The Enduring Appeal of NCIS and NCIS: Hawai’i: Exploring the All-Time Hit Status of Three Iconic Crime Dramas


In the vast landscape of television crime dramas, few series have achieved the level of success and longevity as NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) and its spin-off, NCIS: Hawaiʻi. Since their respective debuts, these shows have captured the hearts and minds of audiences worldwide, captivating viewers with their intriguing storylines, compelling characters, and pulse-pounding action.

Let’s delve into the reasons behind the enduring appeal of NCIS, NCIS:Los Angeles and NCIS: Hawaiʻi, exploring the key factors that have contributed to their status as all-time hit shows.

The Legacy of NCIS


NCIS premiered in 2003 as a spin-off of the long-running series JAG (Judge Advocate General). From its inception, the show struck a chord with viewers, combining elements of crime procedural with military intrigue to create a unique and engaging narrative.

Led by the charismatic Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, played by Mark Harmon, the team of investigators at the Naval Criminal Investigative Service tackled complex cases involving members of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, uncovering secrets, solving crimes, and delivering justice.

One of the key factors behind the success of NCIS is its winning formula of strong storytelling, dynamic characters, and clever plot twists. Each episode offers a compelling mystery to unravel, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats as they follow the team’s investigations from start to finish.

The show’s ensemble cast, which includes fan-favorite characters such as Abby Sciuto, Tony DiNozzo, and Ziva David, brings depth, humor, and humanity to the stories, fostering a strong emotional connection with audiences. Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo was our tome all time favorite character and we always believed he should have a show of his own.

In addition to its riveting plotlines and memorable characters, NCIS also stands out for its portrayal of the military lifestyle and the camaraderie among its personnel. The show pays homage to the men and women who serve in the armed forces, highlighting their sacrifices, dedication, and sense of duty.

Through its authentic portrayal of military culture and protocol, NCIS has earned the respect and admiration of service members and civilians alike, further solidifying its status as a beloved and enduring television series. Even though the cast has changed over the years but the show has kept its authenticity and galore until this day.

The Rise of NCIS: Hawaiʻi


Building on the success of NCIS, CBS introduced a new addition to the franchise in 2021 with the launch of NCIS: Hawaiʻi. Set in the breathtaking backdrop of the Hawaiian islands, the series follows the elite team of investigators at the Pearl Harbor-based NCIS office as they tackle crimes involving military personnel and national security threats in the Pacific region.

Led by Special Agent in Charge Jane Tennant, portrayed by Vanessa Lachey, the diverse and talented team brings a fresh perspective to the beloved franchise.

NCIS: Hawaiʻi continues the tradition of its predecessors with its gripping storytelling, compelling characters, and stunning visuals. The show explores unique aspects of Hawaiian culture and history, weaving them seamlessly into its narrative to create a rich and immersive viewing experience.

From the lush landscapes to the vibrant local communities, NCIS: Hawaiʻi showcases the beauty and diversity of the Hawaiian islands while delivering thrilling crime-solving adventures.

Like its predecessors, NCIS: Hawaiʻi has struck a chord with audiences, drawing praise for its strong ensemble cast, engaging storylines, and authentic representation of life in the military. The show has quickly become a fan favorite, earning a dedicated following and solidifying its place in the NCIS franchise.

The Introduction of NCIS:Los Angeles

NCIS:Los Angeles

NCIS:Los Angeles, another spin-off of the original NCIS series, deserves recognition for its significant contribution to the franchise’s enduring success.

Set in the vibrant and diverse city of Los Angeles, the show follows a team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service’s Office of Special Projects (OSP) as they tackle high-stakes cases involving national security threats, terrorism, and espionage.

One of the key strengths of NCIS:Los Angeles is its dynamic ensemble cast, led by the charismatic duo of Special Agent G. Callen, played by Chris O’Donnell (from Batman & Robin), and Special Agent Sam Hanna, portrayed by LL Cool J.

Together with their team of skilled operatives, including intelligence analyst Nell Jones, tech operator Eric Beale, and field agent Kensi Blye, among others, they form a tight-knit and highly capable unit dedicated to protecting the nation from harm.

