CBS recently announced it has renewed popular crime drama NCIS for a 17th season. Not many shows on TV make it to its 10th season, let alone 17th, so the fact that NCIS has been renewed yet again means that the people behind it must be doing something right. So why is NCIS so popular that it was green-lit for another season? Let’s explore what we know about the series below.
‘NCIS’ has been on the air since 2003
NCIS first premiered in September 2003. It started out as a spin-off to the show JAG, which was a legal drama about military criminal cases, but has since evolved into its own distinct series.
For more than 15 years, NCIS has been following members of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service team as they track down hard-hitting criminals and tackle complex problems involving the Navy and the Marine Corps. The show also delves into the lives of its characters and the many issues they face outside of their work.
Aside from being one of CBS’ most successful scripted dramas and regularly attracting millions of viewers every week, NCIS has done well on syndication. It is actually the second-most watched syndicated show, following behind only The Big Bang Theory.
Fans find the plot and characters on ‘NCIS’ extremely captivating
CBS president Kelly Kahl acknowledged that the fans’ dedication has been a driving force in NCIS‘ 17th season renewal. “[The show’s] viewers are clearly the most loyal of any drama on television. They are passionate about the characters, the plot lines, and the storytelling,” he said.
And it’s true. NCIS‘ realistic portrayal of military investigations as well as its many interesting characters are why fans have continued to support the series year after year.
NCIS was co-created by Donald P. Bellisario, who served in the Marine Corps for four years and has worked on several other crime dramas. As such, his expertise is invaluable. NCIS has been praised by agents at the NCIS in Washington D.C. for being very realistic and portraying their work well. There definitely have been lots of moments that have been dramatized for TV, but overall, fans appreciate that NCIS often does the real-life investigative team justice.
The characters on the show have also been praised for being well-developed and multi-dimensional. Some of them have been on NCIS since the first couple of seasons (like Leroy Jethro Gibbs played by Mark Harmon and Timothy McGee played by Sean Murray) so fans could watch their growth throughout the years. Other characters have been added more recently (such as Nick Torres played by Wilmer Valderrama) but have nevertheless been embraced by fans for what they bring to the show.
Will CBS renew the other ‘NCIS’ series?
After the success of the flagship NCIS series, two spin-offs of it were subsequently created. NCIS: Los Angeles premiered on the network in 2009, followed by NCIS: New Orleans in 2014. Both spin-offs are still going on, though no statement has been given on whether they will be renewed for another season or not.
NCIS: Los Angeles has been on the air for about 10 years and there’s a good chance CBS will allow the show to continue. It ranks low compared to the original NCIS series, but it is still pulling in millions of viewers every week, so many people speculate that the show will not be given the ax anytime soon.
NCIS: New Orleans is another solid series with a lot of dedicated viewers throughout the years. However, its demise might be a bit nearer than the other two shows. Since 2018, NCIS: New Orleans has been hit with controversies surrounding its producers’ inappropriate misconduct, leading to two firings within a year. A work environment with constant changes and unpleasant executives can cause the quality of a TV show to go down, leading to fewer ratings. Although CBS has been attempting to fix this problem, it remains to be seen what NCIS: New Orleans’ future will be.