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By Michael Ausiello
Departing NCIS star Michael Weatherly is staying in the CBS family, thanks to… Dr. Phil?!
The actor has signed on to play the title role in CBS’ Bull, a drama pilot based on talk show host Phil McGraw’s early days running one of the most prolific trial consulting services of all time. According to the official character description, Weatherly’s “Dr. Bull” — who heads a company that analyzes juries to help develop defense strategies — possesses a physicality, feral intelligence and bruising candor that make him magnetic to women.
McGraw and Paul Attanasio (House) serve as writers/EPs on the potential series, which co-stars Six Feet Under‘s Freddy Rodriguez and Rescue Me‘s Geneva Carr. Rodrigo Garcia (In Treatment, Six Feet Under) will direct the pilot.
Weatherly’s casting comes as he prepares to say goodbye to NCIS, and his character of Tony, after more than a decade. His Bull deal was actually foreshadowed in his formal exit announcement back in January, with CBS saying at the time that it looked forward to “continuing to develop projects” with the actor as part of his “ongoing [CBS] development deal.”