‘NCIS’ And Its Spin-Offs Are Breaking a Tradition This Year

by Shelby Scott
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This year’s been difficult for longtime “NCIS” fans. Now, we’ve learned that the hit show and its spinoffs are breaking one long tradition. In doing so Outsiders, “NCIS” is also breaking our hearts.

Over the course of nearly two decades on the air, fans have come to expect new holiday-based episodes annually.

Digital Spy provides the examples of “NCIS’s” 2011 episode, “Newborn King.” The episode sees the team protecting a mom-to-be from the people who killed her husband at Christmas. We might also recall the much more recent 2018 episode, “What Child is This?” where Gibbs & Co. locate an unidentified infant on Christmas Eve.

Sadly, the outlet states “NCIS” fans will have to turn to rerun holiday episodes instead.

However, following an onslaught of pivotal transitions, it makes sense the network has strayed from the longstanding tradition.

With the brand new addition of “NCIS: Hawai’i” and the ongoing transformations taking place on the franchise’s flagship show, there is much to recover. Showrunners may be looking to channel efforts into character and storyline development instead. Surely, producing a holiday-specific episode presents more challenges than we might expect. Writers must work the festivities into the drama surrounding the hit CBS shows in addition to developing the central plot.

Instead, it appears showrunners for “NCIS” plan to further develop Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ replacement, Agent Alden Parker. Parker’s actor, Gary Cole, has acknowledged the challenges that come with filling the role of such a central figure. He previously stated, “He’s trying to fit in with the rest of the team…he admires that Gibbs breaks rules. Parker bends them.”

As season 19 ensues, it will be interesting to see how Agent Alden Parker compares and lives up to, the legacy left by Special Agent Gibbs.

‘NCIS’ Fans Perturbed by Show’s Opening Credits

For nearly two decades, “NCIS” saw the same iconic style and soundtrack during its opening sequence since the pilot in 2003. Season 19 sees the credits appearing in much the same way. Nevertheless, characters come and go, the opening credits feature a different cast throughout the course of 19 seasons.

Outsiders have come to love it. The credits build suspense for the upcoming episode and the soundtrack lends excitement to what’s ahead. However, several episodes following Mark Harmon’s historic departure from “NCIS,” showrunners are still featuring the central character in the opening credits. The fact is both confusing and frustrating for fans.

“Mark Harmon is still in the title sequence,” one “NCIS” fan pointed out. “Does this mean he will show back up again this season?”

Other fans were more frustrated, as the departure of the beloved Gibbs character was hard enough to endure. “I don’t mind seeing Mark Harmon in the opening credits when he’s in the episode, but…must you include him when he’s NOT???”

We’re beginning to wonder the same thing.

Outsider.com