CBS’ formidable NCIS drama franchise is on an expansion course again. Deals are still being finalized, but I hear that the network is prepping NCIS: Hawaii, a new installment in the hit procedural franchise.
Created/executive produced by NCIS: New Orleans executive producers/showrunner Christopher Silber and Jan Nash as well as SEAL Team writer-producer Matt Bosack, the project is expected to feature a new team based in Hawaii. Unlike fellow offshoots NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans, I hear there are no current plans for NCIS: Hawaii to be introduced as a planted spinoff from one of the other NCIS series. CBS and the studio behind the NCIS franchise, CBS Studios, declined comment.
If NCIS: Hawaii goes to series and the existing NCIS series all get renewed, NCIS could join Law & Order as the second drama franchise with four series on the air at the same time. Word of the new NCIS installment comes as CBS’ other blockbuster crime drama franchise, CSI, is plotting a comeback with a revival series, CSI: Vegas, which is nearing a green light. It would be the fifth CSI installment following the original series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, as well as CSI: Miami, CSI: New York and CSI: Cyber.
The NCIS franchise launched with the 2003 mothership series starring Mark Harmon. Eighteen seasons in, it remains the most watched drama series on television. Spinoff NCIS: Los Angeles, headlined by LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell, premiered in 2009 and is currently in its 12th season. The 2014 NCIS: New Orleans, now in Season 7, is headlined by Scott Bakula. The two offshoots have both been reliable utility players for CBS, with the entire franchise also generating sizable profits for CBS Studios via off-network and international sales.
With NCIS: Hawaii, CBS Studios would utilize the extensive production base on the islands built for Hawaii Five-0. While that series was still on the air, CBS added a second Hawaii-based drama series from CBS Studios, Magnum PI, which would create potential crossover opportunities with NCIS: Hawaii. NCIS: Los Angeles previously did a Hawaiian episode as part of a 2012 crossover episode with Hawaii Five-0. It featured stars LL Cool J and O’Donnell visiting the 50th state as part of a case (photo above).