‘NCIS’: Michael Weatherly May Not Be Permitted to Return

Ever since Cote de Pablo appeared in the season finale of NCISreturning to her career-catalyzing role as the former Mossad Agent Ziva David — one question has been lingering across fans’ minds: Will Michael Weatherly reprise his role as Tony DiNozzo across from his former love interest? 

While on NCIS, Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo boasted one of TV’s most famous slow-boiling romances as Tony DiNozzo and Ziva David respectively. Eventually coined “Tiva,” the duo’s relationship was fraught with equal parts heart and humor. 

Former 'NCIS' star Michael Weatherly
Former ‘NCIS’ star Michael Weatherly | Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic

Though Michael Weatherly’s return (at least in the form of a small cameo) may make sense narratively (and in terms of the show’s relationship dynamics), he may not be wanted on the NCIS set as the moment.

Given Michael Weatherly’s current public image and CBS President Kelly Kahl’s recent statements concerning Bull’s renewal, Michael Weatherly may not be permitted to return to NCIS, even if he wants to.

The drama surrounding Michael Weatherly — and CBS President Kahl’s recent insensitivities concerning his actions — could negatively affect the network’s top-rated show 

According to TV Guide, Eliza Dushku’s harassment allegations against Michael Weatherly included a “documented incident involving Weatherly asking her to visit his ‘rape van,’ filled with all sorts of lubricants and long phallic things as well as mocking his own prior sexual harassment training by shouting the words ‘yellow card.’” 

CBS has been forced to defend its renewal of Bull once again. However, this time, the CBS president may not have considered the ramifications her financially-driven justifications would inspire. 

CBS President Kahl told reporters at the Television Critics Association that the decision to renew the show came down to, in some part, the show’s continued success despite the harassment allegations. Kahl stated:

“It’s a show that does very well. It’s a very popular show. More than 10 million people watch every week. Michael is loved by our audience and even after these allegations came out people continued to watch…”It’s a popular show that we want to keep on the air. And it’s a very good show as well.”

TV Guide 

While we all know the showbiz industry’s predominant focus is on money, Kahl blatantly disregarded the severity of Weatherly’s actions by focusing on the show’s continued success. Kahl virtually argues that because people kept watching, the network didn’t feel the need to stand up against such inappropriate workplace behavior and hold Weatherly responsible for his blatant sexual harassment.  

These statements and Weatherly’s actions have been met with such backlash that a severe drop in Bull’s upcoming season’s ratings is expected. 

Why ‘NCIS’ showrunners would likely prevent Michael Weatherly’s return

Bringing Michael Weatherly back to NCIS, while the network is under fire for his actions would not be wise. First off, fans will see this as a plea for forgiveness, as he returns to a lovable role, in an attempt to escape the new predatorial image he has created. The obvious MO: Tony DiNozzo was lovable, and so is Michael Weatherly, remember? 

If Michael Weatherly returns to NCIS, the network will risk complaints from its fanbase, which, with Cote de Pablo’s return, would only diminish all the hype the season sixteen finale built. When it comes to Michael Weatherly, don’t expect the NCIS showrunners to hold the door open for his reentrance.