Michael Weatherly Optimistic About NCIS Return

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Michael Weatherly is all but certain he's coming back for an eighth season of NCIS, which is certainly terrific news for fans of Tiva or just DiNozzo's wisecracking.

Amid contract negotiations, the actor tells TV Guide Magazine exclusively that he's "extremely optimistic" he'll return to CBS' top-rated drama NCIS next season.

"I'm very excited to come back," says Weatherly. "I have the best job on television and the best character. I have an extremely talented team of folks that I've been working with for a long time who are in negotiations. It's ongoing, but I'm extremely positive."

"Optimism reigns supreme."

Tony or Hef?

Michael Weatherly will be back. Hopefully the Hefner-esque robe won't be.

Another good sign: Michael says CBS has already invited him to attend the unveiling of their fall schedule to advertisers later this month at the annual upfronts.

"They bought me a ticket" to fly into New York for the press event, he says, so it stands to reason he'll be part of the NCIS cast in the fall. We hope it remains intact.

Yesterday, we reported that David McCallum will return to the show, leaving Sean Murray and Pauley Perrette as the only cast members whose status is unclear.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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NCIS Quotes

McGee: All right. Well you should probably know that Abby and I used to date?
Bishop: Ew. Like, each other?
McGee: Yeah.
Bishop: Wait - isn't that a violation of rule 12, never date a....
McGee: It was a long time ago. After we'd broken up, one night I went to her lab. Found a scribbled piece paper; a list. Potential boyfriends had to fulfill certain conditions by a pre-arranged date or else, goodbye.
Bishop: Such as.
McGee: Things started off relatively normal: opening the door for her, flowers, putting the seat down. Then around number 8, it gets uh...
Bishop: What?
McGee: Does she know you have these?
Bishop: Does she know you have these?
McGee: Yeah she wasn't happy when she found out.
Bishop: These are all very specific.
McGee: Yeah.
Bishop: These ideas apply to you?
McGee: No those rules weren't in place when we were together. At least I don't think so.
Bishop: What's with the two month cutoff? Abby's sabotaging herself. I've seen stuff like this before. We have to talk to her.

Palmer: I take it you heard?
Gibbs: Mmm hmm.
Palmer: Yeah, she saw the baby and just....I guess she felt the same way we felt when we first saw him. Can't fault her for that, right?
Gibbs: You should go home.
Palmer: I will. Yeah Breena and I, we just wanted to get all this stuff out of the house. You know, we wanted to give it back as soon as possible.
Gibbs: We.
Palmer: Me. She's hurting too, but she is so much stronger. She's ready to try again. And me - I feel like I can't breathe. I never felt this bad in my life, Gibbs.
Gibbs: Well, just wait until it's 3:00 in the morning, and your kid's running 104. You're just getting started.
Palmer: That's the point. I'm not starting, you know? Maybe I never will.
Gibbs: Well then fight for it, Palmer! That's what you do. You fight for your family. And sometimes, you fight like hell just to have one.
Palmer: You want me to fight, I feel like I just went ten rounds with Joe Louis.
Gibbs: Do you want to be a dad, Palmer? Because right now, this is being a dad.
Palmer: Maybe I'm not ready.
Gibbs: You wouldn't feel the way you feel, right now, if you weren't ready.