‘NCIS’ Among Nielsen’s Top 40 Leaders for 2021-2022 Season

by Samantha Whidden

CBS’ long-time running hit TV series “NCIS” is reportedly among Nielsen’s Top 40 leaders for the 2021-2022 season. 

According to Deadline, “NCIS” and NBC’s football coverage returned to the top of Nielsen’s rating charts. CBS was also prime-time’s most-watched broadcast network for the 2021-2022 season. The network had an average of 6.3 million viewers, which matched last year’s numbers. This is all per Nielsen’s most current data. 

The media outlet further revealed that “NCIS” was dubbed the most-watched scripted series of the season, even though there was a minor dip in 18-49 viewers. Along with “NCIS,” other CBS series also made the list. This includes “FBI,” “Blue Bloods,” “The Equalizer,” “Young Sheldon,” “60 Minutes,” and “FBI: Most Wanted.”

The latest season of “NCIS” had some surprises, to say the least. This included Mark Harmon leaving the series after nearly 20 years and the introduction of Gary Cole’s Special Agent Alden Parker. 

‘NCIS’ Stars Gary Cole & Sean Murray Open Up About the Team’s Dynamic Following Mark Harmon’s Departure 

While speaking to TV Insider in April 2022, “NCIS” castmates Gary Cole and Sean Murray spoke about the cast’s dynamic following the departure of Mark Harmon’s Gibbs. 

“The writers were very smart when they had [Parker] arrive during a conflict among the other characters,” Cole explained. “They were chasing a serial killer and Parker was chasing the same one. They collided in the middle of a case so there was immediate conflict and animosity [between them], which was good.”

Also while discussing merging his character into the show’s story, Cole explained, “I thought it was handled pretty well. The most important thing was how he entered as a character. He didn’t just show up and say he was the new guy.”

Cole further stated that his job is to simply tell the story of what the writers wrote. “And to make that and every scene work however it fits in the story.”

Meanwhile, Murray spoke about how Gibbs’ departure impacted his character due to him viewing Gibbs as a second father. “Parker came in a very different character than Gibbs. Anyone who comes in is going to have to live up to a lot of expectations. I think we have something different going on. Instead of family structure with a paternal figure, [we’ve] got something where it’s more equal.”

Murray also said that Harmon is family to him. “I’ve known him for the run of the show. We actually did a show together called Harts of the West when I was 15 [in 1993]. It starred Lloyd Bridges and Beau Bridges — as part of a family that moved from Chicago to a western town. Jeff Bridges was going to be in an episode and play ‘Sam Carver,’ a drunken rodeo clown, but he couldn’t make it so Mark ended up doing it.”