Preliminary Evidence: NCIS Remains a Hit
The 2011-2012 broadcast television season is now well under way, and one thing is readily apparent thus far: The CBS series NCIS, now entering its 9th season, is off to a rousing start, and appears as popular and as high quality as ever.
Preliminary evidence indicates that NCIS Season 9 once again has brilliantly conceived and developed story lines; top-notch acting by one of the finest ensemble casts on broadcast TV; and characters that are as endearing and fun to watch as ever. In short, NCIS once again proves that it is TV entertainment at its best.
And oh, by the way… it has once again taken its place at or near the top of the ratings charts for broadcast TV shows. (More about that later…)
Sifting Through the Evidence: Intel Report on NCIS
For those not familiar with the show, NCIS is a police procedural crime drama that airs on CBS on Tuesday nights at 8:00. Starring Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Cote de Pablo, Sean Murray, Pauley Perrette, Rocky Carroll, and David McCallum, the show revolves around the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), an actual civilian-run law enforcement agency of the U.S. Navy.
NCIS follows the investigations of the Major Case Response Team (MCRT) located at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, DC. Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Harmon), leads this team, which is made up of Special Agents Tony DiNozzo (Weatherly); Ziva David (de Pablo), Timothy McGee (Murray), and by Chief Medical Examiner ‘Ducky” Mallard (McCallum) and forensics expert Abby Sciuto (Perrette.)
Every week the MCRT tackles a new crime related to U.S. Navy and Marine Corps personnel and their families. The crime is usually murder, but there are also terrorist plots and cases of espionage for Gibbs’ team to investigate and solve.
Fresh Evidence: A New Season of NCIS Begins
Season 9 of NCIS picks up right where season 8 ended last May. In the final episode of Season 8, the MCRT has just solved the case of the “Port-to Port Killer,” an extremely difficult case that has cost the life of one of the team’s closest friends, and the career of the Secretary of the Navy. At the end of the episode, Special Agent DiNozzo receives a special assignment directly from the new Secretary of the Navy: “take care of” a rogue NCIS agent that is suspected of betraying his country.
Season 9 opens with an episode entitled “The Nature of the Beast.” Repercussions from the “Port-to-Port Killer” case continue to shake up Gibbs’ team and the agency as a whole. We find DiNozzo in the hospital suffering from injuries sustained in a gunfight with unknown assailants. Forensic evidence indicates that DiNozzo may have shot at least one NCIS agent. Since the body (or bodies) has disappeared, the key questions for which Gibbs must find answers are: whom did DiNozzo shoot? Are they dead or alive? And where are the victims?
There’s one major problem: DiNozzo can’t provide answers to any of these questions. He has blocked the incident from his memory.
Gibbs employs the services of a civilian psychiatrist to help DiNozzo remember what happened. In a series of brilliantly written flashback scenes, DiNozzo retraces his steps backwards four months, to when he received his special assignment from the Secretary of the Navy. In doing this, threads from the past are picked up and interwoven with threads of future cases for the MCRT to solve…
Subsequent episodes from the new season of NCIS introduce viewers to Tim McGee’s grandmother, Abby Sciuto’s brother, and a new love interest for “Ducky” Mallard. New cases involve a civilian government contractor gone rogue while developing a secret weapon of mass destruction; threats to a Navy Congressional liason officer; and the murders of a beloved Marine Corps enlisted man and a Coast Guard officer.
In each episode thus far, viewers are treated to NCIS’s patented, perfect blend of suspense, drama, forensic science, and humor, all provided by the best ensemble cast and writers in all of broadcast TV. The inevitable result: a consistently taut, suspenseful, action-packed show that’s laced with humor, and is a sure bet to captivate and entertain viewers everywhere.
The Evidence Speaks: The Verdict on NCIS
Now in its 9th season, NCIS clearly remains a hit with viewers. Nielsen ratings for the week of October 17, 2011 ranks NCIS as the number 1 broadcast TV show (ahead of #2 Dancing with the Stars and #3 NCIS: Los Angeles), with an 11.9 rating and 19.4 million viewers nationwide.
Impressive stats and a strong verdict that says NCIS continues as one of the most popular and best quality shows on broadcast television.