Gary Glasberg, former NCIS showrunner, gives credit where credit is due. He believes that online fans help made the show what it is.
In a 2014 interview with Assignment X, Glasberg mentioned the internet communities surrounding NCIS, and how they help the show.
“It’s amazing how these fans interact and communicate and it’s an opportunity for all the people who love NCIS to find each other, and that’s a great thing,” Glasberg told the outlet.
‘NCIS’: The Biggest Show on CBS
NCIS, according to Variety, gained 57.6 million viewers in 2013. Ending its 18th season in 2021, with two spin-offs–NCIS: New Orleans and NCIS: Los Angeles, in their 7th and 12th seasons respectively–NCIS is CBS’s biggest show on television.
The show is inoffensive and not too gritty, according to The Daily Dot, and is “designed with the values of middle America in mind.” The show follows a rag-tag group of NCIS agents led by no-nonsense Agent Leroy Gibbs, played by Mark Harmon. The spin-offs follow the same general formula as the founding show, with younger stars and more humid shooting locations.
What makes NCIS such a far-reaching show are the individual communities surrounding it. The Reddit page for NCIS is 11.5k members strong; in 2014-2015, when the show was in its 12th season, Tumblr was a huge draw. The target demographic is adults 18 to 49, the majority of which are fluent in social media. So it’s no surprise that the internet communities around NCIS impact the show, and not just where ratings are concerned.
How Social Media Impacts Television
A poll about social media and entertainment by The Hollywood Reporter in 2012 found that “Social media is the connective tissue that enables consumers to multitask during their entertainment experiences by connecting with others and sharing their opinions.”
Because of this, groups on Reddit and Tumblr are important to shows; they give valuable feedback on how the season is going and what fans like and dislike. Likewise, they also provide communities where similarly-minded individuals can come together and express their love of a certain show. Fans can connect on a deep level, discussing theories, rumors, and sharing art, writing, or music about their favorite shows. Fans stay connected and build meaningful friendships through their media.
NCIS is one of those shows that garnered a huge following and continues to grow. Teenagers love it, grandmothers love it, and any age in between.
A Reddit user by the name of choicemeats summed it up best. They wrote that NCIS is “an institution and kind of a relic of a bygone age of television formatting. It’ll be sad to see it go”.
They go on to share their theories for a possible season 20, stating that they’d like to see “A passing of the torch, kind of literally, with a late desk move-in by McGee to Gibb’s desk”. Philosophizing about the procedural format of the show, the post goes on in a melancholy kind of way; “I guess it feels strange to know that in the show-verse the crew, whatever that looks like, will continue on doing their jobs though we will never see any of it.”