What sets NCIS:Los Angeles apart is its unique blend of action-packed thrills, intricate plotlines, and character-driven drama. Each episode offers a pulse-pounding mix of suspense, intrigue, and adrenaline-fueled action as the team races against the clock to thwart terrorist plots, unravel criminal conspiracies, and bring dangerous criminals to justice.

The show’s fast-paced storytelling, coupled with its high production values and stunning cinematography, keeps viewers on the edge of their seats from start to finish.

In addition to its gripping storytelling, NCIS:Los Angeles also shines a spotlight on the diverse cultural tapestry of Los Angeles and its surrounding areas. From its bustling urban streets to its sun-drenched beaches and sprawling suburbs, the show captures the essence of the city and its rich tapestry of cultures, traditions, and lifestyles.

This vibrant backdrop serves as the perfect setting for the team’s thrilling adventures and adds an extra layer of authenticity and depth to the series.

Moreover, NCIS:Los Angeles has successfully navigated the evolving landscape of television and embraced new storytelling techniques and formats to keep viewers engaged and entertained.

With its innovative narrative arcs, multi-episode storylines, and crossover events with other shows in the NCIS franchise, NCIS:Los Angeles has remained relevant and compelling in an ever-changing television landscape.

Overall, NCIS:Los Angeles has played a significant role in the continued success of the NCIS franchise, captivating audiences with its thrilling action, compelling characters, and rich storytelling.

As the show continues to entertain and inspire viewers around the world, its status as an all-time hit series is firmly cemented in the annals of television history.

The Allure of NCIS and NCIS: Hawaiʻi


So, what is it about NCIS and NCIS: Hawaiʻi that makes them all-time hit shows? At their core, both series share common elements that resonate with viewers on a deep and personal level.

From their relatable characters and captivating mysteries to their celebration of teamwork and camaraderie, NCIS and NCIS: Hawaiʻi offer a compelling blend of drama, humor, and heart that keeps audiences coming back for more.

One of the key strengths of both shows is their ability to balance episodic storytelling with overarching character arcs and season-long mysteries. While each episode features a self-contained crime to solve, there are also larger storylines at play that unfold over the course of the season, keeping viewers engaged and invested in the characters’ journeys.


Whether it’s exploring personal relationships, delving into characters’ backstories, or confronting moral dilemmas, NCIS and NCIS: Hawaiʻi offer a depth and complexity that goes beyond typical procedural dramas.

Another factor that contributes to the enduring popularity of NCIS and NCIS: Hawaiʻi is their commitment to diversity and representation. Both shows feature diverse casts that reflect the multicultural fabric of society, showcasing characters from different backgrounds, ethnicities, and walks of life.

This commitment to inclusivity allows viewers from all walks of life to see themselves represented on screen, fostering a sense of connection and belonging that transcends boundaries.

Furthermore, NCIS and NCIS: Hawaiʻi have also embraced the changing landscape of television and the evolving tastes of audiences. With the rise of streaming platforms and on-demand viewing, both shows have adapted to new viewing habits and distribution models, making their content accessible to viewers across multiple platforms and devices.

This forward-thinking approach has helped to attract new audiences while retaining the loyalty of longtime fans, ensuring the continued success and relevance of the NCIS franchise for years to come.


In conclusion, the enduring appeal of NCIS and NCIS: Hawaiʻi can be attributed to a combination of factors, including strong storytelling, compelling characters, and authentic representation.

From its humble beginnings as a spin-off of JAG to its expansion into new territories with NCIS: Hawaiʻi, the NCIS franchise has remained a cornerstone of television drama, captivating audiences with its intriguing mysteries, vibrant characters, and timeless themes of justice, loyalty, and honor.

As the NCIS series continue to entertain and inspire viewers around the world, their status as all-time hit shows is sure to endure for generations to come.

Stream new seasons of NCIS and NCIS: Hawai’i on Paramount+. Try it FREE! Or Get the Complete NCIS Season 1-17 (101 DVDs) from Amazon.