‘NCIS’ Stands Above Competition Weeks After Mark Harmon’s Departure in Latest TV Ratings

by Suzanne Halliburton
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NCIS continues to dominate Monday nights amongst non-sports programming. The departure of Mark Harmon did ding the ratings, but the damage appears limited.

The Monday night episodePeacekeeperdrew an audience of 7.2 million. The Voice, a singing reality show, was watched by 6.3 million.

NCIS ended a three-week hiatus with the Peacekeeper episode. It did represent a season low, but not by much. The Nov. 9 episode, which guest starred Home Improvement’s Patricia Richardson, attracted 7.32 million.

Harmon, who starred as Leroy Jethro Gibbs for the first 18 seasons of NCIS, left the show Oct. 11. He finished a four-episode story arc that saw him come to terms with what he’s done in his career and what he needed going forward. So on the episode Great Wide Open, Gibbs opted to stay in Alaska. His team had solved a multi-layered crime. The agents worked to connect the head of a corporation and the husband of a dead woman as the two who paid a hitman to murder eight people.

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CBS Knew NCIS Ratings Would Drop This Fall Because of NFL

The Great Wide Open episode drew an audience of 7.66 million. With Gary Cole taking over NCIS portraying ex FBI agent as Alden Parker, the episodes have attracted 7.65, 7.28, 7.32 and 7.2 million. The opening episode of season 19 still represents the biggest audience at 8.45 million. The next episode dropped to 8.02 million. The rest of the season has hovered above 7 million.

Now, CBS acknowledged that the audience would drop this season. The show moved from its traditional Tuesday spot to Monday night. The move was done, in part, to usher in NCIS: Hawai’i, which stars Vanessa Lachey as the first female special agent in charge in the NCIS franchise.

NCIS now is going up against Monday Night Football on ESPN. Last Monday night’s game between Tampa Bay and the New York Giants attracted an audience of 12 million. This also counts the audience pulled in from ESPN2 ad ESPN Deportes.

The NFL is enjoying a viewing resurgence after last year’s pandemic-dominated season. The Monday Night numbers are up by double digits from 2020.

Meanwhile, NCIS: Los Angeles still is going head-to-head against Sunday Night Football, which usually tops the week’s ratings for all programming.

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Monday’s Episode Dealt with Gun Crimes

Monday night’s episode had the team investigating the death of a Navy reservist. His body was found inside a junky car on a gun range. Meanwhile, both Kasie and Jess revealed they still suffer from anxiety. Kasie was held at knifepoint earlier this season. Jess’ NCIS team died in an explosion in season 18.

The crime actually was a simple one. The victim’s boss confronted him about whether he stole $300. The boss pulled a gun to scare the victim. But the gun went off accidentally. The boss tried to get the victim to a hospital, but he died on the way. The boss placed his body inside an old car on the gun range.

And speaking of the old car, Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) brought the old car back to his own garage. He plans to restore it because it looks like his very first car, which he named Stella.

NCIS returns next Monday with an episode called Collective Memory.

Outsider.com