January 6, 2016 10:33 am

Actor Michael Weatherly leaving ‘NCIS’ after 13 seasons

FILE - In this May 19, 2014 file photo, Michael Weatherly arrives at CBS Television Studios Summer Soiree at The London Hotel, in Los Angeles.

Katy Winn//Invision/AP, File

LOS ANGELES – NCIS star Michael Weatherly says he’s leaving the long-running CBS drama.

Weatherly, who plays Special Agent Tony DiNozzo, has been with NCIS since it debuted in 2003.

In postings on his Twitter account Tuesday, Weatherly thanked the show’s fans worldwide and said NCIS was a “fantastic ride.” He called DiNozzo a wonderful character, one who was fun to play.

In a statement, CBS said Weatherly will leave NCIS at the end of this season. The network said it looked forward to working with Weatherly as part of its ongoing development deal with him.

Mark Harmon stars in the top-rated drama about Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents in Washington. The show is part of a popular franchise for CBS, with other NCIS series set in Los Angeles and New Orleans.

NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Global.

© 2016 The Associated Press

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