‘NCIS’ Fans Debate Whether Series Has Officially ‘Run Its Course’

by Suzanne Halliburton
ncis-fans-debate-whether-series-has-officially-run-its-course

NCIS currently is in production for its 20th season. It’s still the most-watched scripted show on network TV. But fans ponder whether this show, with so many cast changes, might’ve run out of steam.

Fans did watch NCIS after the October episode “Great White Open.” That was the final episode for Mark Harmon’s Gibbs, although the character still led off the opening credits for each of the next 17 hours of content. Each episode averaged 10.9 million viewers to place NCIS behind only Sunday and Thursday NFL primetime football. The show even switched days and went head-to-head against Monday Night Football.

But how much longer can it chug along? Throughout the 19th season, fans wondered whether it was worth it to stick with the show as Gary Cole’s Alden Parker took over for Harmon’s Gibbs.

There was such a thread on the NCIS SubReddit. It’s called “Am I alone in thinking the original NCIS has run it’s course.”

“I’ve seen EVERY episode,” a fan wrote. “I’ve enjoyed the plot lines. Been bummed when characters died. Laughed often with my son, because, if he sees me watching an episode he says “get your gear, we’ve got a body” because what episode doesn’t start this way. I miss Ziva. Abby is how I explain my job (I fix some of the equipment she used) the show has been fun for almost 20. This season feels like a brand new show. I doubt the current cast and writers can pull off sucking me into a new world.”

NCIS, circa 2010. (CBS)

Fans Are Mixed About Whether NCIS Should Continue

A fan answered: “I think you are right to feel that it is different but are wrong in thinking it hasn’t been a successful season so far. I feel that the writers are doing a fine job and the show is doing as well as anyone could have expected after the departure of Gibbs.”

Parker took over for Gibbs in the episode “Face the Strange.” (Yes, it was a nod to David Bowie). So far, Parker doesn’t have Gibbs’ personal baggage. However, in the season 19 finale, someone is setting up Parker for murder of his old FBI partner. McGee (Sean Murray), Jimmy (Brian Dietzen) and Vance (Rocky Carroll) still are there. In the beginning, Jimmy was the socially awkward type intimidated by Gibbs. Now, he’s the show’s heart.

Wilmer Valderrama is charismatic as Nick Torres, but he’s not goofy, sexist, movie-quoting DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly). Kasie Hines (Diona Reasonover) is quirky and brilliant as a forensics analyst. But she’s not Abby Sciuto, who loved wearing her platform Goth boots into the office while spouting her eccentricities. Katrina Law’s Jess Knight is a bad ass. But Ziva (Cote de Pablo) set the bar too high for anyone to approach. Ducky Mallard (David McCallum) still drops by, but at 88, he’s the retired medical examiner.

Here’s a snap from the season 19 NCIS episode “The Brat Pack.” (Sonja Flemming/CBS)

Some Think New Cast Members Help the Show

But some NCIS fans like the new blood.

An fan wrote: “I am enjoying the new NCIS. I love Gibbs but got tired of the show being centered around him. Hated seeing him leave the team, but it had to be done. He was beyond retirement age for a federal agent.”

NCIS returns with new episodes, Sept. 19. Showrunner Steven D Binder gave a broad preview to Parade about season 20.

“We’ll be seeing their non-work life a little more,” Binder said. “I think one of the cores of the show is the cases. The show’s called NCIS, it’s about the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. But anyone who watches the show knows that it’s really about the people on the show.”

Outsider.com