NCIS Information

NCIS is an American action police procedural television series, revolving around a fictional team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The concept and characters were initially introduced in two episodes of the CBS series JAG (season eight episodes 20 and 21: "Ice Queen" and "Meltdown"). The show, a spin-off from JAG, premiered on September 23, 2003, on CBS. To date it has aired fifteen full seasons and has gone into broadcast syndication on the USA Network. Donald P. Bellisario and Don McGill are co-creators and executive producers of the premiere member of the NCIS franchise. It is the second-longest-running scripted, non-animated U.S. primetime TV series currently airing, surpassed only by Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999-present), and is the 7th-longest-running scripted U.S. primetime TV series overall.

NCIS was originally referred to as Navy NCIS during season one; "Navy" was later dropped from the title as it was redundant (the "N" in "NCIS" stands for "Naval"). In season six, a two-part episode led to a spin-off series, NCIS: Los Angeles. A two-part episode during the eleventh season led to a second spin-off series, NCIS: New Orleans. While initially slow in the ratings, barely cracking the Top 30 in the first two seasons, the third season showed progress, consistently ranking in the top 20, and by its sixth season, it became a top five hit, having remained there since. In 2011, NCIS was voted America's favorite television show in an online Harris Poll. The series finished its tenth season as the most-watched television series in the U.S. during the 2012-13 TV season. On April 13, 2018, NCIS was renewed for a sixteenth season, that premiered on September 25, 2018. Diona Reasonover joined the main cast in season sixteen, following the departures of Duane Henry and Pauley Perrette.


NCIS follows a fictional team of Naval Criminal Investigative Service Major Case Response Team (MCRT) special agents based at the Washington, D.C. field office in Washington Navy Yard. In real life, the field office is based at the nearby Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling while the Navy Yard is home to the museum and several military commands within the Department of the Navy. It is described by the actors and producers (on special features on DVD releases in the United States) as being distinguished by its comedic elements, ensemble acting, and character-driven plots. The NCIS is the primary law enforcement and counterintelligence arm of the United States Department of the Navy, which includes the United States Marine Corps. NCIS investigates all major criminal offenses (felonies)"?for example, crimes punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice by confinement of more than one year"?within the Department of the Navy.


Whenever a crime is committed involving Navy or Marine personnel, the Washington-based Major Case Response Team "? an elite arm of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service "? spearheads the investigation. The team, led by laconic investigator Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), has included Caitlin Todd (Sasha Alexander), Anthony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), Timothy McGee (Sean Murray), Ziva David (Cote de Pablo), Eleanor Bishop (Emily Wickersham), Alexandra Quinn (Jennifer Esposito), and Nicholas Torres (Wilmer Valderrama). Over the course of the series, they are further assisted by allies both foreign and domestic, including Medical Examiners Dr. Donald Mallard (David McCallum), Dr. Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen), forensic specialists Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) and Kasie Hines (Diona Reasonover), British intelligence officer Clayton Reeves (Duane Henry), operational psychologist and senior special agent Dr. Jacqueline Sloane (Maria Bello), and successive NCIS Directors Jennifer Shepard (Lauren Holly) and Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll).

Cast and characters

Main article: List of NCIS cast members



Prior to the launch of the first season, advertisements on CBS identified the show as "Naval CIS". By the time of the launch of the first episode, NCIS was airing under the name Navy NCIS, the name it held for the entire first season. Since the "N" in NCIS stands for "Naval", the name "Navy NCIS" was redundant. The decision to use this name was reportedly made by CBS, over the objections of Bellisario, to:

  • Attract new viewers (particularly those of JAG), who might not know the NCIS abbreviation
  • Distinguish between NCIS and the similarly themed and similarly spelled CBS series CSI and its spinoffs. (The original title, for instance, was often misquoted and parodied as "Navy CSI", something the show itself referenced in the first episode.)


From the season-two episode "Lt. Jane Doe" onwards, the series began showing two-second-long black-and-white clips. These clips are shown at the beginning of every segment depicting the last two seconds of that segment, a segment being the five or six portions of the show meant to be separated by commercials. In the season-three premiere, "Kill Ari (Part I)", a freeze-frame shot was also used with the very end of most episodes turned into a freeze frame, as well.

