March 23, 2017
In this week's edition:
• Michael Weatherly
In the news
Over the past week, it was announced that Ofcom will investigate the proposed combination of Sky and 21st Century Fox. MTG is selling its free-TV, pay-TV, digital and radio businesses in the Baltic region to Providence Equity Partners, while all3media is investing in David Nath and Peter Beard’s new production company Story Films. Orange’s OCS service will become the exclusive home for HBO programs in France, as part of a new multiyear pact between the two outfits. Across the pond, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge reinstated Scott and Deirdre Gurney as heads of Gurney Productions (Duck Dynasty), the company that they founded and ran until a recent legal spat with ITV America. Also in the U.S., Dave Watson was named president and CEO of Comcast Cable, with Neil Smit moving into a new position as vice chairman of Comcast Corporation, effective April 1.
By Anna Carugati
For 13 seasons on NCIS, Michael Weatherly was known to viewers around the world as Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo, the handsome, confident, street-smart, skilled, wisecracking, movie-loving agent who fought crime for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. When word leaked early last year that Weatherly had decided to leave NCIS, fans were bereft. But Weatherly understood his responsibility to the show and worked with the writers to craft a fitting exit for DiNozzo. Though fans were hoping that they would see Weatherly reprise DiNozzo in guest appearances on NCIS, it was announced that he would be the lead in a new show, Bull, about an intriguing, somewhat aloof, yet highly effective, trial consultant. Airing on CBS right after NCIS, Bull is one of the highest-rated new shows this season. Weatherly talks about creating this new character, his gratitude to CBS and his continued affection for NCIS.
WS: How did Bull come about and at what point did you become involved in the project?
WEATHERLY: I had made the decision to leave NCIS, and I was concentrating on developing a few things and squaring myself with the NCIS experience, making sure that [DiNozzo’s story] was resolved correctly. Another CBS drama was the last thing on my mind! Having said all that, I got a phone call about the script, which I read over a weekend in January 2016. I thought it was different than the police procedural stuff that I had done before. I loved the psychological aspect, and I loved who was involved in the show: Rodrigo García, who did In Treatment at HBO, Paul Attanasio, who played a very big role in bringing the TV show House to the world, and Steven Spielberg—we don’t have to say anything more about him! The really wild part of it was Dr. Phil McGraw, whom I had met before; I understood that he was an extremely interesting guy with a background in trial consultation and analysis. He had worked with Oprah and many other people and companies. I talked to my manager, and he said, This probably won’t happen, but let’s go through the motions. Lo and behold, within a very short period, I found myself on a set in New York City playing a guy named Bull, while I was still shooting NCIS. I was flying back every weekend to see my kids, and it’s really been a whirlwind since the end of NCIS and the beginning of Bull. I’m so excited that Bull has sold to over 200 territories and is going to get sampled by a huge number of people, and I hope they like it.
Bull is a show about human behavior as it pertains to jury selection, but it also asks, What’s the judge thinking? What are the witnesses thinking? In an election year like the one we’ve had, not just with the Trumpness but with the Brexit and what is happening all around the world, it seemed to be the right time for a show about human behavior.
This interview continues here.
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