Check Out ‘NCIS’ TV Ratings for First-Episode With Gary Cole’s Parker Taking the Lead

by Kati Michelle
(Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

Whether you like it or not, “ratings” play a big role in the entertainment world. They ultimately determine longevity (or lack thereof) for your favorite TV shows. The “One Chicago” franchise continues to kill it week after week, while “The Voice” shows signs of faltering. That being said, where does “NCIS” stack up with their own TV ratings?

They’re obviously doing something right. “NCIS” premiered back in September of 2003 and it’s still going strong, 19 seasons later. Well, maybe. Fans have voiced several concerns about the new team dynamic on the show following the transition of Mark Harmon’s Gibbs out. As Gary Cole’s Parker stepped into the coveted team lead position for an episode titled “False Start,” here’s how the TV ratings changed for “NCIS.”

‘NCIS’ Sees TV Ratings Plummet With Gary Cole’s Parker in the Lead But Maybe Not for the Reasons You May Think

We know our Outsiders like the cold, hard facts so let’s start there. Fact number one: “False Start” marked the first episode of “NCIS” history to feature Gary Cole’s Parker in the lead versus the beloved Gibbs. Fact number two: The ratings for Season 19, Episode 6 fell incredibly short in terms of live viewership overall.

When you just look at those two facts, it can be easy to draw conclusions based on the implied correlation. However, correlation and causation are two different things, friends. A third fact might explain what’s going on. So, here’s fact number three: “False Start” premiered after a temporary “NCIS” hiatus for the Fall of 2021. Perhaps viewers simply forgot about its return.

The good news? Over 7.2 million viewers tuned in live for the episode and that made it the most-watched show on its network Monday night. The bad news? Overall, it ranked as the least-watched “NCIS” episode for the Fall of 2021.

The Future of ‘NCIS’

Ultimately, the future of “NCIS” remains up in the air. As long as they keep hitting that sweet spot of 7 million live viewers every Monday, things look okay. But, sadly, that might not be enough either.

Trekking towards a Season 20 will also require that CBS finds a way to increase viewership for the younger demographic. As of now, the “NCIS” TV ratings find themselves dipping for their 18-49-year-olds. This spells bad news because it’s the age range that TV advertisers focus on.

Novelty guest-star spots like “Home Improvement’s” Patricia Richardson as McGee’s Mother-in-Law are one way to draw in viewers. However, guest-star moments won’t do much if fan favorites and main cast members take off. Most recently, fans worried Wilmer Valderrama be on the way out.

Only time will tell what’s in store for the long-running “NCIS” drama, but in a world where TV ratings reign supreme, your click might matter a lot more than you think it does.