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NCIS (also known as NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service) is an American police procedural drama television series revolving around a fictional team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service which conducts criminal investigations involving the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

The concept and characters were initially introduced in a two-part episode of the CBS series JAG (JAG episodes 8.20 and 8.21). The show, a spin-off from JAG, premiered on September 23, 2003 on CBS and, to date, has aired six full seasons and has gone into syndicated reruns on USA Network, Sleuth and Ion Television. Donald Bellisario, who created JAG as well as the well-known series Magnum, P.I. and Quantum Leap, is co-creator and executive producer of NCIS.

NCIS was originally referred to as "Navy NCIS" during Season 1; however, "Navy" was later dropped from the title as it was redundant. NCIS returned for a seventh season on September 22, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. EST and was followed by its spin-off series NCIS: Los Angeles starring Chris O'Donnell and LL Cool J.

Premise

NCIS follows a fictional team of Naval Criminal Investigative Service Major Case Response Team (MCRT) special agents headquartered at the Washington Navy Yardmarker in Washington, D.C.marker It is described by the actors and producers (on special features on DVD releases in the United States) as being distinguished by its comedy elements, ensemble acting and character-driven plots.

NCIS is the primary law enforcement and counter-intelligence arm of the United States Department of the Navy, which includes the United States Marine Corps. NCIS investigates all major criminal offenses (felonies), those crimes punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice by confinement of more than one year, within the Department of the Navy. This can be seen when the “NCIS team” is frequently assigned to high profile cases such as the death of the President's military aide, a bomb situation on a U.S. Navy warship, the death of a celebrity on a reality show set on a USMC base, terrorist threats, and kidnappings.

The “NCIS team” is led by Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon). Gibbs’ team is composed of Special Agent and Senior Field Agent Anthony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), Special Agent Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) and Special Agent Ziva David (Cote de Pablo), who replaced Caitlin "Kate" Todd (Sasha Alexander) when she was shot by Ari Haswari (Rudolf Martin) at the end of season two. Ari was then killed by his half-sister Ziva at the beginning of season three. The team is assisted in their investigations by Chief Medical Examiner Donald "Ducky" Mallard (David McCallum), Forensic Specialist Abigail "Abby" Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) and Assistant Medical Examiner Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen).

NCIS is currently led by Director Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll). The first Director seen in the series, Thomas Morrow (Alan Dale), left after being promoted to Deputy Director of DHSmarker. Jenny Shepard (Lauren Holly) was appointed Director after Morrow; she was killed in a shootout at the end of the fifth season, thus making Vance the director of the whole organization.

Main cast

Name Portrayed by Occupation Character Status
Leroy Jethro Gibbs Mark Harmon Special Agent In Charge // Major Case Response Team Supervisory Agent, NCIS Regular

(season 1-present)
Anthony DiNozzo Michael Weatherly Special Agent // Major Case Response Team Senior Field Agent, NCIS Regular

(season 1-present)
Ziva David Cote de Pablo Special Agent // Major Case Response Team Probationary Field Agent, NCIS

Former Mossad officer. (Resigned from Mossad in "The Inside Man")
Regular

(season 3–present)
Abby Sciuto Pauley Perrette Forensic Specialist, NCIS Regular

(season 1-present)
Timothy McGee Sean Murray Special Agent // Major Case Response Team Junior Field Agent, NCIS Regular

(season 2–present)

Recurring

(season 1)
Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard David McCallum Chief Medical Examiner // Forensic Psychologist, NCIS Regular

(season 1-present)
Leon Vance Rocky Carroll Director, NCIS

former Assistant Director, NCIS
Regular

(season 6–present),

Recurring

(season 5)
Jenny Shepard Lauren Holly Former Director, NCIS

Killed during a gun fight in Season 5 ("Judgment Day")
Regular

(2005–08)
Caitlin "Kate" Todd Sasha Alexander Former Special Agent, USSS

Special Agent, NCIS

Killed by Ari Haswari in Season 2 ("Twilight")
Regular

(2003–05)
Jimmy Palmer Brian Dietzen Assistant Medical Examiner, NCIS Recurring

(2004-present)
Tobias Fornell Joe Spano Senior Special Agent, FBImarker Recurring

(2003-present)
Mike Franks Muse Watson Retired Supervisory Special Agent, NIS; Mentor to Leroy Jethro Gibbs Recurring

(2006-present)
Trent Kort David Dayan Fisher Undercover Field Officer, CIA Recurring

(2006-present)
Michelle Lee Liza Lapira Special Agent // Lawyer, NCIS

Killed by Gibbs in order to kill a suspect in Season 6 ("Dagger")
Recurring

(2006–08)
Dr. Jeanne Benoit Scottie Thompson Doctor, Monroe University Hospital Recurring

