If there is one thing that NCIS has been synonymous with when it comes to episode count over the years, it is the number 24. For the vast majority of its run, the CBS crime drama has aired that many episodes precisely every season. What makes that number work so well for them is that gives CBS a chance to air new episodes for the majority of the season from fall until spring, while also establishing a solid schedule for the cast and production in Los Angeles. It is demanding without being overly demanding and exhausting to the point where everyone just wants to quit.
Yet, is there a way to get a little more out of the show every year? It is something to think about, mostly just because of the fact that Hawaii Five-0 over the past several years has done 25 episodes of season. That is a big, ambitious number that most other shows don’t try to achieve. When it comes to NCIS, you can make the case for CBS wanting it just because of the fact that this is a very highly rated show, and they can feasibly find a week to add another new episode to the schedule.
As for figuring out ways to do that without extending the production schedule much, you would probably have to make sure a couple of episodes a season are fairly easy to film, such as having most of them take place within interior sets or feature very long scenes with a lot of dialogue. Basically, things that are easier for production to shoot and things that don’t take as much time.
Yet, there are also many reasons as to why this would probably not happen at all. First and foremost, casts are typically contracted for a specific number of episodes a year, and trying to extend that count over the course of production can be difficult. That’s especially true with the show that has been on the air for as long as this one and most cast members already have routines. We would also probably need to find a way to give more cast members breaks within the season if you are adding another episode, and we’re not entirely sure how you do that with a show like NCIS. In order to solve the cases, don’t you need people like Gibbs and McGee around? It certainly feels that way.
While getting that extra episode could end up being a great little gift for fans, at the same time getting 24 is something to be extremely grateful about in first place. It’s hard to be upset over something that fewer and fewer shows are getting as time goes by.
(For the record, NCIS has done one 24-episode season in the past … all the way back in season 6.)
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