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Currently in its 14th season, CBS' NCIS is showing no signs of slowing down, no matter how many grey hairs pop up on Gibbs' head. One reason for that is the drama's annual placement in the list of television's most-watched shows, and though the overall decline in live viewership has similarly affected NCIS, it is still pulling in enviable totals. However, the news is not quite as good concerning NCIS' ratings in the key 18-49 demographic, as its most recent episode tied a series low in the all-important stats. Perhaps non-coincidentally, spinoff NCIS: New Orleans also tied its own demo lows.
For Tuesday night's episode, titled "Nonstop," NCIS drew in 15.43 million viewers after Live+Same Day numbers were tallied, so there's no worry that the show had suddenly hemorrhaged millions of fans over Super Bowl weekend or anything. But the demographic situation just isn't getting any better for the long-running series, and the 1.7 rating it earned this week isn't just tying a one-off rating NCIS earned in its first season or anything. Several episodes in Season 14 have hit the 1.7 mark, which would seemingly be indicative of a gradual downward flow that it may not be able to pick itself back up again in future seasons.
For many different TV shows, these kinds of slips in the numbers would be a cause for some locked-room worry sessions, but NCIS probably isn't suffering for network appreciation. The numbers may be down overall, but the procedural drama just reached its season-high in total viewers for the episode just prior to this one, with an audience of over 16.21 million people. In comparison, Season 13 tapped out at nearly 19 million for its biggest crowd, but times are tough all over, and because it's tougher for almost every show besides NCIS, it will probably take a much bigger drop in numbers for anybody want to make any changes.
Meanwhile, NCIS: New Orleans doesn't exactly have the same kind of safety net that its predecessor has. Now in its Merri Brody-free third season, the Big Easy spinoff is no longer bringing in double digits for total viewership, and its last episode similarly reached a series low in the key 18-49 demo with a 1.0 rating. As well, the total viewership was the second-lowest in NCIS: New Orleans' relatively short history, with 8.9 million people watching Live+Same Day. Nobody start playing "Taps" just yet, but get the horns ready.