It Sounds Like Michael Weatherly May Have Been Thinking About A Return To The NCIS Universe When Bull Was Still On The Air

 Michael Weatherly as Anthony DiNozzo on NCIS.
Michael Weatherly as Anthony DiNozzo on NCIS.

As NCIS approaches 1,000 episodes, two more spinoffs are on the way, including one about Tony and Ziva. The former NCIS Special Agents are adored by fans, and Michael Weatherly has done his fair share of teasing over the years about Tiva’s long-awaited return. After Weatherly made a surprise cameo in the Ducky tribute episode, it didn’t take long for Paramount+ to announce the new Tiva spinoff. Now, it's been revealed that the actor had been thinking about coming back to NCIS while he was still making Bull. 

While Weatherly departed NCIS in the Season 13 finale after starring as Tony DiNozzo since the beginning, he was still on his home network of CBS, starring in Bull. It would have been hard for him to return to NCIS while doing his own series, and after Bull ended, there was hope Tony would make an appearance. Now, CBS Studios President David Stapf told Deadline that both Weatherly and Cote de Pablo had been talking about returning to the NCIS universe while the DiNozzo actor was still on Bull:

They had started talking about it before, somewhere after they had both left NCIS. Put yourself in their shoes. They’re constantly getting hit up by fans as to, oh my god, I miss you. When are you going to be back together, what happened to your child and all that stuff. And so, again, I keep saying it but there was an organic reason for this show to exist, it was almost like a fan demand for it.

Since Weatherly is no stranger to teasing Tiva reunions and has been doing it for quite some time, hearing that he and de Pablo have been cooking something up for a while makes sense. It’s likely that it hasn’t all been a continuous thought, especially since Weatherly was working on Bull for seven seasons. However, it sounds like this Tiva series was long in the making, and it’s finally happening.

With two NCIS spinoffs coming, only the Tiva series will be heading to Paramount+ while NCIS: Origins will be joining the mothership NCIS, NCIS: Hawai’i, and a newly-renewed NCIS: Sydney on CBS. Network executive George Cheeks explained that the new spinoff “felt more like a serialized streaming show,” which does make sense. With 10 episodes, the series will follow Tony and Ziva on the run across Europe, and it sounds like they want to structure it as one big story rather than a crime of the week. Plus, episodes can be longer as well, which will surely help in the long run.

Michael Weatherly recently returned to NCIS for the first time since his departure, and the secrecy behind his surprise cameo was almost like a spy mission. Meanwhile, Cote de Pablo returned in Season 16 and had a multi-episode arc in Season 17, revealing that Ziva was still alive. The duo last appeared on-screen together in Season 11, meaning that it has been a long time since Tiva was around, but the wait will surely be worth it.

As of now, a set premiere date for the untitled Tiva spinoff has yet to be released, but filming is expected to start sometime this summer. Hopefully, more details will be announced soon, but Paramount+ subscribers should prepare themselves by rewatching their favorite NCIS episodes.