(2006–08)
Paula Cassidy Jessica Steen Special Agent, NCIS

Killed by a suicide bomber in Season 4 ("Grace Period")
Recurring

(2003–07)
Hollis Mann Susanna Thompson Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army, CID retired Recurring

(2006–07)
Thomas Morrow Alan Dale Former Director, NCIS

Deputy Director, DHSmarker
Recurring

(2003–05)
Gerald Jackson Pancho Demmings Former Assistant Medical Examiner, NCIS Recurring

(2003–05)


Production

Name

Prior to the launch of the first season, advertisements on CBS identified the show as "Naval CIS." By the time of the launch of the first episode, NCIS was airing under the name Navy NCIS, the name it held for the entire first season. Since the "N" in NCIS stands for "Naval,” the name Navy NCIS was technically redundant (an example of RAS syndrome). The decision to use this name was reportedly made by CBS, over the objections of Bellisario, in order to:
  • Attract new viewers (particularly those of JAG), who might not know the NCIS abbreviation.
  • Disambiguate between NCIS and the similarly-themed and similarly-spelled CBS series CSI and its spinoffs. (The original title, for instance, was often misquoted and parodied as "Navy CSI," something the show itself referenced in the first episode).
  • After its successful first season, the name of the series was shortened to NCIS.


Filming location

NCIS is set in the Washington, D.C.marker area but is filmed in Santa Clarita, Californiamarker.
  • The sound stages are in Santa Clarita.
  • The series is shot throughout southern California.


Crew changes

It was reported in May 2007 that Donald Bellisario would be stepping down from the show. Due to a disagreement with series star Mark Harmon, Bellisario's duties as show runner/head writer were to be tasked to long-time show collaborators, including co-executive producer Chas. Floyd Johnson and Shane Brennan, with Bellisario retaining his title as Executive producer.

Episodes

Six seasons of NCIS have been aired, with the sixth season ending on May 19, 2009. The seventh season began airing on September 22, 2009. As of November 17, 2009, a total of 146 episodes have aired.

Ratings

American ratings

Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of NCIS.

Note: Each U.S. network television season starts in late September and ends in late May, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps.


Season Episodes Timeslot (EST) Original Airing Rank Viewers

(in millions)
Season premiere Season finale TV season
1st 23 Tuesday 8:00 p.m./7c September 23, 2003 May 25, 2004 2003–04 #26 11.84
2nd 23 Tuesday 8:00 p.m./7c September 28, 2004 May 24, 2005 2004–05 #22 13.63
3rd 24 Tuesday 8:00 p.m./7c September 20, 2005 May 16, 2006 2005–06 #16 15.30
4th 24 Tuesday 8:00 p.m./7c September 19, 2006 May 22, 2007 2006–07 #18 14.50
5th 19 Tuesday 8:00 p.m./7c September 25, 2007 May 20, 2008 2007–08 #10 15.65
6th 25 Tuesday 8:00 p.m./7c September 23, 2008 May 19, 2009 2008–09 #5 17.89
7th 24 Tuesday 8:00 p.m./7c September 22, 2009 May 2010 2009–10 #1 21.69 (to date)
  • NCIS became a top 10 program in its fifth season, averaging 15.65 million viewers, despite a WGA strike. Notably, the show is one of the few that has actually increased in viewership as it progresses, as opposed to most shows which decrease in popularity as they fade, and has even been able to finish a strong second to Fox's American Idol, a time slot seen by many as a "death slot" for most series.
  • NCIS delivered its largest audience to date in the Season 7 episode "Reunion", averaging 21.37 million viewers. It won its time slot on September 29, 2009 in households (12.9/21), viewers (21.37m), adults 25-54 (6.4/17), and adults 18-49 (4.8/14).


Other ratings

DVR ratings:

Cable ratings:
  • The show ranked number eighteen (4.793 million viewers) in the list of Nielsen Ratings top twenty most-watched cable shows for the week ending January 25, 2009.
  • The show ranked number ten (4.535 million viewers), twelve (4.264 million viewers), thirteen (4.221 million viewers), fifteen (4,161 million viewers), seventeen (4.132 million viewers), and twenty (4.081 million viewers) in the list of Nielsen Ratings top twenty most-watched cable shows for the week ending March 1, 2009.
  • The show ranked sixteen (4.091 million viewers), seventeen (4.084 million viewers), eighteen (4.072 million viewers), and twenty (4.006 million viewers) in the list of Nielsen Ratings top twenty most-watched cable shows for the week ending March 29, 2009.
  • The show ranked number five (4.492 million viewers), six (4.467 million viewers), eight (4.394 million viewers), nine (4.214 million viewers), fifteen (3.962 million viewers), and seventeen (3.8.58 million viewers) in the list of Nielsen Ratings top twenty most-watched cable shows for the week ending May 3, 2009.
  • The show ranked number three (4.82 million viewers), six (4.38 million viewers), ten (3.82 million viewers), eleven (3.88 million viewers), and fourteen (3.87 million viewers) in the list of Nielsen Ratings top fifteen most-watched cable shows for the week ending November 1, 2009.