Crew changes

It was reported in May 2007 that Donald Bellisario would be stepping down from the show. Due to a disagreement with series star Mark Harmon, Bellisario's duties as showrunner/head writer were to be given to long-time show collaborators, including co-executive producer Chas. Floyd Johnson and Shane Brennan, with Bellisario retaining his title as executive producer. In fall 2009, Gary Glasberg joined the crew and became the new "day-to-day" runner of NCIS, as Shane Brennan had to focus on his new show, the spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles. On September 28, 2016, Glasberg died in his sleep at the age of 50.

On April 5, 2016, long-time director Dennis Smith announced he had completed his final episode as part of the NCIS crew, though to which episode he was referring was not specified.


Main article: List of NCIS episodes

Backdoor pilots


Two episodes of JAG season 8, "Ice Queen" and "Meltdown", serve as the back-door pilot of NCIS itself.

These JAG episodes introduced Mark Harmon as Gibbs, Michael Weatherly as Tony, Robyn Lively as Vivian Blackadder, Pauley Perrette as Abby, and David McCallum as Ducky.

Patrick Labyorteaux appears on NCIS reprising his JAG role as Lt. Bud Roberts in the first-season episode "Hung Out to Dry", and in the fourteenth-season episode "Rogue"; Alicia Coppola returned as Lt. Cmdr. Faith Coleman in "UnSEALed", "Call of Silence", and "Hometown Hero", while Adam Baldwin returned as Cmdr. Michael Rainer in "A Weak Link", and John M. Jackson appeared as retired Rear Admiral A. J. Chegwidden in the season-ten episode "Damned If You Do".

NCIS: Los Angeles

The two-part NCIS episode "Legend" serves as the back-door pilot of NCIS: Los Angeles.

"Legend" introduces Chris O'Donnell as G. Callen, LL Cool J as Sam Hanna, Daniela Ruah as Kensi Blye, and Barrett Foa as Eric Beale.

Rocky Carroll recurs on NCIS: Los Angeles as his NCIS character Director Leon Vance, while Pauley Perrette has appeared twice as Abby, and Michael Weatherly has appeared once as Anthony DiNozzo. NCIS guest stars reprising roles between series include David Dayan Fisher as CIA Officer Trent Kort, in the season-one finale of NCIS: Los Angeles; Kelly Hu as Lee Wuan Kai in NCIS: Los Angeles and later in an episode of NCIS.

John M. Jackson has appeared on NCIS: Los Angeles as his JAG character Admiral A. J. Chegwidden, while this series has also crossed over with Hawaii Five-0 and Scorpion.

NCIS: New Orleans

The two-part NCIS episode "Crescent City" serves as the back-door pilot of NCIS: New Orleans.

"Crescent City" introduces Scott Bakula as Dwayne Pride, Lucas Black as Christopher LaSalle, Zoe McLellan as Meredith Brody, and CCH Pounder as Loretta Wade.

Rocky Carroll recurs as Director Leon Vance, while NCIS series regulars Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette, Sean Murray, Emily Wickersham, Wilmer Valderrama, David McCallum and Brian Dietzen have all appeared as their NCIS characters. NCIS recurring cast members Meredith Eaton, Joe Spano, Diane Neal, and Leslie Hope have all guest-starred on NCIS: New Orleans.



NCIS airs on Network Ten and TV Hits (formerly TV1) in Australia, Global (syndicated on Showcase and Lifetime) in Canada, TV3 and The Box in New Zealand, [[nc+|Seriale+]] (premieres), TVN (free-TV premieres), TVN7 (reruns), AXN (reruns) and TV Puls (reruns) in Poland, and Fox, CBS Action, Universal, Channel 5 and 5USA in the United Kingdom.

Home media

Main article: List of NCIS home video releases
The first 11 seasons of NCIS have been released in Regions 1, 2, and 4. In Germany (Region 2), seasons 1-4 and 5-8 were released in two separate sets for each season. The first-season DVD omits the two introductory episodes from season eight of JAG, though they are featured on the JAG season-eight DVD.

Other releases

In 2010, CBS Interactive and GameHouse released a mobile video game, NCIS: The Game for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and BREW/J2ME. The game features five different cases written by the show's writers.

On November 1, 2011, Ubisoft released a video game adaption of NCIS for the PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii. A Nintendo 3DS version was released on March 6, 2012. The video game was deemed as a mockery of the show by reviewers and players alike, and received a 2/10 rating on GameSpot.

