Even though we’re technically still in the midst of Fall TV’s biggest premiere window, it looks like certain shows are already earning big updates about their futures. In this case, we’re talking about the franchise-expanding spinoffs NCIS: Hawai'i and FBI: International, which were both at the center of a CBS announcement made on Indigenous Peoples' Day. Even though fans were already presumed safe to get invested in both shows without fear of sudden early cancellations, the network went ahead and confirmed that by ordering up full seasons for both freshman dramas.
After just three installments from each drama aired, including the respective series premieres, both NCIS: Hawai'i and FBI: International have already secured their foreseeable futures on CBS with the expanded episode orders. But even though we already know the good news is in place, it’s still currently unclear exactly how many episodes fans are going to get from the drama spinoffs. Given that 22+-episode seasons are no longer automatic for primetime series, even on broadcast networks, we’ll have to wait and see just how much of an investment CBS is putting into the two shows.
As the first NCIS series headed up by a female agent (portrayed by Vanessa Lachey), NCIS: Hawai'i has quickly become a viewership winner on Monday nights as a follow-up to the mothership series. (Okay, I guess JAG is technically the mothership, but you get me.) By all means, the spinoff’s chance for success was assumed but not guaranteed, considering NCIS was shifting away from its Tuesday night time slot for the first time, and was now directly competing with Monday Night Football, among other regular ratings winners such as The Voice.
Still, NCIS: Hawai'i has already made its mark on Monday nights, peaking with the series premiere’s 6.59 million-strong viewership — with some negative opinions from that group — followed by a consistent second and third showing, with both installments being watched by 5.54 million viewers on the night. Which isn’t to say the island-set crime procedural scored top marks across the board, as its 0.5 demo rating for the three eps, while also impressively consistent, is below the benchmark networks tend to aim for. That said, CBS series very rarely capture the wins with audiences aged 18-49, so it comes with the territory, I guess.
Meanwhile, over on Tuesday nights, FBI: International immediately proved itself worthy of being in the increasingly expanding stable of Dick Wolf-created dramas, even if all things non-FBI are airing on NBC. With the Luke Kleintank and Heida Reed-led spinoff taking over the middle time slot between FBI and the initial spinoff FBI: Most Wanted, the International follow-up debuted to a slightly smaller crowd than NCIS: Hawai'i, with 6.43 million tuning into the premiere. However, the second and third episodes fared better than those of its NCIS counterpart, respectively being watched by 6.04 million people and 6.08 million people. Everybody loves an uptick, even if it's not the biggest one.
Similar to NCIS: Hawai'i, FBI: International isn't exactly wowing anyone with its demo stats. The series premiere earned a 0.6 demo rating before dipping to 0.5 for the next two episodes. That clearly didn't scare CBS away from ordering more episodes, though.
Now that fans can take comfort in watching each week without worrying any bad news, NCIS: Hawai'i airs Monday nights on CBS (opens in new tab) at 10:00 p.m. ET, while FBI: International is the middleman during a full night of FBI action every Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. ET. And don’t forget to check out everything that’s yet to come with our 2021 Fall TV schedule!
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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