Spoilers ahead from NCIS Season 16, Episode 22, "...and Executioner."
CBS may have hoped for a bigger to-do for NCIS Season 16's May 7 episode. Gibbs (Mark Harmon) finally revealed to the rest of his team that he killed the man who killed his wife and daughter. The episode called "...and Executioner" fittingly followed last week's "Judge, Jury..."
The not-so-big reveal didn't seem a big deal to viewers, apparently, since the still extremely popular show had one of its worst nights ever in the ratings.
Last night's episode of NCIS had 11.5 million total viewers and a 1.0 demo rating. That was more than enough to win the night, but it was also the season's second-smallest overall audience and, per TVLine, an all-time low for the advertiser-loving 18-49 demo.
Yes, people are watching shows differently nowadays, but same-day ratings still matter, especially when compared to other recent episodes. A show earning more than 11 million Tuesday night viewers 16 seasons into its run is nothing to sneeze at. But the days of 20 million viewers and 4.0 ratings may be squarely in NCIS's past.
NCIS hasn't seen overall viewers under 11 million since Season 1. But even if those numbers do dip in the rest of Season 16 or Season 17, CBS would be silly to consider pulling the plug based on ratings alone. Consider the competition. On Tuesday, May 7 at 8 p.m., NCIS easily dominated American Housewife's 3.96 million viewers and 0.8 rating, per TV by the Numbers. NCIS also trumped The Village's 3.9 million/0.6 rating, MasterChef Junior's 2.84/.07 and The Flash's 1.48/0.5.
NCIS also had the best numbers of the entire night, even beyond that timeslot, topping The Voice's 6.08 million viewers and 0.9 rating.
So don't cry for NCIS, but go ahead and wonder if the bloom is off the rose a bit. That said, NCIS has exciting plans for how it's ending Season 16, and it has already been renewed for Season 17. So it sounds like Mark Harmon's idea of when the show should end hasn't quite come about yet. That's good news for fans, as long as the stories stay fresh and the characters stay interesting.
There are 24 episodes to NCIS Season 16, and we are up to Episode 23, "Lost Time," on May 14. Then it's the big Episode 24 finale on May 21. NCIS' fellow spinoffs also have big plans for their own finales, so don't miss those updates either.
How are you feeling about NCIS Season 16 as it winds down for the 2018-2019 year?
Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.
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