There's also a Facebook and mobile game called NCIS: Hidden Crimes.

TV movies


Main article: NCIS (soundtrack)
CBS Records released the show's first soundtrack on February 10, 2009. The Official TV Soundtrack is a two-disc, 22-track set that includes brand new songs from top artists featured prominently in upcoming episodes of the series, as well as the show's original theme by Numeriklab (available commercially for the first time) and a remix of the theme by Ministry. The set also includes songs performed by series regulars Pauley Perrette and Cot de Pablo.

A sequel to the soundtrack was released on November 3, 2009. NCIS: The Official TV Soundtrack; Vol. 2 is a single-disc, 12-track set that covers songs (many previously unreleased) featured throughout the seventh season of the show, including one recording titled "Bitter and Blue" by Weatherly, as well as two songs used in previous seasons.


In 2016, The New York Times reported that NCIS "is most popular in rural areas", especially in rural Maine and Pennsylvania.

Broadcast ratings

Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of NCIS.

Note: Each U.S. network television season starts in late September and ends in late May, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps.
Broadcast ratings
Season Episodes Timeslot (EST) Original airing Live television ratings
Season premiere Season finale TV season Viewers
(in millions)
Key demographics
1st 23 Tuesday 8:00 PM September 23, 2003 May 25, 2004 2003-04 11.84 26th
2nd 23 September 28, 2004 May 24, 2005 2004-05 13.57 22nd
3rd 24 September 20, 2005 May 16, 2006 2005-06 15.27 16th
4th 24 September 19, 2006 May 22, 2007 2006-07 14.54 20th
5th 19 September 25, 2007 May 20, 2008 2007-08 14.41 14th
6th 25 September 23, 2008 May 19, 2009 2008-09 17.77 5th
7th 24 September 22, 2009 May 25, 2010 2009-10 19.33 4th 4.1
8th 24 September 21, 2010 May 17, 2011 2010-11 19.46 5th 4.1
9th 24 September 20, 2011 May 15, 2012 2011-12 19.49 3rd 4.01
10th 24 September 25, 2012 May 14, 2013 2012-13 21.34 1st 4.0
11th 24 September 24, 2013 May 13, 2014 2013-14 19.77 3rd 3.3
12th 24 September 23, 2014 May 12, 2015 2014-15 18.25 3rd 2.43
13th 24 September 22, 2015 May 17, 2016 2015-16 16.61 3rd 2.2
14th 24 September 20, 2016 May 16, 2017 2016-17 14.63 3rd
15th 24 September 26, 2017 May 22, 2018 2017-18 16.71 5th
16th 24 September 25, 2018 2018-19
  • Ever since season 7, NCIS has been the most watched scripted show on American television, but it was only in the 2012-13 season that it ranked number 1 as the most watched program of the past year, surpassing both American Idol and NBC Sunday Night Football that had ranked above it the past three seasons.
  • On January 15, 2013, NCIS surpassed its previous series high in viewers, with the season ten episode "Shiva" attracting 22.86 million viewers.


  • The show ranked number four in DVR playback (2.714 million viewers), according to Nielsen prime DVR lift data from January 5-11, 2009.
  • The show ranked number thirteen in DVR playback (2.743 million viewers), according to Nielsen prime DVR lift data from February 9-15, 2009.
  • The show ranked number nine in DVR playback (3.007 million viewers), according to Nielsen prime DVR lift data from April 6-12, 2009.


  • The show ranked number eighteen (4.793 million viewers) in the list of Nielsen ratings top twenty most-watched cable shows for the week ending January 25, 2009.
  • The show ranked number ten (4.535 million viewers), twelve (4.264 million viewers), thirteen (4.221 million viewers), fifteen (4,161 million viewers), seventeen (4.132 million viewers), and twenty (4.081 million viewers) in the list of Nielsen ratings top twenty most-watched cable shows for the week ending March 1, 2009.
  • The show ranked sixteen (4.091 million viewers), seventeen (4.084 million viewers), eighteen (4.072 million viewers), and twenty (4.006 million viewers) in the list of Nielsen ratings top twenty most-watched cable shows for the week ending March 29, 2009.
  • The show ranked number five (4.492 million viewers), six (4.467 million viewers), eight (4.394 million viewers), nine (4.214 million viewers), fifteen (3.962 million viewers), and seventeen (3.8.58 million viewers) in the list of Nielsen ratings top twenty most-watched cable shows for the week ending May 3, 2009.
  • The show ranked number three (4.82 million viewers), six (4.38 million viewers), ten (3.82 million viewers), eleven (3.88 million viewers), and fourteen (3.87 million viewers) in the list of Nielsen ratings top fifteen most-watched cable shows for the week ending November 1, 2009.


