Why NCIS, SEAL Team, other shows don’t have Fourth of July specials

NCISWe know that the Fourth of July is one of the biggest holidays that is out there — yet, we don’t often see it represented all that much on TV. It feels like a perfect fit for shows like NCIS or SEAL Team that involve the military, or even ones like Chicago Fire given the setting and the focus on the local community.

So why don’t you see it feared all that much? There’s really a simple reason for it: Timing. The majority of shows that are out there often like to take place somewhere close to real time, and none of them are ever airing new episodes in July. By the time that they come back in September/October most years, there isn’t that much of an interest for stories themed around Independence Day. They’d have to air an episode set then, only to have some massive time jump to get you back in real time again.

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Another issue with it? It really comes down to how shows want to spend their premieres in September trying to unravel their most-recent cliffhanger. Doing that within the context of what is effectively a “holiday special” is challenging. July 4 is a big holiday, and we like to think a lot of TV characters celebrate it. It may just be a hard one to present on TV. Timing aside, there aren’t too many unified traditions other than fireworks and barbecue. It’s also one that a lot of people have off and don’t celebrate in advance at work — as they often do Christmas.

Is there a solution that a lot of networks could try, if they really wanted a July 4 special? Sure. They could film an installment in advance and air it similar to how Doctor Who and Call the Midwife do their Christmas/holiday specials — almost as a one-off. There’s just not much of an incentive for shows to do this, given that ratings in July are often poor with viewers off doing other things. There’s not much commercial value to it — that may be a little different this year, but we’re speaking here more as a general rule.

Related News Be sure to get some more discussion about NCIS and character pairings we’d love to see

Do you wish there were July 4 episodes of NCIS, SEAL Team, or some other shows?

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This article was written by Jessica Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.

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