“EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW (FOR NOW) ABOUT ‘NCIS: HAWAII’
“NCIS: Hawaii” still is a go to join the CBS’ fall lineup of new shows, but uncertainties and rumors still persist.
This much is certain:
- The Hawaii spin-off, fourth in the NCIS brand, will likely feature a lead female agent in charge for “NCIS Pearl,” as described in a TVLine posting, and her character’s name is Jane Tennant. The actress has not yet been named, but a search is under way.
- If the Hawaii brand hopes to be ready to roll this fall, surely the cast would have to be selected in the weeks ahead, with pre-production measures under way now to launch filming by summer. The “Pearl” chatter suggests that Pearl Harbor would be a likely “character,”or base, in the storytelling.
- “NCIS: New Orleans,” the third the family of NCIS procedurals, will end its seventh season with the finale airing May 23.
- “NCIS: Los Angeles,” the first spinoff and the second in the brand, also winds up its 12th season May 23, and it’s highly likely that a 13th season will follow, though a formal extension has not yet been announced.
- “NCIS,” the original led by Mark Harmon, is set to air its 18th season finale on May 25. The most popular in the series, the original could go another year or two, despite the fact that its driving force, Harmon as lead agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, has publicly decreed that he would exit this year. CBS has two options: plead that Harmon stays on, or cast another lead agent, to keep the No. 1 procedural on the air. No network likes to eliminate two audience favorite go down the tube in the same season a newbie, the Hawaii newbie, makes its debut.
Rumors have been plentiful in the past few months:
- Audiences have been vocal to reinstate to favorite characters and players from the Harmon NCIS: Agent Anthony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) and Ziva David (Cote de Pablo), who had a love/hate relationship on air, to report to duty at Pearl. There’s no word that either one has been asked to return. Weatherly already is attached to his own CBS series, “Bull,” which is completing its fifth season but not been tagged to return for another season. De Pablo is not in a recurring role currently.
- Hawaii auditions are under way for unnamed shows, which could be that NCIS is trolling for talent. If so, it would be sensible that a local actor, male or female, to tapped to play secondary characters. It’s good for the Hawaii pool of actors, and better for diversity than to import performers as both reboots of “Hawaii Five-0” and “Magnum P.I.” have been in the past decade. “Five-0” has terminated production; “Magnum” is awaiting word on its future, whether to stay or go; its ratings have dwindled – 0.53 rating in the key 18-49 demographics, with 5.66 million viewers. Compared to season two, this reflects an 18 per cent drop in the demos and 15 per cent down in viewership.
- National media allude to the fact that the network has access to production space in the islands, with no specific declaration where, since “Magnum “occupies the principal sites now.
The studio previously announced that Chris Silbur will be “Hawaii” show-runner; he comes from “N.O.” Other execs named so far: executive producers Jan Nash (“N.O.”) and Matt Basack (CBS’ “SEAL”).
If Hawaii film industry execs know that the NCIS is truly heading here, they are not privileged to admit yet.
Some fans do not know that NCIS stands for Naval Criminal Investigative Service major case response team involved in law enforcement and counterintelligence matters for the Navy, which also includes the Marine Corps. Like “Hawaii Five-0,” a special investigative wing of the police force, the missions and the agencies are fictional.”