‘NCIS’ Fans Debate How the Show Stacks Up Against ‘Law & Order’

by Anna Dunn

Fans of NCIS are debating how the show compares to Law & Order, and which one has dealt with its longevity better. Of course, when you have a procedural franchise, it’s bound to get comparisons to other procedurals. But NCIS and Law & Order are perhaps the to most popular and well-known crime franchises out there.

However, the two are quite different. With different networks and a vastly different way they approach certain topics, sensitive subject matters, and characters, they both have a distinctly unique feel.

For some fans of the show, Law & Order‘s formula has allowed it to remain more successful than NCIS when it comes to surviving big cast turnovers.

The discussion began on a recent Reddit thread. A fan asked if anyone else was losing interest in the show now that so many main characters are gone.

“I was wondering how many of you are losing interest in this show. I mean, during the latest seasons we lost a big part of the team. We don’t even know if Gibbs will leave the team or not. On the other hand, I understand that the actors can’t act in the same show forever…But In my “exclusive personal” opinion they shouldn’t keep going with other team members,” the fan wrote.

‘NCIS’ Fans Feel that ‘Law & Order’ Is More Case Driven

The NCIS fan is certainly not the only person with this sentiment. While the show is clearly doing something right, still remaining the most-watched scripted drama in the world, a lot of its die-hard fans aren’t as invested anymore.

“It’s strange how the Law & Order franchises can chug along with cast turnover almost yearly. I suppose it’s because of the amount of backstory NCIS writes for the characters, where L&O is 95% about the cases,” one NCIS fan responded.

For instance Law & Order: SVU managed to survive after losing one of its central characters, Elliot Stabler. In fact, it’s been on for almost a decade since that departure. But NCIS makes so many of its characters central. So when they start to leave, it may be harder to recover.

“Exactly. NCIS very much puts the characters at the front and center. With some exceptions (I feel like SVU is more character-driven than the original for instance) the characters in L&O are largely just along for the ride,” another person responded.

Many of these fans feel that the longevity of the Law & Order franchise may be a bit more timeless due to the fact that the show is so case-focused. Of course, whether one method of storytelling is better than the other is simply subjective.

Both franchises still pull in a ton of viewers. NCIS fans may have their gripes as Law & Order fans also have theirs. Ultimately, however, the two franchises are iconic parts of TV. How long they should last and how many spinoffs they should produce, however, is very much up for debate.