I’M Even More Upset By NCIS: Hawai’i’s Cancelation After This CBS Reveal


A new reveal from CBS proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m not the only one who was shocked by NCIS: Hawai’i’s cancelation. The police procedural premiered in 2021 and, three seasons in, the NCIS spin-off landed on the network’s chopping block. I was disheartened to hear that NCIS: Hawai’i’s cancelation set an unwanted franchise record: With 54 episodes to its name, Hawai’i became the shortest-lived installment in the NCIS franchise. Sure, NCIS: Hawai’i is formulaic with its snappy, jargon-riddled dialogue and a case-of-the-week structure that makes it easy to watch.

If anything, NCIS shows are perfect for the age of streaming. Despite trading its parent show’s Washington, D.C. setting for the Aloha State, the fourth NCIS spin-off was no different. However, NCIS: Hawai’i season 4’s sudden cancelation isn’t new. Previous spin-offs, NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans, also came to an end, though they boasted longer runs. It remains to be seen how other spin-offs — like NCIS: Sydney, NCIS: Origins, and NCIS: Tony & Ziva — will fare. But what I do know is that Vanessa Lachey’s Jane Tennant deserved better from CBS.

NCIS: Hawai’i Was One Of CBS’ Most Popular Shows Of The 2023-24 Season

The NCIS Spin-Off’s Third Season Saw A Significant Surge In Viewership

What really frustrates me about NCIS: Hawai’i’s out-of-the-blue cancelation is that the NCIS spin-off was a top performer during its 2023–24 season. Like its parent show, the series centered on crimes involving the military and national security, with Lachey’s Jane Tennant serving as the first woman Special Agent-in-Charge at the Hawai’i-based field office. Although the series was just starting to form a solid and dedicated fanbase, CBS decided to drop the show altogether. Following the release of viewership data, NCIS: Hawai’i’s cancelation was mocked by one of the show’s stars, Jason Antoon.

NCIS: Hawai’i climbs even higher than the 16th position, with season 3 making it the 11th most-watched scripted show of the season.

According to ratings data, NCIS: Hawai’i ranked as the 16th overall most-watched series during the 2023–2024 season. A significant jump from the show’s previous numbers, NCIS: Hawai’i season 3’s ending saw a surge in popularity (and set up a killer cliffhanger). Looking at the ratings list, I can make an even better argument for the show’s great numbers. That is, if you shave off the live sports and reality shows that landed in the top 25, NCIS: Hawai’i climbs even higher than the 16th position, with season 3 making it the 11th most-watched scripted show of the season.


I Really Thought NCIS: Hawai’i Season 4 Deserved To Happen

The NCIS Shared Universe Is Still Growing – & NCIS: Hawai’i Could Have Been A Key Part Of That Effort

Although they are often the most convincing metric, top-notch ratings are just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to a network green-lighting or axing a series. With solid ratings, NCIS: Hawai’i season 3 had the numbers most shows don’t. For me and other viewers, what makes the abrupt cancelation even worse is all the wasted potential. Although the first season of the spin-off didn’t do a lot to separate itself from the pack, the second and third outings reiterated just how much potential NCIS: Hawai’i had to become one of the franchise’s enduring spin-offs.

NCIS: Hawai’i boasts a memorable cast of characters, all of whom deserve more time on air…

For starters, NCIS: Hawai’i will seemingly never have the chance to finish Jane Tennant’s emotional storyline involving her mother and past abandonment. But that’s just the tip of the missed-opportunity iceberg. NCIS: Hawai’i boasts a memorable cast of characters, all of whom deserve more time on air, especially since season 3 saw the field office really hitting its stride. The parent show, NCIS, is the third-longest-running scripted live-action primetime TV series in the US that’s still airing. With a whopping 21 seasons to its name, NCIS proves that its spin-offs have just as much potential.

Why Did CBS Cancel NCIS: Hawai’i Despite Its Strong Ratings?

Filming On Location Isn’t Cheap For Shows Like NCIS: Hawai’i

In the wake of the disheartening news, CBS Entertainment president Amy Reisenbach discussed the network’s decision to cancel NCIS: Hawai’i, noting that the network feels the pressure to “keep the schedule fresh.” Ultimately, CBS worried about the spin-off’s long-term prospects and ability to become a money-making global hit. That reservation, combined with a ballooning budget and production costs, was enough for CBS to pull the cord. Not to mention, the network is trying to make room for new NCIS spin-offs and scripted series on both CBS and Paramount+, and NCIS: Hawai’i just didn’t fit the roster.