Daniela Ruah Responded After Vanessa Lachey Credited Kensi For Paving The Way For An NCIS Female Lead, And It's Hitting Me Harder After The Cancellation

 Daniela Ruah in NCIS: Los Angeles and Vanessa Lachey in NCIS: Hawai'i.
Daniela Ruah in NCIS: Los Angeles and Vanessa Lachey in NCIS: Hawai'i.

The NCIS fandom was recently treated to some amazing news, with the celebration of the franchise’s 1000th episode airing not that long ago as part of the 2024 TV schedule. But, a blow was dealt near the end of April, when it was announced that NCIS: Hawai’i was canceled after only three seasons. That show, notably, was the only among the franchise’s many series to have a woman lead the team. Now, NCIS: Los Angeles alum Daniela Ruah has responded after star Vanessa Lachey credited Kensi for paving the way for her, and it’s really hitting me harder after the cancellation.

What Did Daniela Ruah Say About NCIS: Hawai’i’s Vanessa Lachey Crediting Kensi For Her Leading Role?

It was just on April 15 that the franchise as a whole aired the 1000th episode, with an hour that harkened back to the very first episode and also brought in Hawai’i’s Jane Tennant and Los Angeles’ Kensi Blye for brief cameos. Daniela Ruah, who has portrayed Kensi since that show’s backdoor pilot way back in 2009, also directed the 1001st episode of the franchise overall: NCIS: Hawai’i’s “The Next Thousand,” which aired right after the celebratory episode. In a recent chat with Parade, Ruah opened up about Vanessa Lachey giving props to her Kensi for paving the way for her to lead a franchise entry, and said:

I cannot opine on that because that will be Vanessa’s experience and I cannot accept or deny. All I can say is I got goosebumps when you said it and I’m incredibly flattered if that’s the case. But listen, every woman that comes before us is going to take a step up that ladder. If I’m one of the people she gets to stand on to now play this part, heck, I’m beyond thrilled that that’s the case. We’re all here for each other.

That’s really sweet and humble, isn’t it? And, it also sucks hard because, while Lachey certainly helped diversify the NCIS universe, well, she’s not going to be able to set any more records or break any more glass ceilings there now. In fact, Hawai’i only has one more episode left to air (which we really hope will stick the landing as a series finale), as of this writing, meaning that our time with Jane and her tropical crew of naval crime fighters is this close to being kaput.


‘This Business Is Brutal.’ More NCIS: Hawai’i Stars Seemingly Confirm They Had No Idea CBS Was About To Cancel The Show

Lachey talked previously about how important it was for there to be a woman of color as Special Agent in Charge on her show, and after Hawai’i was canceled she wasted no time in speaking out about being “blindsided” by the decision, as were so many of its fans. It’s likely that Ruah, who admitted to having “bonded” with the drama’s lead while directing her, is feeling the sting as well.

This might be especially true once she heard that the star told the outlet “I 100 percent believe that my character wouldn't have been able to get to the places I needed to get without [Kensi]” having been around and in the field for 14 years. Ruah continued:

I can’t imagine a better person to play Jane Tennant, the first female head of NCIS. I love watching her, I love her as a person, and I think she deserves everything good that comes her way. She’s an incredible mom and wife. Like I said, she and I really, really bonded over this process. We still communicate and text each other now that the job’s over. She is my buddy.

Her words are amazing, but also UGHGHGHGHHHHH, right? I mean, the job really is over, but she had no idea how true her words would be when she offered up so much kindness in response to the Jane Tennant actress. All we can hope for is that more “good” really does come for both of them soon.