The 19th season of NCIS and 1st season of its spinoff, NCIS: Hawai’i, just wrapped up, and both series did incredibly well in the ratings. The long-running JAG spinoff, NCIS, caught the attention of a staggering 7.2 million viewers, despite the lack of fan-favorite character Jethro Gibbs. And the secondary spinoff, NCIS: Hawai’i, garnered an impressive 5.2 million.
The CBS newcomer didn’t get as many viewers as the flagship show. However, NCIS: Hawai’i actually did better than NCIS in terms of the average grade given by TV Line readers. While NCIS only received a “B”, its spinoff earned an “A-“.
‘NCIS’ Ratings Remain Strong Following Mark Harmon’s Departure
From Abby Sciuto to Donald Mallard to Anthony DiNozzo, NCIS has birthed many memorable characters over the years. None of them were quite as beloved as Mark Harmon‘s Jethro Gibbs, however, who was the series’ main character for an astounding 18 seasons.
From the very first episode, Jethro Gibbs charmed both viewers and his fictional coworkers with his kind-hearted, fatherly approach to leadership. In terms of ratings, NCIS hit its peak in the early 2010s, drawing more than 13 million viewers per episode.
And though the series’ ratings have in fact dipped since Harmon’s departure, 7 million viewers is no small accomplishment. Because while it’s true this number is lower than the 10 million Harmon drew in Season 18, NCIS still dominates the rating list for Monday night broadcasts.
‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ Star Tori Anderson Explains What Makes the Series Successful
In its incredible 19-season run, NCIS has created countless thrilling stories, a number of beloved characters, and no less than three successful spinoff series. Along with NCIS: Hawai’i, there’s NCIS: New Orleans and NCIS: Los Angeles.
NCIS: Hawai’i has only one season under its belt. However, it’s already a smash hit among NCIS fans, drawing impressive ratings weekly. In an interview with Looper, Tori Anderson, who plays Special Agent Kate Whistler from the Defense Intelligence Agency, shared what she feels is the driving force behind the massive success of the franchise.
“I think what makes NCIS so successful is a lot of it comes down to the moral code of the show,” Anderson explained. “It’s really well-written characters who want to leave the world a better place. It’s a team environment. And that’s such an amazing thing to bring in, especially on the islands of Hawaii. It’s this feeling of ‘ohana’ [family], and that’s so important to the culture here.”
“But it’s also a vital part of NCIS too,” the actress continued. “It’s kind of an amalgamation of the two, the NCIS franchise and Hawaii and the people here. A sort of really nice marriage. It’s a very exciting high-paced show, but with good three-dimensional characters.”