Main article: NCIS (franchise)
NCIS has produced two spin-offs: NCIS: Los Angeles (2009-) and NCIS: New Orleans (2014-).

NCIS: Los Angeles

Main article: NCIS: Los Angeles
In 2009, CBS picked up an NCIS spin-off series with the title NCIS: Los Angeles, with the backdoor pilot, "Legend", airing on April 28, 2009, and May 5, 2009. The backdoor pilot introduced Chris O'Donnell as Special Agent G. Callen, LL Cool J as Special Agent Sam Hanna, Louise Lombard as Special Agent Lara Macy, Peter Cambor as Operational Psychologist Nate Getz: and Daniela Ruah as Special Agent Kensi Blye. The crew for the series includes Michael B. Kaplan, Lev L. Spiro, Jerry London, Sheldon Epps, and Mark Saraceni.

Following the show's official pick-up by CBS, it was confirmed that Louise Lombard had not been signed to continue her role as Special Agent Lara Macy. Linda Hunt and Adam Jamal Craig were confirmed to replace her in starring roles, playing OSP Manager Henrietta Lange and Special Agent Dom Vail respectively. Craig, who left the series in episode 21 of season 1, was replaced by Eric Christian Olsen playing Marty Deeks.

Characters from NCIS have appeared in the spin-off. Rocky Carroll portrayed Leon Vance in a recurring role, while Pauley Perrette portrayed Abby Sciuto and appeared in the season 1 episodes "Killshot" and "Random on Purpose".

NCIS: Los Angeles was created by Shane Brennan. In April 2011, NCIS creator Donald Bellisario sued CBS over NCIS: Los Angeles because of his contract which gave him "first opportunity" to develop a spin-off or sequel, the lawsuit was dismissed by a judge in June 2012. However, discussions continued between CBS and Bellisario and in January 2013 the dispute was settled outside of court a week before it was set to go to trial; the terms of the agreement were not disclosed but were described as being amicable.

NCIS: New Orleans

Main article: NCIS: New Orleans
In September 2013 CBS announced a planned second spin-off series set in New Orleans that would be introduced via a planted two-part backdoor pilot NCIS episode. The episodes were filmed in February 2014 and aired on March 25, 2014, and April 1, 2014. NCIS star Mark Harmon and showrunner Gary Glasberg are the executive producers, and CBS Studios produces the series. "Crescent City", the two-part backdoor-pilot episode was initially "supposed to be just an idea for an episode". Glasberg discussed the idea of the episode with Harmon, who said "That's more than a[n] [...] episode". The premise for the episodes are, according to Glasberg, "all about this tiny little NCIS office that's down [in New Orleans], and the kind of cases that they come across".

The series stars Scott Bakula as Special Agent Dwayne Cassius Pride, Lucas Black as Special Agent Christopher LaSalle, Zoe McLellan as Special Agent Meredith "Merri" Brody, Rob Kerkovich as Sebastian Lund, and CCH Pounder as Dr. Loretta Wade. Daryl "Chill" Mitchell, Shalita Grant and Vanessa Ferlito joined the main cast later, portraying computer specialist Patton Plame, Special Agent Sonja Percy, and Special Agent Tammy Gregorio, respectively.

On May 9, 2014, NCIS: New Orleans was picked up by CBS and was renewed for a second season on January 12, 2015.

NCIS and NCIS: New Orleans have had two crossovers.

  • "Sister City""?Abby's brother is suspected of poisoning the passengers and crew of a private plane flying from New Orleans to Washington, D.C.
  • "Pandora's Box""?A theoretical terror playbook is stolen and put up for auction on the black market when Abby's homeland security think tank is compromised.

Awards and nominations

See List of awards and nominations received by NCIS for more information NCIS has received many awards and nominations since it premiered on September 23, 2003, including the ALMA Awards, ASCAP Awards, BMI Film & TV Awards, Emmy Awards, and People's Choice Awards.

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "NCIS_%28TV_series%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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