NCIS, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, is a police procedural drama action series centred around a fictional team of Special Agents from the Major Case Response Team, the primary federal law enforcement agency of the United States Department of the Navy.
The unit is tasked with investigating all types of crimes involving the United States Navy and Marine Corps and their families without regard to rank and position.
NCIS is inspired by the famous JAG series and combines elements of the military drama and police procedural genres.
What Is NCIS About?
The team, which operates outside the military circle, is led by experienced Senior Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), an ex-Marine, highly skilled, intelligent, interrogation detective who relies as much on his instincts as on evidence.
Second in command is Agent Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), a former homicide detective who joined NCIS only recently but who has instincts that only come out when working the streets and who, despite being the class joker, always does his job.
Agents Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) and Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) complete the group. Abby Scuito (Pauley Perrette) is the goth-style yet energetic Forensic Specialist and lab assistant, whom Gibbs treats like his daughter, and Dr Donnal Mallard (David McCallum), better known as Ducky, is the eccentric forensic doctor whose incredible knowledge complements the entire team.
From murder to espionage, terrorist attacks to secret information theft, these agents do and go wherever it takes to investigate all crimes related to the US Navy.
NCIS has broken rating records and, since its fifth season, has made it into the top ten series in terms of audience and is currently one of the most-watched programs in the United States.
It also has three derivative shows, the first of which is entitled NCIS: Los Angeles, which premiered in 2009. The second, NCIS: New Orleans, debuted in 2014, and the third sequel, NCIS: Hawaii, began in 2021. Of all the series, NCIS remains the most watched.
Shows Like NCIS
If you are still looking for a good police drama with a lot of mystery and suspense in each episode, come and discover the list of nine shows like NCIS that we have put together for you.
For the purposes of this article, we've looked at the shows that you can currently stream, rather than network shows that are currently airing on regular tv.
So in addition to the NCIS spin-offs that you can explore, get to know an elite FBI team specialised in analysing the profiles of the most feared serial killers, anticipating their next steps before they strike again in Criminal Minds.
Follow the complex daily life of a group of judicial detectives in Las Vegas, analysing the places where crimes have been committed in CSI.
Also, follow a detective who works for the Philadelphia homicide department, assigned to the “dead files” section. With her team, she investigates crimes committed long ago that have gone unsolved and has to rethink them, interview people involved with the victims and find some connection that leads her to the killer in Cold Case.
But if you've already caught up with those series, check out our shows like NCIS below.
OUR LIST OF SHOWS LIKE NCIS
How Many Seasons Does NCIS Have?
NCIS premiered with two introductory episodes in April 2003. The first season was aired in September of the same year with 23 episodes.
A new season was always released in September each year until 2019. The eighteenth season debuted in November 2020, being the shortest with 16 episodes due to the covid19 pandemic.
In September of the following year, season nineteen premiered, and the twentieth season was launched in September 2022 and is still running.
So far, there has not been any information that the series will have a 21st season. To date, it has 20 seasons with a total of 448 episodes.
Why Did Mark Harmon Leave NCIS?
With 435 episodes of NCIS under his belt, Mark Harmon finally said goodbye to Jethro Gibbs in season 19, four episodes in.
Regular viewers will remember that Gibbs and McGee were in Alaska, solving a case involving a contract killer hired by a local company. Rather than return, Gibbs decided to stay indefinitely.
“I’m not going back, Tim,” Gibbs said while fishing. “I’m not going back home.”
He had finally found some peace and he didn't want to let it go.
As for Mark Harmon, he has never really given a reason as to why he left the show. In a special featurette on the show's season 19 DVD release, he discussed discuss the legacy of his character.
He said “What has always drawn me here is the character I play and to keep it fresh and to keep it challenging.”
So did he mean he didn't find the character interesting anymore? Either way, the show has continued without him with Gary Cole taking up the role of Agent Alden Parker.
Why Did Bishop / Emily Wickersham Leave NCIS?
Fan favourite, Agent Bishop played by Emily Wickersham bowed out of NCIS in season 18.
She confirmed her exit in an Instagram post that the Season 18 finale was, in fact, her final episode.
At the time she said: “Hangin this hat and jacket up. What a great ride it’s been.
“This cast, this crew, are top notch. I can’t say enough kind words about this group that I’ve had the pleasure of working with for close to 8 years now and 172 episodes later.
“This business is finicky and weird and consistency is a rarity. I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of a show where I got to show up and act and laugh and learn with wonderful people.
“A moment in time I surely won’t forget. Thank you CBS and NCIS for including me in a part of television history. Time goes fast. Eat it up but chew slowly ❤️”.
Is NCIS An Award-Winning Series?
Over the 20 years of broadcasting, NCIS has been nominated and won several awards in different categories.
In 2004, after the first year of broadcasting, it won the award for Best TV Series at the ASCAP Awards, repeating the achievement in 2016.
It has also won awards for Best Supporting Actress, Best Drama Actress, and in the BMI TV Music Award, and was nominated for over twenty categories.
In 2014 the show won the highest Worldwide Audience in the TV Drama category at the Monte Carlo International Television Audience Award.
In 2017, Mark Harmon won the Favourite TV Drama Actor category at the People's Choice Awards.