The hit CBS police procedural NCIS is actually a spin-off of another military-themed crime drama named JAG. NCIS premiered on September 23, 2003 and has since gone full blast into broadcast syndication on USA Network.Viewers can also watch NCIS online at their leisure. The show centers around the lives and duties of Washington, DC, based special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service of the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. Initially referred to as Navy NCIS, the word Navy was later dropped.

Since 2011, NCIS has consistently been voted America’s favorite television program. It ended its tenth season as the most-watched television series in the United States from 2012 to 2013. In March of 2014, CBS renewed the series for a twelfth season with its scheduled return slated for September 23, 2014, eleven years to the date after the premier.



Led by Supervisory Special Agent in Charge Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), a team of investigators is tasked with high-profile criminal cases involving military personnel. The team, who make up what is known as the Major Case Response Team (MCRT), often find themselves risking life and limb against terrorist threats and kidnappings.

Cast of Characters

Leroy Jethro Gibbs is played by veteran actor Mark Harmon who is best described as a no-nonsense type of guy who commands respect. A former Marine sniper, Gibbs carries the pain of having lost his first wife Shannon and only child Kelly at the hands of a Mexican drug dealer. Gibbs has since married three more times and has a particular soft spot for Abigail Sciuto, otherwise affectionately known as Abby.

Anthony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) is a former police officer now Senior Special Agent with a zeal for movie trivia which he uses in many of his conversations. Tony is also a huge flirt and this sometimes infuriates his female coworkers. Like Gibbs, Tony relies on gut instinct to solve cases and serves as comic relief for the show.

Abigail Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) is an intelligent forensics specialist who has clearly won the heart of Gibbs as the daughter he does not have. Abby is a pigtail-wearing, serious gothic dresser who loves large slurpy-like drinks and gets the job done.

Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) is a Special Agent who has seen more than his share of torture from Tony for being a probie. With a degree in computer forensics from MIT and a degree in Biomedical Engineering from John Hopkins, McGee is the resident geek and technology specialist. McGee also wrote a best-selling book about his colleagues. Despite using a pseudonym and changing their names in the book, the rest of the team were not happy campers about this project.

Beloved Junior Special Agent Kate Todd (Sasha Alexander) was mortally wounded in season two’s finale.

Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) was a Junior Special Agent who replaced agent Todd on the team. Ironically, it was David’s half-brother Ari who killed Agent Todd. Formerly a part of the Israeli Mossad Intelligence Agency, David eventually earns everyone’s trust and even kills Ari in order to save Gibbs’ life. David’s father, Eli David, was the Director of the National Intelligence Agency of Israel and was killed alongside Director Vance’s wife during dinner. A fan favorite, de Pablo broke many fans’ hearts when she departed from the show in season 11.

Chief Medical Examiner Donald Mallard is best friends with Gibbs and a talker. Sometimes Ducky has to be reeled back in after trailing off on one of his stories. Great Britain’s Man from U.N.C.L.E actor David McCallum is the lovable Ducky.

Assisting Ducky in the cold sterile room is Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen). The actor became a series regular in season ten.

Director Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll) captains the team after the sad death of former director Jenny Shepard. Leon would also suffer great loss along with Ziva David when his wife is murdered in his home, leaving him a widower with young children.

Director Jenny Shepard turned out to be tough as nails and is an old flame of Gibbs. She dies tragically in a shootout in the season five finale.

Season Highlights

Season 1 reveals that Tony comes from a very rich family. Gibbs develops a fondness for giving him head slaps, and terrorist Ari Haswari is introduced. Season 2 starts off by making McGee a permanent member of the team. Tony contracts the plague and Kate is killed in the surprising season finale. Season 3 begins with a send off for Kate. The team is joined by its new director Jenny Shepard and Mossad Liaison Officer Ziva David. Ziva kills her half-brother Ari who happened to be the one responsible for Kate’s death and attempted murder of Gibbs. By the season’s end, Gibbs suffers from memory loss and retires to Baja, Mexico.

Season 4 shows Ziva being framed for an assassination. In truth, Jenny had put Gibbs on leave without pay and secretly assigned Tony to an undercover operation. Season 5 opened with Tony nursing a broken heart and ended with the death of Director Shepard. This resulted in team reassignments and three new members. In season 6, Rocky Carroll (Leon) becomes a regular cast member, and in season 7, Ziva is rescued and becomes an official member of NCIS.

Season 8 is centered largely on Ziva’s mystery boyfriend. In season 9, Gibbs falls in love, and Ducky has a heart attack. Season 10 deals with the aftermath of the Navy Yard bombing, and in the following season, Ziva leaves. Season 12 kicks off with McGee and Gibbs traveling to Russia to bring back an NCIS computer engineer who has access to classified information. The mission is compromised, forcing McGee and Gibbs to go dark and Tony to lead the search and rescue operation.