‘NCIS’: Showrunner Once Explained Why Michael Weatherly’s Tony DiNozzo Wasn’t Killed off

<p id=”par-1_32″><em><a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/tag/ncis/”>NCIS</a> </em>star Michael Weatherly <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/michael-weatherly-knew-time-leave-ncis-no-2-long.html/”>left the series after 13 seasons</a> being on the long-running procedural. And although his character rode off to the sunset, was killing Tony DiNozzo ever on the table?</p>

<h2 class=”wp-block-heading” id=”h-how-close-was-ncis-showrunner-to-killing-off-tony-dinozzo”>How close was ‘NCIS’ showrunner to killing off Tony DiNozzo</h2>

<figure class=”wp-block-image size-full” id=”emb-1″><img decoding=”async” loading=”lazy” width=”1200″ height=”800″ src=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/NCIS-Michael-Weatherly.jpg?strip=all&quality=89″ alt=”Michael Weatherly posing in a suit in an episode of ‘NCIS’.” class=”wp-image-3672205″><figcaption class=”wp-element-caption”>Michael Weatherly | Sonja Flemming/Getty Images</figcaption></figure>

<p id=”par-2_63″>Fans of the show may remember that Weatherly’s DiNozzo left after a startling discovery regarding his personal life. It was a sendoff that <em>NCIS </em>showrunner at the time, Gary Glasberg, thought was appropriate for both the character and the fans. In a 2016 interview with <a href=”https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv/tv-news/ncis-michael-weatherly-exit-killed-886349/”>The Hollywood Reporter</a>, Glasberg revealed that he collaborated with Weatherly early to brainstorm a proper farewell for him.</p>

<p id=”par-3_101″>“We’ve been talking about this for a long time; from the beginning of the season,” Glasberg said. “I had a sense of what Michael was planning on doing and his intent for this to be his last season of the show and I told him very early on when we started to have conversations right away that this had to be handled in a way that we all felt was appropriate. We started talking story and arcing things out through the season and layering in bits and pieces and cookies and things along the way at the beginning of season 13.”</p>

<p id=”par-4_48″>It was mentioned that <em>NCIS </em>has been known to <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/ncis-actor-unhappy-killed-off-creators-said.html/”>kill off a few characters</a> before. It was a fate that could’ve also been in store for DiNozzo. Glasberg didn’t spoil the character’s ending for fans, but he didn’t want the audience to dwell on that possibility back then.</p>

<p id=”par-5_47″>“He plays a tremendous part in this last episode so to necessarily think that I’m killing him off may not be the case. I urge people to go along for the ride. I think they’ll be pleased with what he does and what we offer,” Glasberg said.</p>

<p id=”par-6_95″>“That’s something that we’ve done with Michael’s character: How can we best present a storyline that handles this appropriately? Tony DiNozzo wouldn’t leave his <em>NCIS</em> family unless something really significant was presented to him,” Glasberg added. “That’s one of the things that we’ve been talking about for months and ultimately landed on in order to make this work. Again, you have to look at the character, the way they fit in with the rest of the group and try to really come up with something that’s organic and logical for why the character would depart.”</p>

<h2 class=”wp-block-heading” id=”h-how-michael-weatherly-felt-about-his-ncis-sendoff”>How Michael Weatherly felt about his ‘NCIS’ sendoff?</h2>

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<iframe loading=”lazy” title=”NCIS Cast Answers Tweets” width=”925″ height=”694″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/wPGcN260dRI?feature=oembed” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share” referrerpolicy=”strict-origin-when-cross-origin” allowfullscreen></iframe>

<p id=”par-7_38″>Weatherly was excited for fans to see what would happen to his character in his last season. Like Glasberg, he also cautioned fans to not be too worried about DiNozzo dying. But he didn’t rule out the possibility.</p>

<p id=”par-8_54″>“Shakespeare and Gary Glasberg love killing people, but I think it’s more than that,” Weatherly once told <a href=”https://parade.com/477860/paulettecohn/interview-ncis-michael-weatherly-says-an-emotional-goodbye-to-tony-dinozzo/”>Parade</a>. “I think that I would almost say that you’re going to finish the episode and then go back and watch it again, because it’s one of those old-fashioned, pistachio-style episodes, where you can’t just eat one, you know?”</p>

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<iframe loading=”lazy” title=”NCIS Producers on Tony Cameo, Why It Wasn’t Gibbs for Ducky Tribute” width=”925″ height=”520″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/qUyT-iuMcsw?feature=oembed” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share” referrerpolicy=”strict-origin-when-cross-origin” allowfullscreen></iframe>

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<p id=”par-9_15″>But what they came up with for the character surprised even Weatherly in the end.</p>

<p id=”par-10_64″>“I think that Wednesday morning, people will, hopefully say, ‘Holy s***, did you see that scene?!’ Because I really feel I was able to explore something in that character’s experience that truly surprised me. It was very compelling and challenging and exciting and I’m very proud of the last episode and the work that everyone did. It was just a very surprising moment,” Weatherly said.</p>

<p id=”par-11_45″>It was a good thing that Weatherly’s DiNozzo wasn’t killed off in hindsight. Both his character and Cote de Pablo’s Ziva David are set to <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/michael-weatherly-cote-de-pablo-return-ncis-universe-new-streaming-spinoff.html/”>return to the franchise</a> with their own spin-off. With that, it seems Tony DiNozzo’s <em>NCIS </em>journey is far from over.</p>

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