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NCIS star Michael Weatherly left the series after 13 seasons, but was killing off Tony DiNozzo ever considered? Fans will remember DiNozzo’s departure came after a surprising revelation about his personal life. Former showrunner Gary Glasberg felt this was a fitting sendoff for both the character and the fans. In a 2016 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Glasberg shared that he and Weatherly worked together early on to plan a proper farewell.

“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 and his intent for this to be his last season. We started brainstorming right away to handle his exit appropriately, layering in hints and elements from the start of season 13.”

While NCIS has killed off characters before, this fate for DiNozzo was not definite. Glasberg wanted to keep fans guessing, urging them to enjoy the journey rather than worry about the outcome.

“He plays a tremendous part in this last episode. To think I’m necessarily 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 we offer,” Glasberg said. “Tony DiNozzo wouldn’t leave his NCIS family unless something significant happened. We worked hard to present a storyline that felt organic and logical for his departure.”

Michael Weatherly was excited for fans to see DiNozzo’s final season. He advised viewers not to worry too much about his character dying but didn’t completely dismiss the idea.

“Shakespeare and Gary Glasberg love killing people, but it’s more than that,” Weatherly told Parade. “I think you’ll want to watch the episode again because it’s packed with surprising elements. What they came up with for Tony truly surprised me in the end. It was compelling, challenging, and I’m very proud of the last episode.”

In hindsight, it’s fortunate that DiNozzo wasn’t killed off. Both his character and Cote de Pablo’s Ziva David are set to return to the franchise with their own spin-off, indicating that Tony DiNozzo’s NCIS journey is far from over.

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