Good News, Bad News: How NCIS Did In The Ratings Shortly After Season 19 Renewal

Mark Harmon as Leroy Jethro Gibbs in NCIS.

Spoilers ahead for Season 18, Episode 12 "Sangre" of NCIS.

CBS mega-hit NCIS recently got renewed for Season 19, but not all is well with the franchise. As the series gets ready for another season, Season 18 is already getting neglected, and recent ratings show a dip in the demo and a fellow CBS drama taking the lead.

Last week’s episode of NCIS saw Nick’s estranged father as a lead suspect in the death of a Marine sergeant and Gibbs taking up a different hobby while on his suspension. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the episode only recorded a 0.6 in adults 18-49, which is a tenth of a point behind its previous low. It did, however, lead primetime among all viewers, averaging 8.56 million. Meanwhile, FBI, which followed the long-running police procedural, finished second in viewers with 7.57, and FBI: Most Wanted finished the night with 5.62 million viewers with a 0.57 rating in the 18-49 demo.

FBI led the 18-49 rankings in primetime for adults, beating lead-in NCIS, which reportedly hit an all-time low in the key ad demographic, for the first time since the two shows first aired back-to-back. While overall, Tuesday wasn’t too good of a night for broadcast TV, FBI managed to get a 0.68 rating, which is equivalent to 880,00 people in the 18-49 age range.

Despite the dip in ratings, the NCIS franchise is far from going anywhere. Although the end of NCIS: New Orleans is coming up quick, CBS renewed the parent series for Season 19 and NCIS: Los Angeles for Season 13. In addition, the network also officially picked up NCIS: Hawaii for the 2021-22 broadcast season, taking the franchise on a tropical journey. Although ratings haven’t been as good lately, NCIS is still topping Tuesday nights, proving why this series has aired as long as it has.

In the next episode of NCIS, Gibbs, who has been talking to investigative reporter Marcie Warren for an article regrading the truth about his suspension, may be taken to court over some files he was reading. The episode will see him testifying against a financial advisor who stole millions from Navy clients, as his team investigates a biker killed in a hit-and-run.

With Season 19 officially a thing, the question will be where this will take Gibbs. Although it was rumored that Mark Harmon will be leaving the series after this current season (and it seems they’ve given Gibbs the perfect excuse with his suspension), CBS was able to lock him down for Season 19. It's not yet known how big of a presence Harmon will have in the upcoming season, as well as how many episodes it will have since Season 18 has 16 instead of the usual 20-24, thanks to COVID. Additionally, will there be any connection to the new NCIS: Hawaii series when it first kicks off? We'll be watching closely to see how things shake out for the show both story and ratings-wise.

New episodes of NCIS air Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.