When it comes to popular television shows, NCIS should be at the top of the list. In 2014, it was announced that the CBS procedural was "the most-watched drama in the world" and over the course of 19 seasons, it has remained in the Top 5 when it comes to Nielsen ratings. In fact, in 2018, it ranked No. 4 on the list of the most popular TV shows of the year, beating shows like The Voice and CBS competitor Bull, which stars an NCIS alum.
And it shouldn't come as a huge surprise thanks to the stellar cast, unexpected plot twists — we're still not over Caitlin's death, TBH — and loyal viewers. However, even the most dedicated fans might have questions about the show, like:
What does NCIS stand for?
NCIS stands for Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which is the primary law enforcement agency of the U.S. Navy. Its main function is to investigate any criminal activities involving the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps., though its mandate also includes national security, counterintelligence, counter-terrorism, and cyber warfare.
How long has NCIS been on?
The CBS series was actually a spinoff of the TV show JAG when it premiered in 2003. Currently, in its 19th season, the show has followed Gibbs and his team based in Washington D.C. In 2009, its spinoff NCIS: LA premiered, which follows a team at the Office of Special Projects (OSP), an elite division of NCIS, that specializes in undercover assignments.
In 2014, NCIS: New Orleans made its debut on CBS, this time focused on NCIS agents stationed in The Big Easy. In 2021, NCIS: New Orleans had its series finale and CBS introduced a new show in the franchise: NCIS: Hawai'i.
- Mark Harmon (Leroy Gibbs) — Season 1-
- Michael Weatherly (Tony DiNozzo) — Season 1-13
- Pauly Perrette (Abby Sciuto) — Season 1-15
- David McCallum (Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard) — Season 1-
- Sean Murray (Timoty McGee) — Season 2-
- Cote de Pablo (Ziva David) — Season 3-11
- Sasha Alexander (Caitlin Todd) — Season 1-2
- Lauren Holly (Jenny Shepard) — Season 3-5
- Rocky Carroll (Leon Vance) — Season 6-
- Brian Dietzen (Dr. Jimmy Palmer) — Season 6-
- Emily Wickersham (Eleanor Bishop) — Season 11-
- Wilmer Valderrama (Nicholas Torres) — Season 14-
- Duane Henry (Clayton Reeves) — Season 14-15
- Jennifer Esposito (Alex Quinn) — Season 14
- Maria Bello (Dr. Jacqueline Stone) — Season 15-
- Diona Reasonover (Kasie Hines) — Season 15-
NCIS: New Orleans cast:
- Scott Bakula (Dwayne Cassius Pride) — Season 1-7
- Lucas Black (Christopher LaSalle) — Season 1-6
- Rob Kerkovich (Sebastian Lund) — Season 1-7
- CCH Pounder (Loretta Wade) — Season 1-7
- Zoe McLellan (Meredith Brody) — Season 1-2
- Daryl "Chill" Mitchell (Patton Plame) — Season 2-7
- Shalita Grant (Sonja Percy) — Season 2-4
- Vanessa Ferlito (Tammy Gregorio) — Season 3-7
- Necar Zadegan (Hannah Khoury) — Season 5-7
- Charles Michael Davis (Quentin Carter) — Season 6-7
- Chelsea Field (Rita Devereaux (Season 3-7)
NCIS: LA cast:
- Chris O'Donnell (G. Callen) — Season 1-
- Daniela Ruah (Kensi Blye) — Season 1-
- LL Cool J (Sam Hanna) — Season 1-
- Linda Hunt (Hetty Lange) — Season 1-
- Barrett Foa (Eric Beale) — Season 1-
- Adam Jamal Craig (Dominic Vail) — Season 1
- Peter Cambor (Nate Getz) — Season 1
- Eric Olsen (Marty Deeks) — Season 2-
- Renee Felice Smith (Nell Jones) — Season 2-
- Miguel Ferrer (Owen Granger) — Season 5-
- Nia Long (Shay Mosley) — Season 9-
NCIS: Hawai'i cast:
- Vanessa Lachey (Jane Tennant)
- Yasmine Al-Bustami (Lucy Tara)
- Jason Antoon (Ernie Malik)
- Noah Mills (Jesse Boone)
- Tori Anderson (Kate Whistler)
- Kian Talan (Alex Tennant)
- Alex Tarrant (Kai Holma)
What are Gibbs' NCIS rules?
