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How Bull's Ending Could Bring DiNozzo Back To The NCIS Fold

NCIS Special Agent in Charge Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) has had a revolving door of memorable colleagues on "NCIS." However, there are probably few as fondly remembered by fans as (Very) Special Agent Anthony "Tony" DiNozzo. Portrayed by Michael Weatherly, the character made a lasting impression on fans due to his quippy banter, romantic entanglements, and surprisingly impressive skills out in the field. DiNozzo could add some humorous brevity during the serious moments, but he was also capable of dramatically captivating audiences whenever the story centered on him. Of course, the success of that particular trait is also a testament to the acting chops of Weatherly, who surprisingly even shaped the character's backstory.

Fans were saddened when Weatherly departed "NCIS" at the end of Season 13, but in doing so, the actor stepped up as a leading man for the CBS legal drama "Bull." In his second CBS series, Weatherly played Dr. Jason Bull, a psychiatrist and trial expert. In its early years, "Bull" served as a consistent hit for CBS (via TV Ratings Guide), but the network decided in 2022 that its sixth season would be the last. As "Bull" aired its series finale in late May 2022, "NCIS" fans couldn't help but ask one crucial question: does the end of "Bull" mean that a DiNozzo return is on the horizon?

It all depends on Weatherly

Not only are fans keen on the idea of DiNozzo returning, but so is "NCIS" producer Steven D. Binder. As Binder told TV Insider, he and Weatherly have discussed the actor reappearing on "NCIS" for quite some time. "I absolutely would love to do something like that," Binder said. "That's going to depend on Michael Weatherly. He and I have talked over the years about it, and he was always on 'Bull,' and [since] he was on 'Bull,' it just seemed weird and not right."

With Weatherly now freed up from his obligations for "Bull," the door is wide open for the actor to rejoin his old "NCIS" team. Still, it appears that Weatherly isn't exactly in any hurry to come rushing back to his old series, or any show for that matter. In the TV Insider interview, Binder continued to note that Weatherly was taking some much-deserved rest. Per his official Twitter, with "Bull" finishing, Weatherly seemed to also be in a mode of reflection on his impressive career. Still, he also took a moment to subtly tease the possibility of someday returning to that DiNozzo role. So, we'll still have to wait and see.

Could we see the old team back together for a case?

Even if DiNozzo only returns to "NCIS" for a brief stay, he'll likely have to adjust to a completely different team. At the end of Season 13, the Major Case Response Team is populated by Gibbs, Timothy McGee (Sean Murray), Eleanor Bishop (Emily Wickersham), Clayton Reeves (Duane Henry), and Tess Monroe (Sarah Clarke). Additionally, autopsies are led by Donald "Ducky" Mallard (David McCallum) and forensics are handled by Abigail Sciuto (Pauley Perrette). All these years later, McGee is the only character who remains in a similar position (although, he now occupies Tony's desk).

Of course, it isn't out of the question that an appearance by DiNozzo could also mark a surprise reunion that includes other fan favorites. In 2022, Murray told Parade Magazine that Harmon hasn't exactly left the series because he still appears on set as a producer. Interestingly, this fact has Murray convinced that we'll see Gibbs appear again in the series. "It's not like he's packed up and left town or anything," Murray said. "I'm not saying this just to say it for a tease and all that BS, I really, truly believe that the Gibbs could pop up somewhere."

What better reason for Gibbs to pop up again than a DiNozzo return? And, if DiNozzo and Gibbs ever come back, wouldn't it be the perfect time to bring back one more beloved former cast member? After being thought dead, Ziva (Cote de Pablo) makes a surprise return in Season 16, before once again departing at the start of Season 17. The last time she appears, she returns to DiNozzo and their daughter in Paris offscreen. Thus, it would only make sense for all three to appear again and for writers to finally give fans an on-screen appearance of the couple officially together.