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'NCIS' Stars 'Bracing' for Michael Weatherly's Comeback, Groaning Over Prospect of Actor 'Hogging the Spotlight'

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Aug. 18 2023, Updated 9:34 a.m. ET

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NCIS stars are anticipating the potential comeback of Michael Weatherly, who left the action-packed show in 2016 to prioritize his new goals and spend more time with his children, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Weatherly portrayed NCIS Special Agent Anthony "Tony" DiNozzo in the hit police procedural, and his absence was felt by viewers in the wake of his season 13 departure.

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"It came about at the right time," he said after the finale. "I was burnt out by NCIS and I was ready for a new challenge. Sometimes change is as good as a rest."

The fan-favorite star has since teased that "exciting" things will be happening while telling people to stay tuned, adding fuel to the comeback rumors by sharing a photo of a woman giving him a playful "DiNozzo/Gibbs" head slap in July.

"We keep reading everywhere that you are going back to NCIS, you certainly look ready to play DiNozzo again. Hoping this is a hint & that you are trying to get people 'fired up,'" one social media user resounded. "Glad to see you are doing so well & enjoying life."

Another excited fan chimed in, "I'm taking this as a sign of a possible return."

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Now that he could be slated for a future appearance, "the cast is talking and texting among themselves, and the mood is anything but jubilant," an insider dished about the rumblings among co-stars. "Michael's known as a big ham to some — and a narcissistic egomaniac to others."

Tipsters said Wilmer Valderrama, Sean Murray, and others are looking forward to getting back to work by the fall — if both the writers' and actors' strikes reach a conclusion.

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However, some are groaning over the prospect of Weatherly's return stealing the show. "If bosses want him," then that's what will happen, "just like they'd done in the past."

The tipster said they are aware Weatherly may just be "creating his own hype" but are concerned he could be "setting fans up for disappointment if a return doesn't happen." RadarOnline.com has reached out to CBS for comment.

As we previously reported, word on the street is that Weatherly isn't the only star gunning for a comeback.

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Mark Harmon, who portrayed former U.S. Marine Corps Scout Sniper-turned-special agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, could also be gearing up to return after headlining for 19 seasons.

One source said, "Mark has kept producers waiting and hoping — but he's still on the fence and his indecision is driving everyone nuts. Now Michael's adding to their headaches."

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