Over the course of 16 seasons, Agent Gibbs has shared many words of wisdom with his team — and fans have dubbed his tips "Gibbs Rules." They should be obeyed at all times, and "consequence is a slap to the back of the head." Here are his top 10:
- Never let suspects stay together. / Never screw over your partner.
- Always wear gloves at a crime scene.
- Don't believe what you're told. Double check. / Never be unreachable.
- If you have a secret, the best thing is to keep it to yourself. The second-best is to tell one other person if you must. There is no third best.
- You don't waste good.
- Never say you're sorry. It's a sign of weakness.
- Always be specific when you lie.
- Never take anything for granted.
- Never go anywhere without a knife.
- Never get personally involved in a case.
Latest NCIS News and Updates
Hetty Has Been Away Since the Season 13 Premiere of 'NCIS: Los Angeles' — Why?Where is Hetty on 'NCIS: Los Angeles'? The fan-favorite character was absent for all of Season 13. So, where is she? When is she coming back?
‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Wrapped Up Their Story and LL Cool J Says Letting Go Wasn't HardWhy did LL Cool J leave ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’? Here's what he said about wrapping up the show and his plans to come back for 'NCIS: Hawai'i'.
Fans of the 'NCIS' Franchise Don't Need to Worry — 'NCIS: Hawai'i' Isn't FinishedA leg of the 'NCIS' franchise, 'NCIS: Hawai'i' is still a fledgling show, wrapping up Season 2. But is it getting canceled? Here's what we know.
Why Is David McCallum’s Time on ‘NCIS’ Ending? Inside the Actor’s Health in 2023David’s character suffered a health scare that jeopardized his future in the series during Season 9. Did that episode hint at health problems IRL?
Now That 'NCIS: Los Angeles' Has Closed Its Last Case, Will We Get a Spinoff?Is there a spinoff of 'NCIS: LA' on the horizon now that the popular crime drama is done? Here's what we know about it. Fans want details!
'MacGyver' Actor Henry Ian Cusick Returns to CBS in Major 'NCIS: Hawai'i' Role'NCIS: Hawai'i' fans want to know who plays Agent John Smith in the Season 2 finale, and that's because the actor is a very familiar face.
'NCIS: Hawai'i': Yasmine Al-Bustami on #Kacy Relationship and Season 3 Storylines (EXCLUSIVE)'NCIS: Hawai'i': Yasmine Al-Bustami spoke with 'Distractify' about Lucy and Kate's relationship, and what she hopes for the couple in Season 3.
When Is the Last Episode of 'NCIS: Los Angeles'? The Series Finale Will Be Two PartsWhen is the Last episode of 'NCIS: Los Angeles'? The show is coming to an end after 14 years, and CBS has split the finale into two parts.
Captain Joe Milius Is Back on 'NCIS: 'Hawai'i' Baby!Captain Joe Milius is finally returning to 'NCIS: Hawai'i.' Let's get reacquainted with him. We'll find out where he went and why he's back!
'NCIS' Lost "Another Family Member" in Billy Mac — Everything We Know About HimWho was Billy Mac from ‘NCIS’? The March 13, 2023, episode was dedicated to Billy Mac, a significant member of the ‘NCIS’ team who sadly passed away.
We're on the Hunt for Hetty Lange — Is She Returning to 'NCIS: Los Angeles' Before the Finale?Is Hetty coming back to 'NCIS: Los Angeles'? She briefly popped in last season, but a voice cameo in Season 14 teased her return to the series.
Kamran Hanna on 'NCIS: LA' is Played by Two Queens — Get to Know Them!Kamran Hanna is all grown up and no longer played by Layla Crawford — get to know more about the 'NCIS: LA' alum and older Kamran, Kayla Smith!
Could Michael Weatherly Return to 'NCIS'? Rumors Are AfootIt has been quite a white since Anthony "Tony" DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) was on 'NCIS,' but he could return due to a recent career change.
'NCIS' Fans Fear They'll Have to Say Goodbye to *THIS* Beloved Cast Member SoonIs Agent Alden Parker leaving 'NCIS'? Here's everything we know about Gary Cole's fate on the series after he replaced Mark Harmon.
Who Plays Alden Parker's Dad on 'NCIS'? The 4-1-1 on the Seasoned ActorWho plays Alden Parker's dad on 'NCIS'? The show has welcomed an iconic actor for the guest spot.
