To me, NCIS was just one of those crime drama clones that I’d never get around to watching. It’s been on for six years now, but you’ll rarely see it on the cover of a magazine or nabbing a nomination for an award. Despite all of these facts however, the show has skyrocketed in viewers. Most recently on Tuesday, it reached 18.8 million viewers, which was more than it ever had before, and certainly more than any other show on television had for the week.
This is on top of the fact that CBS recently decided to fill a fairly weak hour in terms of viewers, Friday at 9pm, with reruns of the show. The move resulted in the most-watched show on Friday, clocking in at 11 million viewers each time, if you read my Friday ratings review. USA also added NCIS reruns to it’s schedule and has seen it’s success there, too. The show rocked the house at the top spot at 7pm on most nights, where it’s the number one or 2 entertainment, drawing in four million viewers. It’s like the midas touch of cable ratings. An NCIS episodes marathon that USA also ran recently finished at the top 10 among audience members that networks seek, like the precious age 25 to 54 demographic, at 4, 5, and 6pm. Two million people watched the show at 4pm, when people are still at work and so ratings are typically low.
Whereas most shows in this vein (think CSI) have experienced a ratings slide as the seasons drag on, NCIS tends to take a more traditional approach, allowing them to produce shows that viewers are willing to watch over and over. CBS has attributed part of the shows success recently to a change in the show’s leadership two years ago, when Shane Brennan took over as the show runner. Such changes are usually risky, but it’s appeared to have paid off in this case. No one knows when the NCIS gravy train will end, but you can be sure networks and advertisers will ride it for as long as possible.
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