Former NCIS star Michael Weatherly has his reasons for taking the lead role in CBS new drama Bull and leaving NCIS.

The actor admitted that he is comfortable playing the fan-favorite NCIS character, Special Agent Tony DiNozzo for so long.

Weatherly confessed that when he started preparing for his Bull role, he was wondering if he can able to leave Tony DiNozzo behind. He admitted that at the time he was not sure how to build a new character. The actor said he then drew inspiration from House’s lead character played by actor Hugh Laurie, as well as Marcelo Mastriani’s character in 8 ½.

Weatherly also admitted that when he first decided to leave NCIS, he was just looking for a change. “I just want to have a different experience. And NCIS wasn’t the place for that. I was really just looking for a change, and I didn’t know exactly what that would be,” Weatherly told TVGuide. The actor added he never thought that his next project would be another full hour drama.

When Bull came along, the actor said he was drawn to its compelling story. Weatherly added that he consulted actor Robert Wagner, who played DiNozzo’s dad on NCIS, about the new show.

Watch the Bull trailer below.

In Bull, Weatherly will play the role of Dr. Jason Bull, the founder of a successful trial consulting firm. The character was inspired by talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw during his days as the head of a consulting service.

The series is written and produced by Dr. McGraw himself along with House co-creator Paul Attanasio.

The new CBS show also stars Freddy Rodriguez (Six Feet Under, The Night Shift), Christopher Jackson (Hamilton), Geneva Carr (Hand to God), Jaime Lee Kirchner (The Mob Doctor) and Annabelle Attanasio (The Knicks).

Bull Season 1 will premiere on Tuesday (Sept. 20) at 9/8c on CBS.