Should anyone be worried about NCIS or NCIS: New Orleans after seeing the latest ratings? We know that anytime a show posts its lowest numbers of the season, there are some folks who magically pop up out of the woodwork (funny how that happens) talking about them knocking on death’s door. We get it — there are few things that generate attention quite like panicking over cancellation, but in this case we can tell you that there’s really nothing to panic about. Despite posting the lowest ratings of the season, neither show is going anywhere provided that CBS still has its sanity and still wants to be swimming in giant bags of money.
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Just to make sure both shows get their proper due, let’s take a look here one by one.
NCIS – The primetime – Mark Harmon staple posted only a 1.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic for last week’s “Bears and Cubs,” a drop of more than 8% versus the last new episode. Not even a return of Robert Wagner could move the needle in a positive direction! This is the third straight week that we’ve seen the demo number slip; back during the big Ziva-themed episode “She,” NCIS posted one of its highest demo ratings of the season and then also its highest viewer total outright since Pauley Perrette’s goodbye. (Beyond that, “She” was the most-watched episode since March 2018.)
Why the slides? Think of it as a combo platter of factors — the show was airing opposite the finale of The Bachelor on a special night, plus also the fairly-impressive Ellen’s Game of Games. (People apparently really love silly games for cash these days!) It also was coming off of an impromptu hiatus that caused a lot of confusion. Nothing to see here though, insofar as cancellation chatter goes — NCIS is still one of television’s most-watched shows and beyond that, Mark Harmon’s under contract for another year. He’s not leaving, he’s not sick, he’s not abandoning ship to spend more time with his family and he’s not getting abducted by aliens — we know that nobody’s saying the latter one just yet but by the time May rolls around, someone probably will.
NCIS: New Orleans – Meanwhile, the spin-off dropped down to a 0.7 rating last night and that’s a much more worrisome number. You can also argue that CBS has some other possible shows for this timeslot (including FBI: Most Wanted in the works), but it’s just hard to see them doing away of a show with easy syndication money, a marquee star in Scott Bakula, and some cool Cajun style and flair. This season in particular’s been a fun one just because of some of the creative risks we’ve seen the writers take on, whether it be a touch of the supernatural via the Angel of Death (we think it’s mostly a manifestation in Pride’s head, but still) or giving Hannah Khoury this big midseason arc. Even when not every move lands, at least they’re making moves! It’s not like the writers have a book entitled Crime Procedurals By the Numbers that they’re basing all of their episodes on.
When to expect renewals
Probably within the next month or so. They only reason why it may take some time is ensuring that contracts are in order for most of the shows. That shouldn’t be as much of an issue for NCIS / NCIS: New Orleans, as so many favorites likely already are still on their current deals.
Before you go…
Be sure to check out our most-recent NCIS preview over at the link here, and also share some of your thoughts on last night’s ratings below. (Photo: CBS.)