Another Kilbride Makes Waves in the Newest 'NCIS: Los Angeles'Who is Elizabeth Kilbride in ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’? Marilu Henner, who portrays Killbride’s ex-wife, is a familiar ‘NCIS’ guest star.
Is Noah Mills of 'NCIS: Hawai'i' Married? He Keeps His Personal Life PrivateNoah Mills, star of 'NCIS: Hawai'i,' has a great resume to his name. Who is his wife? Here's what we know about the actor and his love life.
Vanessa Lachey Hinted That Season 2 of 'NCIS: Hawai'i' Gets "Pretty Emotional" (EXCLUSIVE)'NCIS: Hawai'i' star Vanessa Lachey sat down for an exclusive interview with 'Distractify,' where she talked what's to come for Season 2 and more.
'NCIS: Hawai'i' Star Vanessa Lachey Talks Potential Baby No. 4: "I Always Consider It" (EXCLUSIVE)In an exclusive interview with 'Distractify,' 'NCIS: Hawai'i' star Vanessa Lachey opened up about raising three kids with husband Nick Lachey.
Why Hasn't Jane Tennant's Daughter Been on 'NCIS: Hawaii' This Season? Here's What We KnowJane Tennant's daughter, Julie Tennant, has not yet been featured in Season 2 of NCIS: Hawai'i. Was she written out of the script?
After 14 Years of Crimefighting, 'NCIS: Los Angeles' Has Been Canceled — What Happened?After 14 years of crimefighting, the NCIS: Los Angeles team is handing over their badges. Why was the show canceled?
EP Teases Highly Anticipated 'NCIS' Three-Way Crossover Event (EXCLUSIVE)'NCIS' Crossover Event — EP Chris Silber spoke exclusively with 'Distractify' about the cast coming together for the epic three-way crossover.
You Might Have Forgotten Why Delilah Fielding Uses a Wheelchair on 'NCIS'Why is Delilah in a wheelchair on 'NCIS'? Here's what we know about the character and the reasoning behind the wheelchair's usage.
‘NCIS Hawai'i’ Fans Are Worried About Lucy Tara’s Future — Is Yasmine Al-Bustami Leaving?Is Yasmine Al-Bustami leaving 'NCIS: Hawai'i'? Fans are concerned for her role as Special Agent Lucy Tara. Here's what we know about it.
When Do the 'NCIS' Shows Return in 2023? You Don't Have Long to Wait!The 'NCIS' shows are heading into their 2022 winter break and fans are desperate to know when they'll be back. When do the 'NCIS' shows return?
McGee's Wife, Delilah, Heads Back to 'NCIS' in the Season 20 Fall FinaleDelilah Fielding is making her return to 'NCIS' on Dec. 5, 2022, marking the first time we've seen the character in more than a year.
Jessica's Sister Robin Stirs Up Some Turkey Trouble in the Latest 'NCIS' EpisodeWe finally get to meet Agent Jessica Knight's sister Robin Knight in the Thanksgiving 'NCIS' episode. Who is Robin and the actress who plays her?
Charlie 1 Is Back on 'NCIS: Hawaiʻi' so We Should Probably Do a Little RefreshAn old face is returning to 'NCIS: Hawaiʻi' when the team is on the hunt for a merciless killer. Who is Charlie 1 on 'NCIS: Hawaiʻi'? This ain't his first rodeo.
Is Kensi Leaving 'NCIS: Los Angeles'? Daniela Ruah Does Double DutyAfter Kensi's disappearance from several episodes of 'NCIS: Los Angeles,' fans wonder: did she leave the show? Here's what to know.
'NCIS:Los Angeles' Star Daniela Ruah Has a Birthmark in Her Right Eye'NCIS: LA' star Daniela Ruah has a birthmark in her right — what you need to know about the condition that produces hyperpigmentation of the eye.
Who's the Only 'NCIS: LA' Character Cooler Than Deeks? His Mom, RobertaEver wondered about who plays Deeks' mother on 'NCIS: Los Angeles'? Fortunately, we have all of the answers. Meet Pamela Reed, Marty Deeks' mom.
A Soap Opera Queen Is Headed to 'NCIS' — Let's Dish About It!A soap opera staple is checking out of General Hospital in favor of the dangerous world of 'NCIS.' Who is Carolyn Hennedy on 'NCIS'? Here's what we know.
'NCIS: Los Angeles' Star Daniela Ruah on "Exciting" 'NCIS' Three-Way Crossover Event (EXCLUSIVE)Three-Way 'NCISverse' crossover episodes — 'NCIS: Los Angeles' star Daniela Ruah teases the "exciting" event. Get the details!
