Michael Weatherly is a fixture at CBS. He played Anthony DiNozzo on “NCIS” from its premiere in 2003 until 2016, when he left to star in his own CBS series, “Bull.”
It’s that history with the network that Weatherly says makes it difficult to comment on Les Moonves’ resignation earlier this month as chief of CBS amid sexual misconduct allegations.
“Not to get into any of the ifs, ands or buts about what is right or wrong and where it comes from,” Weatherly said in a recent interview. “Professionally I owe a great part of my career to the decision-making of the higher-ups at the company. It’s a complicated place to be.”
Season three of “Bull” premieres Monday at 10 p.m. Eastern. Weatherly plays Jason Bull, a psychologist and trial consultant. The show is based on the early career of Dr. Phil McGraw, who is an executive producer.
Weatherly says he’s learned there’s a leadership role that comes with being first on a call sheet of a TV series.
“It’s been very illuminating and given me a great deal of insight and regard for what Mark Harmon was doing all those years (on ‘NCIS’), when I was like, ‘How come he doesn’t have as much fun as the rest of us?'” he said with a laugh.
“On (‘NCIS’) I was doing a little bit as Steve Martin in every episode and so that kept it very fresh for me for a very long time. But being the central character — I think I found this in season one — you have to limit the range of stuff that you’re doing because otherwise you just look like a crazy person.”
Season two ended with Bull suffering a heart attack on the courthouse steps.
The character is now committed to being healthy, which led Weatherly to improve his own fitness during the show’s hiatus. He lost about 25 pounds but jokes that he’s since “found about eight.”
Weatherly believes the series’ concept keeps it ripe for storytelling.
“As long as human beings remain mysterious and contradictory and paradoxical, I think we will have episodes to explore those ideas.”