When Did NCIS Start And How Many Seasons Are There?

NCIS, an acronym for Naval Criminal Investigative Service, is a TV series that has come a very long way having started more than a decade ago. It is one of the most popular criminal investigation series on TV and has had a very interesting history of its own. The long-running show has been sustained through many seasons thanks to its great storyline, casting, and storytelling among other things. It ranks in the same league as The Big Bang Theory, as the show is recorded as the most-watched scripted series on TV. The show has won over the hearts of many who remain ever curious to know more about their beloved series. Here’s what you should know about NCIS.

History and Development of NCIS

As earlier stated, NCIS is a fictional procedural TV series that revolves around a special team of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The elite team spearheads investigations into crimes that involve Navy or Marine personnel.

The show quickly grew into a franchise and has spawned similar shows with focus on specific cities in the US. The franchise consists of the NCIS TV series itself, NCIS: Los Angeles, and NCIS: New Orleans. While the main show began in 2003, NCIS: Los Angeles started in 2009 and NCIS: New Orleans began in 2014.

The CBS show, which was first named Naval CIS before its launch, first came on TV in September 2003. It came as a spin-off of Donald P. Bellisario’s legal drama TV show, JAG. NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans later joined the franchise. JAG first began in 1995 on NBC and it continued until the final season in 2005.

NCIS’ concept was initially introduced in the “Ice Queen” and “Meltdown” episodes of JAG‘s eighth season in 2003. The episodes introduced the NCIS team but instead of the usual blend of courtroom drama and military activities that JAG was popular for, these two episodes were more centered on introducing the NCIS team which was called in to investigate the death of a Navy Lieutenant JAG officer whose body was found in the wood.

More so, some characters of the show, including Mark Harmon and David McCallum who have remained the only people to appear in all seasons of the show, were also introduced in the two episodes of JAG that started NCIS. They appeared as Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs and Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard respectively in JAG before coming to be the main cast members in NCIS.

How Long Has NCIS Ran?

When Did NCIS Start
NCIS Cast: Image Source

Since NCIS got its start in 2003, it has had 16 seasons thus far. The first season ran from September 2003 to May 2004 while the second ran from September 2004 to May 2005. The subsequent seasons all maintained this timeline with the 16th season running from September 2018 to May 2019.

While the first and second seasons had 23 episodes, the fifth had 19 and the sixth had 25 episodes; all other seasons have had 24 episodes.

Regarding the ratings of the show, it has continued to improve since from the first season which got a 7.8 rating (Nielsen ratings) and was ranked 23 in Broadcast ratings. The second season ranked 22 with a rating of 8.8. By the tenth season, it got a 1 ranking while the rating was 13.5. From then on, the show has maintained a ranking of between 1 and 2. That said, the show has remained one of the most-watched scripted shows on American TV since its seventh episode, gaining its topmost position for the first time during the tenth season.

Already, CBS has renewed the veteran drama for its 17th season which will be for the 2019-2020 TV season. With an average of 12.2 million viewers, it was obviously not surprising that CBS has decided to give its longest-standing TV shows, which has one of the most loyal fans on TV, another shot.

Although CBS has not announced when the 17th season of NCIS will start airing, it is expected that it will premier in September 2019 and should run until May 2020, following previous patterns. More so, just like all others, it will air on Tuesday at 8:00 PM.

With the announcement of the renewal of the show for the 17th season, this means that the celebrated CBS show will join other shows like Criminal Minds, God Friended Me, Young Sheldon, The Neighborhood, and Magnum P.I. among others for the CBS 2019-2020 season.


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