If NCIS: Hawai’i Doesn’t Get Canceled, There May Be Some Big Changes Coming Down The Pipeline

 Jane tennant frowning on ncis: hawaii.
Jane tennant frowning on ncis: hawaii.

The NCIS franchise has been running for a while now – so long, in fact, that its cameo-filled 1,000 collective episode. Despite the continued popularity of the flagship show and its spinoffs, none of them are truly immune to being canceled. As May sweeps approach, CBS has been trimming its lineup, having already axed So Help Me Todd and CSI: Vegas, sparking reactions from cast and crew. While NCIS: Hawai’i is a show that seems to be on the bubble right now, all hope isn’t lost. There could be some major behind-the-scenes changes that happen down the line if it manages to earn a renewal, though.

Of all the shows that have been in limbo as programming decisions are made, NCIS: Hawai’i is among the ones with the best chance of surviving, according to Deadline. As noted by the trade, it’s been a solid performer and is at the No. 12 mark for linear viewership amongst programs such as Law & Order: SVU and 9-1-1. Still, the Eye Network’s parent company, Paramount, is tightening the purse strings and looking to get more bang for its buck. WIth that, sources say that Season 4 be ordered budget cuts will likely hit the show.

Said practice has been around for quite some time, but it’s arguably become more commonplace. Networks are seeking to become more fiscally efficient as they continue to manage their small-screen offerings. CBS has done it in recent years, with a prime example being its handling of Blue Bloods, which is set to end after 14 seasons later this year. Cuts can have different ripple effects and, ultimately, those vary based on various factors like a specific network’s financial state and the viability of a given show.

Now, you might be wondering what this might all mean for NCIS: Hawai’i should it continue. Well, Deadline’s sources allege that budget shifts could result in a shortened season similar to the current one that was sparked by the SAG and WGA strikes. Season 3 is set to conclude after 10 episodes, and a fourth may run for 13 or so as opposed to the usual 22. One also has to wonder whether any cast adjustments might be made as well, as there have been instances with other shows in which series regulars have been down-graded to recurring status to cut costs.

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As mentioned in the trade’s reporting, the storied action/drama franchise is in a position that’s different compared to the one it held a year ago. There were several series in play, with the flagship one earning strong ratings. Now, however, the shelf is getting a bit crowded, as there are two NCIS spinoffs on the way right now. One is the Jethro Gibbs prequel series, NCIS: Origins. Also in the works is an untitled show centered the Tony DiNozzo and Ziva David characters, which will be available for Paramount+ subscribers.

There may be an apparent level of glut these days, but I still believe there’s reason to be hopeful for Hawai’i to return. Led by Vanessa Lachey, it’s amassed a solid fanbase and has been solidifying itself within the history of the beloved TV saga it belongs to. Lachey’s Jane Tennant even appeared on the milestone 1,000 episode housed within the flagship series. Chances are a decision will come down soon, and budget cuts seem to be likely should Season 4 get the green light. Still, I’d like to think that viewers would love to have the show continue regardless of theoretical financial changes.

You can check out new episodes of NCIS: Hawai’i when they air on Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS as part of the 2024 TV schedule. Past episodes are also available to stream on Paramount+.