‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ Star Vanessa Lachey Reveals How New Spinoff Is ‘Evolving the Franchise’

by Anna Dunn

In a recent discussion, NCIS: Hawai’i star Vanessa Lachey explained how the new show is “evolving the franchise.” NCIS Hawai’i just aired its first episode last week. However, it’s already making big waves. Lachey stars as the first female lead on an NCIS franchise series and is incredibly proud of her role.

Lachey plays Jane Tennant, a hard-working special agent in charge who also has to balance her responsibilities as a single mother. She’s also the first-ever Female Special Agent in Charge of NCIS: Pearl.

While NCIS has never been shy about delving deep into the lives of its characters, NCIS: Hawai’i is going deeper. It’s really taking the time to explore the personal lives of every member of the team.

“It’s evolving the franchise to show more of a personal life and the vulnerabilities of the family and the characters,” she said in an interview with CBS’ Matt Weiss. “We try to stay true to what NCIS is but we also want to add some layers that set it apart.”

NCIS: Hawai’i has already been met with some positive critical response. It so far seems like a fresh take with a similar enough vibe to fit in well with the franchise.

Vanessa Lachey Moved to Hawai’i To Take the Part in ‘NCIS: Hawai’i’

In order to play Jane Tennant, Vanessa Lachey and her whole family moved down to Hawai’i. Moving is never easy, but the fact that it’s Hawai’i probably took away some of the trouble. Lachey’s life really took a turn when she was offered the role. She had previously booked smaller acting gigs as well as reality TV hosting jobs. Therefore, the idea of playing Jane Tennant was a major opportunity for her.

“I heard about NCIS: Hawai’i and booked the job by mid-April. I was surprised and my career took a complete left turn,” Lachey said in an interview with Kelly Ripa. “But I’m so glad things went the way they did. Now here we are and I’m living in Hawaii.”

And it looks like she wouldn’t have it any other way. Lachey can see a lot of herself in Jane Tennant and felt completely honored to take on such a role.

“When I got the job I completely broke down because I said to myself, I can do this, I am her, I believe in her, I know what she stands for. I felt like this is me,” she continued.

You can catch new episodes of NCIS Hawai’i on Monday nights at 10/9 Central on CBS, but that’s not where the action starts on Monday nights. Flagship series NCIS airs right before NCIS: Hawai’i on Mondays, so you can catch both shows back to back starting at 9/8 Central.