‘NCIS’: Whose Career Has Benefited Most From the Show?

NCIS is now in its seventeenth season and growing strong. The show — picking up A-listers and newbies alike — acts as a springboard for talent on the rise, and a resurgence for talent in need of a little TV exposure. As the most-watched procedural on television, it goes without saying that appearing on NCIS can quickly turn a nobody into a household name. How many people knew Emily Wickersham before NCIS, or Cote de Pablo

NCIS Cast
NCIS Cast | Kevin Lynch/CBS via Getty Images

While many actors have starred on the show — all benefiting in unique ways — has one emerged more triumphant than the others? Has one become more successful as a result of their run in the procedural? When push comes to shove, one actors’ career has, arguably, benefited the most from NCIS. 

While Cote de Pablo and Sean Murray are mainstays in the show, the former left to star in two critical flops before returning home, and the latter has not done much work outside of NCIS. Pauley Perrette will star in a new show; however, she has yet to leave an imprint unconnected to Abby Sciuto.

Mark Harmon may be the show’s main appeal, yet he does not have plans to break away from the show anytime soon and — unlikely many of the others — established a successful film and television career prior to his time in Jag and NCIS. 

Mark Harmon starred in St. Elsewhere, The West Wing, and Chicago Hope before becoming Agent Gibbs; thus, he loses his shot at this award when accounting for the show’s ability to catalyze a career. As for the famous guest stars, most would argue that they solidified their presence and relevance to Hollywood way before their turns in NCIS. In the end, the award goes to Michael Weatherly.

Why Michael Weatherly has benefited the most from ‘NCIS’

Before NCIS, Michael Weatherly starred opposite Jessica Alba in Dark Angel — which only managed to stay on the air for two seasons (2000 – 2002). Weatherly also had a role in Significant Others, which premiered to poor critical and audience reviews. However, when NCIS came along, Michael Weatherly’s career surged. 

Michael Weatherly embodied Agent DiNozzo perfectly, likely because he’s quite the jokester in real life, and his character was known for wisecracks and sly comments in the series. Michael Weatherly became a household name with NCIS — a character so greatly admired that the show lost an average of two million viewers the season after he left! 

Not to mention, CBS recognized and valued his star-power, giving the actor the lead role in his own show, Bull (which is still airing). The show is currently in its fourth season, and it has proved quite successful. Michael Weatherly went from a supporting actor to a leading man on TV. 

Michael Weatherly boasts an estimated net worth of $45 million, and he makes approximately $10 million per year, according to Celebrity Net Worth. While other NCIS actors have made major impacts on the show, he retained his impact and carried it over into another series. He became a leading man, and now boasts a net worth no one would scoff at.