Michael Weatherly to Stay With 'NCIS'
Contract negotiations may be coming to an end as Michael Weatherly is the latest 'NCIS' star to confirm he'll be returning to the show for its eighth season.
According to the Ausiello Files Weatherly, who has played Anthony DiNozzo since the beginning, has signed a multi-year deal to stay with the show. His and many other cast members' contracts expired at the end of the seventh season, and negotiations have been ongoing after they reportedly turned down CBS's original pay offer.
It's been rumored that some of the actors were making less than $100,000 per episode, which is considered low for the stars of a successful show in its seventh season.
Originally a spin-off from 'JAG,' 'NCIS' follows a fictional team of agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service as they investigate criminal cases involving the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Ratings have consistently climbed since the show debuted on CBS in 2003, and it reached the Top Ten in its fifth season. The second episode of the seventh season ('Reunion') gave the show its highest ratings ever.
Mark Harmon (Jethro Gibbs) -- who is also a producer on the show -- and Cote de Pablo (Ziva David) already had deals in place before the end of the seventh season, with Harmon reportedly pocketing around $350,000 per episode. Although speculation had been rife that several key cast members would not be returning for the upcoming eighth season, David McCallum (Ducky), Rocky Carroll (Director Vance) and Pauley Perrette (Abby) have all signed multi-year deals with CBS in recent weeks.
The only cast member who hasn't yet wrapped up a deal is Sean Murray (McGee). He was made a regular on the series in the second season after appearing as a recurring character in the debut season.
The eighth season of 'NCIS' is due to begin airing Tuesdays at 8PM ET, beginning this fall.