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Michael Weatherly to 'raise the bar' as current NCIS cast sign on for Season 12

Michael Weatherly tells what the future may hold for Tony DINozzo, signs new contract for NCIS
Michael Weatherly tells what the future may hold for Tony DINozzo, signs new contract for NCIS
Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2014 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

CBS successfully negotiated terms with the NCIS cast for a Season 12 return. Five regular season cast members whose contracts had expired have agreed to come back next season, as reported by Matt Mitovich at TVLine.com earlier today, May 5.

According to Mitovich, Pauley Perrette, Sean Murray, Rocky Carroll and David McCallum all have fully executed agreements in place. Michael Weatherly's agreement is "due to close imminently." The remaining cast members, Mark Harmon, Brian Dietzen and Emily Wickersham are on a different renewal schedule and were already set for the upcoming season.

Earlier today, Mitovich also published a two page interview with Weatherly on TVLine.com, in which the NCIS star discusses a variety of topics: from his upcoming episode 'The Admiral's Daughter', to the season finale, training for an upcoming triathalon, and where he sees his character Tony DiNozzo in the future.

Weatherly describes 'The Admiral's Daughter' (set to air on May 6th) as "Charade-style, 'Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn on the run' sort of way...very funny and light, with some nice twists." Weatherly's character is sent to Marseilles, France to bring home a VIP's wayward daughter.

"It’s my favorite episode in a long time, one where I actually got to do some other things. I think the audience will really like it." - Michael Weatherly on 'The Admiral's Daughter' episode.

Weatherly also touched on the season finale ('Honor Thy Father', airing May 13) that pays tribute to the late actor who had been part of the NCIS family since season 6's 'Heartland'.

"I’m very honored to be part of this show and this group of people that would make such a nice send-off, to a guy who really deserves it." - Michael Weatherly on memorializing Ralph Waite's character in the season finale.

Read the full TVLine.com interview - Weatherly provides candid, insightful comments to Mitovich's thoughtful questions, and both men are refreshingly serious about the topics covered.

Michael Weatherly closes the interview with his intentions for next season, "...my promise to you is that we will make some excellent NCIS in Season 12...I’m going to raise the bar."

Without reading too much into his words, Weatherly sounds very invested in the future of NCIS - perhaps indicating his new contract offers him greater involvement in series production going forward.

Are you relieved that the NCIS cast members have signed for next season? What did you think of Michael Weatherly's interview on TVLine.com? Comment below!

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©Pat Ryder, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this article may be reproduced without prior written permission and consent from the author or AXS Digital Group LLC, DBA Examiner.com.