Expanding Universe: ‘NCIS’ Franchise Grows with New Spinoffs and Returning Favorites

Expanding Universe: 'NCIS' Franchise Grows with New Spinoffs and Returning Favorites

The “NCIS” franchise continues to expand, with six shows already aired and two additional series slated for release by 2024.

Expanding Universe: 'NCIS' Franchise Grows with New Spinoffs and Returning Favorites

While many believe “NCIS” initiated the popular naval intelligence-themed series, it was actually “JAG” that launched the franchise on NBC in 1995. “JAG” featured military lawyers from the Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Office navigating the complexities of military justice. Although NBC discontinued the series after its first season, CBS revived it, allowing the show to introduce key characters who would later star in “NCIS.”

“JAG” aired from 1995 to 2005, spanning 10 seasons and 227 episodes. The series laid the groundwork for what would become a sprawling franchise.

The first direct spinoff, “NCIS,” debuted in 2003 and featured Mark Harmon as Jethro Gibbs. Harmon led the series until 2021, and the show introduced Gary Cole as Agent Alden Parker in its twentieth season after Harmon’s departure. The series’ 21st season faced delays due to industry strikes but premiered in February 2024.

“NCIS: Los Angeles,” which began in 2009 and concluded in May 2023, connected back to “JAG” with guest appearances by David James Elliott and Catherine Bell. The series had a successful 14-season run.

“NCIS: New Orleans” started in 2014, starring Scott Bakula and Lucas Black, and ended after seven seasons in 2021.

The franchise’s first female-led series, “NCIS: Hawai’i,” launched in September 2021 with Vanessa Lachey as the lead. It was canceled just before what would have been its fourth season in April 2024.

“NCIS: Sydney,” the first international version of the series, initially intended for Australian audiences, will also air in the U.S. due to the temporary pause in American production caused by strikes. It features a diverse cast including Olivia Swann and Todd Lasance.

CBS has greenlit “NCIS: Origins,” a prequel set in 1991 that explores the early days of a young Leroy Jethro Gibbs, with narration by Mark Harmon who also serves as an executive producer.

Additionally, Paramount+ has announced a new spinoff starring Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo as Tony DiNozzo and Ziva David, respectively, focusing on their characters managing personal and professional challenges.

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