NCIS fans have been tickled pink by the Ziva reveal and it’s showing in the ratings for the big Season 16 episode. When final numbers came in, the show ticked up to 13.4 million total viewers, therefore marking the highest ratings the long-running CBS drama has nabbed all season.
NCIS is no longer in its heyday, a time when it sometimes did more than 20 million total viewers in Live+ Same Day numbers. However, 13.4 million is a hefty number of viewers for a show and especially one that is in Season 16. Previously, this season, the most heavily viewed episode did 12.6 million total viewers in Live+ Same Day. (And that was the episode kicking off the whole season.) So, that’s quite a bit of a jump.
The promotional ad for the episode during the Super Bowl may have helped clue some fans in on the fact that Ziva would factor into the plot coming up. In addition, as news of what happens during the episode spreads, the Live+ 3 and Live+ 7 numbers for the series will likely increase.
The episode in question was about a case Ziva had been involved with before her ultimate exit from the series. It seemed that might be the only connection to the former character on the show, but by the end of the episode – and major spoilers – NCIS had dropped the bombshell that Ziva was still alive.
In fact, she even asked Ellie to keep her secret. Presumably there will be even more Ziva stuff cropping up in the show in the future due to the way the story left off.
Theoretically this is a storyline we will hear more from at some point. If it happens sooner rather than later, it could help the ratings for the veteran series rise over the next few months. We’ll keep you posted either way.
In terms of this episode, it should be noted that NCIS was still beat by NBC juggernaut This is Us in the demo, but the CBS drama won handily in total viewers. Per TV By The Numbers, This is Us did a 1.7 rating and 7.4 million total viewers in the 9 p.m. slot. NCIS was in the 8 p.m. slot and did a 1.3 rating in the 18-49 demographic and the aforementioned 13.4 million total viewers. It's a battle that has been playing out on Tuesday nights for some time now between the two network shows.
CBS’ FBI also beat This is Us in total viewers, with 9.4 million, also at 9 p.m. However, This is Us won the night in the 18-49 demographic and NCIS took home the crown in total viewers. It was big wins for multiple networks.
All in all, it wasn’t a bad night for TV and we’ll have to wait and see how the numbers pan out with this new Ziva wrinkle in the cards. To take a look at what else is headed to television, take a peek at our full midseason TV schedule.