NCIS Season 13 – Michael Weatherly talks exit, character’s development, and moving on

When did Michael Weatherly decide to leave “NCIS“? It does not necessarily appear as though the actor woke up one day and realized that it was time; instead, it seems to have been more of a gradual process that came about over the course of the past couple of years.

In previewing his final two episodes in a new interview with USA Today, Weatherly specifically cited the exit of Cote de Pablo early on in season 11 as a time when the trajectory of Anthony DiNozzo started to stall:

“I felt that the character had come to a cul-de-sac development-wise, and I was really wildly flailing around, searching if there was some other way to do it. And I know that all the writers, who are incredible, very talented, and creative people, were searching … I think while other characters rose and grew and expanded, I think it became clear not just to me that DiNozzo maybe had sort of filled out to the point that he needed to go on his next adventure.”