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NCIS star Michael Weatherly just premiered the sixth season of his CBS legal drama Bull, but one original character was missing in Thursday's (October 7) episode.
Benny Colón (played by Freddy Rodriguez) was nowhere to be seen, though the episode quickly addressed his departure.
"Benny is blissfully happy in Rome, singing 'Mi Amore' to his Italian bride," Marissa (played by Geneva Carr) reminded characters and viewers alike during a karaoke session when someone asked to hear Benny do a Kenny Loggins rendition.
"True love won't be denied," said Weatherly's titular character Bull. Meanwhile, Jaime Lee Kirchner's Danny was baffled that Benny would move to Europe after only knowing the girl for a month.
Rodriguez joined the show right when it started in 2016 and his departure was announced last May following an investigation after several members of the show's writing staff quit at the end of season five.
Among their claims, they accused showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron of "fostering a disrespectful work environment". Caron – according to the allegations – "was callous and often berated the writing staff" (via TVLine).
Caron, it was announced, was also removed from the show and his overall deal with CBS Studios was terminated. The network have declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding the workplace investigation into Rodriguez, while neither Caron nor Rodriguez have released any statements in response to the announcements.
At the end of season five, Benny, who was a former prosecutor and a part of Bull's jury consulting firm TAC, was being courted to run for District Attorney. In the season finale, Benny resigned, only to return to Bull's team once again at the very end.
But according to the premiere's explanation, he must have resigned once more to move to Italy and has left the team for good, with Chunk (Christopher Jackson) taking over his role at TAC.
Rodriguez is also known for his roles as Federico in Six Feet Under and Gio in Ugly Betty.
Bull season 6 airs Thursdays on CBS in the US. The show airs on Fox in the UK but there is currently no release date for the new season.
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