NCIS Star Left the Fan Favorite Role Only to Fail in Another 22% Rated Crime Drama

NCIS Star Left the Fan Favorite Role Only to Fail in Another 22% Rated Crime Drama
Image credit: CBS

It’s not surprising he came back.

With so many very popular procedural TV shows, it seems like a very easy genre to tap into and achieve instant success. Especially if the main character is already known and loved by the audience. Especially if the show airs in prime time on a popular network. And yet, it may not be enough.

There are too many factors that go into making the show successful, and if it's not, it's usually scrapped. The case of CBS' Bull shows just how far a procedural can go by relying on just one actor.

Is Bull Worth Watching?

Bull was a CBS legal procedural drama starring Michael Weatherly, the star of the NCIS franchise, as Dr. Jason Bull, a psychologist who once dreamed of becoming a lawyer but failed the licensing exam twice and had to settle for working with lawyers to solve the toughest cases.

On NCIS, Weatherly portrayed a fan-favorite character, Tony DiNozzo, who had a 13-season run and then was written off. Bull has become a perfect opportunity for the actor to remain just as popular with viewers, but in a leading role. The show was treated as a success by CBS, but the critics as well as the audience had to disagree.

While it managed to survive for 6 seasons, Bull was never a critical success. The first season was trashed on Rotten Tomatoes for being too pretentious, overcomplicated, and an obvious setup for Michael Weatherly to continue his solo career. The season earned a 22% rating, and with that, critics lost interest in the show altogether.

While you might think the audience would have been more receptive given the show's longevity, that wasn't exactly the case either. Bull's overall audience rating is 59%, with many fans turning away from the show after the scandal surrounding Weatherly's co-star Eliza Dushku's claim of sexual assault by him.

As of today, it has been announced that Michael Weatherly will be returning to the NCIS franchise, portraying Tony DiNozzo in a new spinoff, NCIS: Tony & Ziva. But if you want to give Bull a chance until the spinoff comes out, you can stream all 6 seasons on Prime Video or Paramount Plus.