‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ Kicks Off Production with Traditional Hawaiian Blessing

by Madison Miller
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Amidst the sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, warm tropical breeze, hundreds of TV extras, and a slew of agent and detective-portraying actors, “NCIS: Hawai’i” is officially filming.

The spin-off series will follow a new group of “NCIS” detectives and team members as they navigate crime on the beautiful islands of Hawai’i. It is the third spin-off to come from the mothership “NCIS” series starring Mark Harmon, which is soon entering the 19th season. The spin-offs include “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: New Orleans.” The latter will not be returning for another season.

Traditional Ceremony Before Filming

The new series stars Vanessa Lachey as the first-ever female lead to ever appear in the franchise as a special agent. Alongside her will be Noah Mills, Jason Antoon, Yasmine Al-Bustami, and Tori Anderson.

Before they got into the kick of solving crimes and saving lives, the cast and crew joined forces for a special and traditional Hawaiian blessing. The Hawaiian blessing was on Wednesday, June 16 on Mokulē’Ia Beach on Oahu. Kahu Ramsay Taum officiated the ceremony.

The special ceremony featured all the stars together. Everyone pictured followed the show’s strict COVID-19 guidelines. A part of this includes wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.

The ceremony itself had traditional royal maile leis, or an Oli Aloha. This is a welcoming chant to properly greet the crew. The ceremony also included a closing prayer called a Pule Ho’oku’u. A press release referred to the entire celebratory moment as a way to focus on “the constant motion of the ocean and how the moving ocean waters, driven by the winds and tides, connects the entire planet.”

The show’s official Twitter account released a video of everyone’s reactions to the important blessing. Lachey called it an “exciting day.”

“I feel the blessing ceremony, it’s a sense of gratitude, and I think it’s great to start that and it centers the moral code for the whole show,” Tori Anderson, who will be playing Kate Whistler, said.

The show just recently started the filming process. Fans can expect to see it air this fall on Monday nights at 10 p.m. ET right after “NCIS.” You can watch it live or stream it on the CBS app and Paramount+.

‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ Name Change

When the upcoming series was originally announced, it was referred to as “NCIS: Hawaii” instead. However, not long after the show was announced with Lachey as the lead, CBS tweaked the name. The new name reflects more cultural accuracy.

The name became “NCIS: Hawai’i” to reflect the state’s name in the Hawaiian language. It is the overall official name for the Big Island of Hawai’i.

There have actually been movements to change the official federal government state name to the official name locals use. The name is incorrect if the okina, or the glottal stop between the “i’s,” is omitted.

According to the National Park Service, Congress would have to be behind the initiative to get that name changed. The name Hawai’i appears in some instances, but is not yet universal, which is the end goal. The name of the state’s national park, the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, reflects the proper spelling.

Outsider.com