DVD releases

The first six seasons of NCIS have been released as full-season boxed sets in Regions 1, 2 and 4. In Germany (which belongs to Region 2), each of season 1 - 4 was released in two DVD-boxes.The first season DVD release omits the two part introductory episode that aired as part of the eighth season of JAG.
DVD Name Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Season 1 June 6, 2006 July 24, 2006 August 10, 2006
Season 2 November 14, 2006 October 16, 2006 October 12, 2006
Season 3 April 24, 2007 June 25, 2007 March 15, 2007
Season 4 October 23, 2007 May 19, 2008 July 10, 2008
Season 5 August 26, 2008 June 22, 2009 May 7, 2009
Season 6 August 25, 2009 TBA TBA
Season 7 TBA TBA TBA


Soundtrack

CBS Records released the show's first soundtrack on February 10, 2009. The Official TV Soundtrack is a two-disc, 22-track set that includes brand new songs from top artists featured prominently in upcoming episodes of the series as well as the show’s original theme by Numeriklab (available commercially for the first time) and a remix of the theme by Ministry. The set also includes songs performed by series regulars Pauley Perrette and Cote de Pablo.

A sequel to the soundtrack was released on November 3, 2009. NCIS: The Official TV Soundtrack; Vol. 2 is a single disc, 12 track set that covers songs (many previously unreleased) featured throughout the seventh season of the show, including one recording titled "Bitter and Blue" by Weatherly, as well as two songs used in previous seasons.

Spin-off

CBS has picked up an NCIS spin-off series with the title NCIS: Los Angeles. Filming began in February 2009, with the characters introduced in a two-part NCIS episode entitled "Legend" which aired on April 28, 2009 and May 5, 2009. The characters listed were: G. Callen, Clara Macy, Nate "Doc" Getz, Kensi Blye, and Sam Hanna. Crew members will include Michael B. Kaplan, Lev L. Spiro, Jerry London, Sheldon Epps and Mark Saraceni.

Chris O'Donnell plays the lead character, G. Callen. LL Cool J, plays the role of Special Agent Sam Hanna, an ex-Navy SEAL, who works in the undercover unit of NCIS in Los Angelesmarker, and is also fluent in Arabic and an expert on Middle Eastern culture." Peter Cambor and Daniela Ruah were confirmed to be cast as leads of the new spin-off, playing a psychologist (called "Nate") and forensic investigator (called "Kensi") respectively.

Characters from NCIS have appeared in the spin-off; Leon Vance has a recurring role and Abby Sciuto appeared in the episode "Random on Purpose".

International distribution



References

  1. http://abcmedianet.com/DNR/2008/pdf/dnr052808.pdf
  2. http://www.abcmedianet.com/web/dnr/dispDNR.aspx?id=052709_07
  3. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/09/30/cbs-shows-improve-in-final-numbers-the-good-wife-improves-upon-its-premiere-with-adults-18-49/29101
  4. " NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service - Season One", TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved on October 24, 2007.
  5. NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) - Season 1, Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved on October 24, 2007.
  6. NCIS: Complete Season 1: 2003 (Naval Criminal Investigative Service), Sanity. Retrieved on October 24, 2007.
  7. " NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service - Season Two", TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved on October 24, 2007.
  8. NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) - Season 2, Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved on October 24, 2007.
  9. NCIS: Complete Season 2: (Naval Criminal Investigative Service), Sanity. Retrieved on October 24, 2007.
  10. " NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service - Season Three", TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved on October 24, 2007.
  11. NCIS Season 3, Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved on October 24, 2007.
  12. NCIS: Complete Season 3: (Naval Criminal Investigative Service), Sanity. Retrieved on October 24, 2007.
  13. " NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service - Season Four", TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved on October 24, 2007.
  14. NCIS Season 4, Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved on September 11, 2008.
  15. NCIS: Complete Season 4: (Naval Criminal Investigative Service), Sanity. Retrieved on October 24, 2007.
  16. " NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service - Season Five", TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved on September 11, 2008.
  17. "[1]", Play.com. Retrieved on April 08, 2009.
  18. Official homepage of the series in laSexta webpage


External links




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