TV Lifespans: How long could NCIS run on CBS?

NCISIn this edition of TV Lifespans, we’re really looking towards the long term future of NCISTo be specific, could we flash forward to the future end up getting an NCIS season 20 on CBS someday?

We’ll admit that at this very moment in time, the odds of this happening feel like they are somewhat out of reach. The series is only in season 15 at the moment and while we think that a season 16 is going to be coming up, there is still no absolute verification that we’re getting more of the show beyond this spring. That is something that we may get courtesy of CBS a little bit later this spring.

Just when you look at the ratings alone, there is no sign that the series is slowing down to the point of cancellation. This is the network’s most-watched drama, not just in America but all over the world. It generates a ton of money and it’s brought attention to a very specific area of law-enforcement that we’re not quite sure anyone was even aware of the last time that the show was on the air. For the sake of exploring new avenues to the standard cop procedural, NCIS is a trailblazer.

The reason that we bring up a season 20 at the moment is because it’s an enormous milestone. There are only two series at present who have made it to this point: Gunsmoke and Law & Order. It’s very well possibly Law & Order: SVU will get there — for the record, we actually wrote a similar article about this show making it to season 20 back in the summer of 2016. Now, we’re just a mere matter of months away from that happening.

The first thing that NCIS needs to do to inch closer to this milestone is shore up their cast. That means locking up Mark Harmon for another season or two, for starters, and then make sure that some other familiar faces join him. One of the biggest risks that the series faces at the moment is that Pauley Perrette’s exit will be a huge blow to their brand recognition. She and Harmon are probably the two most immediately recognizable cast members. If they end up losing Harmon down the road, NCIS may not make it there.

Another reason why NCIS season 20 may be too lofty a goal is just because ratings in this present-day climate are so unpredictable, and that NCIS in general lacks the sort of super-topical subject matter that SVU does. It’s capable of bringing that to the table, but oftentimes this series focuses more on timeless cases that are relevant no matter the specific period in history.

Related – Want to see a new preview for Tuesday night’s new NCIS episode?

At the moment, we’re banking on NCIS getting at least a season 17 — we imagine that Harmon will get a new two-year deal within the next couple of months and that will spawn a similar renewal. Unfortunately, we’re not confident beyond that unless seeing the ratings stay steady and we know that most of the core cast is sticking around.

What do you think: Is an NCIS season 20 possible at some point in the future, or is it really stupid to even be asking the question based on where we are right now? Share in the comments! Meanwhile, you can also like CarterMatt on Facebook for some other insight when it comes to the series. (Photo: CBS.)

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