Is Canadian Actor Noah Mills Leaving 'NCIS: Hawai'i'? He Has a Close Brush With DeathAs CBS's 'NCIS: Hawai'i' Season 2 unfolds, fans are worried that actor Noah Mills will leave his role as Jesse Boone. Is he leaving 'NCIS: Hawai'i'?
What Happens When a Traitor Is in Your Midst? Breaking Down Who Could Be the 'NCIS' MoleCould there be a Mole in the NCIS's team's midst? The latest promo trailer for 'NCIS' Season 20, Episode 6 teases this terrifying possibility.
Is Director Vance Leaving 'NCIS'? Fans Think Rocky Carroll Is Exiting in Season 20Is Director Vance leaving 'NCIS' during Season 20? Find out why Rocky Carroll's character on the CBS drama has fans worried about his future.
Who Was Mike Brooks? Inside the Real-Life ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Tragedy'NCIS: Los Angeles' has been on the air since September 2009. In November 2018, the show's team lost someone who worked closely behind the scenes.
Where Is 'NCIS' Filmed? The Original and Spinoffs, Explained'NCIS' is a household staple, now entering it's 20th season. Where is 'NCIS' filmed? We have details on the original as well as the spinoffs.
Tori Anderson Reveals Lucy and Kate Are Figuring Things Out on 'NCIS: Hawai'i' (EXCLUSIVE)Lucy and Kate have taken a huge leap forward in their relationship on 'NCIS: Hawai'i.' Here are some details about where their relationship stands now.
'NCIS: Hawaii' Star Tori Anderson Talks Season 2 and Major Crossover Event (EXCLUSIVE)Season 2 of the latest 'NCIS' spin-off is really heating up. To get the lowdown on what's in store we spoke with 'NCIS Hawaii's' Toni Anderson about what's on the agenda.
Fans Are Predicting That Torres Is Leaving 'NCIS' in Season 20There is a fan theory that predicts Wilmer Valderrama (aka Nick Torres) is leaving 'NCIS' in Season 20 — here's what to know about his potential exit.
Is 'NCIS: Hawai'i' Star Tori Anderson Married? Details on the Canadian ActressWe're loving actress Tori Anderson as one-half of the Kacy ship on 'NCIS: Hawai'i.' Is the star married in real life? Here's what we know.
We're Seeing (Guest) Stars With All These Amazing Folks Popping Into 'NCIS'Season 20 of 'NCIS' is about to see some epic guest stars and we can't wait to meet them. Who will be popping into 'NCIS' in 2022? Let's get into it.
Therapist Dr. Grace Confalone Is Back on ‘NCIS’! Details on Her Future in the ShowIt's been a while since we've seen her, but now Laura San Giacomo is back as Dr. Grace Confalone in ‘NCIS.’ What does her future look like on the show?
Yasmine Al-Bustami Describes What Makes ‘NCIS: Hawai‘i’ “Super Fulfilling”Is Yasmine Al-Bustami married? See what we know about the ‘NCIS: Hawai‘i’ star, including her thoughts about playing Lucy Tara on the CBS procedural.
Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Guest Star in 'NCIS: Hawai'i'The second episode of 'NCIS: Hawai'i' welcomes a few guest stars, one of them being the big brother of fictional football star Tim Riggins.
Veteran Actor Mark Harmon Is No Longer Part of the 'NCIS' Opening CreditsIs Mark Harmon still on 'NCIS'? The 71-year-old actor's name was not included in the new opening credits during the Season 20 premiere.
Gibbs Always Said to Never Date a Coworker — Did Knight and Palmer Listen?Season 19 of 'NCIS' had Jimmy Palmer and Jessica Knight spending a lot of time together. Do the two characters end up in a relationship?
‘NCIS’ and ‘NCIS: Hawaiʻi’ Teams Try to Stop a Large-Scale Attack in Crossover EventLong-running CBS procedural NCIS is coming back for its 20th season on Monday, Sept. 19 — right before its spinoff NCIS: Hawaiʻi returns for its second season. And fans of the NCIS-verse are getting another crossover between the two shows that night!
We Have a Lot of Things to Cover in Season 20 of 'NCIS,' Like What Is up With Parker?Season 20 of 'NCIS' is so close we can almost touch it and boy do we need answers. The biggest question we have is: What's up with Parker? Will he be on the run forever?