Michael Weatherly, known for his role as Tony DiNozzo on “NCIS,” left the show at the end of its 13th season in 2016. Initially, no reason was given for his departure, but later explanations revealed a mix of personal and professional motivations.

As one of the original cast members, Weatherly cited fatigue and a desire for new challenges as his main reasons for leaving. At a Television Critics Association event, he announced his new legal drama “Bull,” stating that he felt his time on “NCIS” had come full circle and that he was ready for a change. The lengthy working hours, which fellow actor Sean Murray estimated as averaging 12 hours per day, also influenced his decision.

Interestingly, Weatherly’s departure was also romantically motivated, tied to the storyline of his character and Ziva David, played by Cote de Pablo. Their on-screen chemistry and evolving relationship were central to the series. De Pablo left the show in season 11, and her character’s exit had a significant impact on Weatherly. He noted that without their dynamic, he felt out of sync and eventually decided he had stayed on the show too long.

Weatherly also wanted to spend more time with his family, which included his wife, Bojana Jankovic, and their children. Despite quitting “NCIS,” he hinted at a possible on-screen reunion with de Pablo, especially following her character’s unexpected comeback to the show.

Weatherly’s exit was not the only notable departure. Pauley Perrette left due to conflicts on set, Sasha Alexander found the schedule too grueling, and Cote de Pablo felt her character wasn’t given enough respect. Each actor had their unique reasons, reflecting the demanding nature of the show.

Fans of Weatherly and the DiNozzo-Ziva relationship remain optimistic about future appearances, encouraged by Weatherly’s enticing social media messages. Until then, his departure from “NCIS” stands out as one of the more romantic exits.

By chrysos