TV

Wilmer Valderrama Joins 'NCIS' One Month After Michael Weatherly's Exit

by Philiana Ng 4:02 PM PDT, June 16, 2016
Photo: Getty Images

Wilmer Valderrama is heading to NCIS.

The 36-year-old actor is joining the cast of the long-running drama as a new series regular, the network announced on Thursday, one month after Michael Weatherly said farewell after 13 seasons.

RELATED: 'NCIS' Bids a Bittersweet Farewell to Michael Weatherly -- Plus, a Tony & Ziva Shocker!

Valderrama will play a once grounded NCIS field agent who accepted a deep cover assignment years ago and never resurfaced. Many agents aren’t aware that he’s still on the job or that he’s even alive. With his return, his dedication to his job and country has left him an unpredictable loose cannon.

“Wilmer Valderrama will be able to flex his dramatic, physical and comedic talents in this classic NCIS role,” said executive producer Gary Glasberg. “Fans are going to see him like they’ve never seen him before. This is going to be fun. We’re thrilled he’s coming aboard.”

Valderrama recently starred in Fox’s shortlived sci-fi drama Minority Report and is best known for playing Fez on That’s ‘70s Show. Previous TV credits include Grey’s Anatomy, From Dusk Till Dawn and Awake.

RELATED: 'NCIS' Star Sean Murray on Michael Weatherly's Final Episode: 'People Are Afraid of Change'

Valderamma’s casting comes one month after NCIS bid a bittersweet goodbye to Weatherly and his beloved character, Tony DiNozzo.

Ahead of the finale, Weatherly sat down with ET's Kevin Frazier, saying Tony's farewell "is a very emotional episode but it's also very uplifting.” With NCIS behind him, the 47-year-old actor knew his time on the popular series had neared its end.

"The character had to leave at some point," Weatherly explained. "I should've left years ago, but I was having so much fun I overstayed my welcome horribly -- like that guest who won't leave and keeps digging into your fridge."

RELATED: Michael Weatherly Celebrates 300 Episodes of 'NCIS'

Earlier this month, Valderrama announced in a joint statement with Demi Lovato that they were breaking up after six years.

"After almost 6 loving and wonderful years together, we have decided to end our relationship," their joint statement began. "This was an incredibly difficult decision for both of us, but we have realized more than anything that we are better as best friends.”

NCIS will air Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT this fall on CBS.

For more on Valderrama and Lovato’s recent split, watch the video below.

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