NCIS TV Series Overview


Introduction

NCIS is an American action police procedural television series, revolving around a fictional team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).

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 23 September 2003, on CBS.

Donald P. Bellisario and Don McGill are co-creators and executive producers of the premiere member of the NCIS franchise.

As of 2020, it is the second-longest-running scripted, non-animated US primetime TV series currently airing, surpassed only by Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–present), and is the 7th-longest-running scripted US primetime TV series overall.

NCIS was originally titled Navy NCIS; “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. Consequently NCIS is often referred to as Main NCIS or NCIS Main. A third spin-off series, NCIS Hawai’i, was first aired in September 2021.

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 favourite television show in an online Harris Poll. The series finished its tenth season as the most-watched television series in the US during the 2012-2013 network television season.

Outline

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 offences (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.

Backdoor Pilots

JAG

Two episodes of JAG season 8, “Ice Queen” and “Meltdown“, serve as the backdoor 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” and the season fifteen episode “Dark Secrets“; Alicia Coppola returned as Lieutenant Commander Faith Coleman in “UnSEALed“, “Call of Silence“, and “Hometown Hero“, while Adam Baldwin returned as Commander 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 backdoor 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 seasonfinale 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 backdoor 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: Hawai’i

NCIS: Hawai’i follows a fictional team of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents who work out of the Pearl Harbour Field Office which is led by Special Agent Jane Tennant. The team Investigates crimes related to the military and national security.

It is a spin-off of the long-running series NCIS and the fourth series in the NCIS franchise.

NCIS TV Series

You can find a full index and overview of the NCIS Franchise here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Creator(s): Donald P. Bellasario and Don McGill.
  • Release Date: 23 September 2003 to Present.
  • Running Time: 39-44 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link(s)

 

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