained that he loves the show and the DiNozzo character, and he misses his friends.

He’s not the only one teasing Tony DiNozzo’s possible return

In 2018, the actor echoed that same sentiment when he tweeted, “I will always be ready to play DiNozzo when the time is right.”

When de Pablo returned for a four-episode arc in season 17, Weatherly once again teased his possible return on social media. And, it didn’t stop there. The actor has regularly posted throwback pics and magazine covers from his time at NCIS. He’s even shared photos where he looks like he’s on the NCIS set.

Sean Murray — who has played Agent Tim McGee since season 1 — recently told Parade that he and Weatherly have talked about DiNozzo’s return on numerous occasions.

“I talk to Michael all the time, so we joke about that possibility sometimes,” Murray shared.

NCIS executive producer Steven D. Binder has also discussed the possible return of Weatherly. Per Newsweek, after the NCIS Season 19 finale Binder shared his thoughts about a DiNozzo return by saying, “I absolutely would love to do something like that.”

When will Tony DiNozzo return to ‘NCIS’?

Binder also made it sound like it’s just a matter of time until fans see DiNozzo back in Washington DC. The question really isn’t “if” but “when.”

He continued, “The last conversation I had with him was that he’s going to take some time off and rest because he went from a very difficult schedule on NCIS to headlining his own show for six years, through COVID, but I can say that I consider him a friend, so it’s not a difficult conversation to have with him. It’s just a question of whether or not it works out.”


Michael Weatherly Had a Pretty Successful Career Before ‘NCIS’

That answer seems to indicate that season 20 won’t be when NCIS fans see the return of Tony DiNozzo. However, after Weatherly gets a little break, the chances of his return “working out” seem to be pretty strong.

NCIS Season 20 premieres Monday, September 19 on CBS.