TV tonight: “NCIS” and “NCIS: L.A.;” crime solving from coast to coast

NCIS is currently the most-watched scripted series on TV

WASHINGTONMarch 5, 2013 —Procedural police dramas are one of the most prolific programming formats on TV. To rise to the top of this genre is no easy accomplishment, but “NCIS” has navigated it as successfully as any crime-solving show in TV history. Now in its 10th year, NCIS’s popularity has grown through the years to the point where it is now the most popular scripted show on TV.

“NCIS” is averaging an astounding 22 million viewers per episode, and one recent show set their all time record with 22.86 million viewers. For a show in its tenth season, this is nothing short of phenomenal. Add the fact that “NCIS” frequently shares a time slot with one of the many popular reality shows currently plaguing the airwaves, and the staying power of “NCIS” is even more impressive.

“NCIS: Los Angeles,” a spin-off that immediately follows “NCIS,” is also enjoying its most popular season ever by averaging over 18 million viewers per episode. The eclectic cast of “NCIS: Los Angeles” is second only to its predecessor in making the evolution of its characters believable.

Fans of both shows find the NCIS characters likable, and their personal lives familiar; a big part of why both shows are so incredibly popular. The writers of “NCIS” and “NCIS: Los Angeles” have created a cast of characters we wouldn’t hesitate to invite to a Sunday dinner with the family.

Would the average American invite Snooki or Kate Gosselin to Sunday dinner? If they did, cultivating stimulating conversation would probably not be the primary reason. The motivation would more likely be to capture them saying or doing something stupid enough to share on YouTube.

On the other hand, I’d happily suffer a head smack from Mark Harmon if it meant having a chance to sit down with him for a chat. Only a guarantee that Snooki or Gosselin could give me the next winning power ball numbers would compel me to endure their company.

Let’s all hope shows like “NCIS” are still going strong when the current reality show obsession is but a faint memory. TV is meant to entertain its audience, not remind us of how many annoying people are in the world. That’s a lesson that needs no further reinforcement.

Tonight’s viewing:

All times are EST:

8 p.m.

ABC: Celebrity Wife Swap: (New) Rapper Coolio’s girlfriend switches places with singer Mark McGrath’s wife for a week. 

CBS: NCIS: (New) A media frenzy surrounding an unidentified criminal prompts Gibbs’ barber to question his son’s involvement and ask for Gibbs’ help in ruling out his son as a prime suspect.

FOX: American Idol: (Live) Ten singers perform in Las Vegas.

NBC: Betty White’s Off Their Rockers: (Repeat) Senior pranks include a woman pilfering liquor from a shopper’s cart and an oldster falling asleep on a furniture-store bed. Appearing: Steve-O.

CW: Hart of Dixie:  (New) Zoe (Rachel Bilson) tries to keep her feelings about Wade (Wilson Bethel) under control, causing her to become overly protective when it comes to Rose (guest star McKaley Miller) and her boyfriend.

8:30 p.m.

NBC: Betty White’s Off Their Rockers: (Repeat) Pranks include a senior tangling with a street performer and an elderly patient trying to escape from inside an ambulance. Also: a gassy man; a senior who falls asleep while driving his electric scooter. 

9 p.m.

ABC: The Taste: (New) The seven semi-finalists must seduce the judges with a single, sumptuous spoonful of their latest dish; three cooks are eliminated.

CBS: NCIS: Los Angeles: (New) Sam fears for his family’s safety when his wife (Aunjanue Ellis) is called to resume a former CIA cover after a case suggests ties to the infamous Sidorov and his stolen nukes.

NBC: Go On: (New) After getting Janie’s life insurance check, Ryan self-medicates with gambling.

CW: Beauty and the Beast: (Repeat) Alex’s trustworthiness is called into question by Cat and Vincent. Meanwhile, Evan makes a surprising discovery about the woman he’s dating.

9:30 p.m.

NBC: The New Normal: (New) David takes a stance against Bryan dictating his Halloween costume. Nicole Richie guest stars in this special Halloween episode!

10 p.m.

ABC: Body of Proof: (New) Megan and Tommy are faced with an unusual investigation when a couple claims their daughter was killed by the devil.

CBS: Golden Boy: (New) A pretty thief tries to keep herself out of jail by giving Clark information about a murdered drug addict and her missing child.

NBC: Smash: (New) All eyes are on Julia’s reworked book; “Hit List” has its first read-through, and Ivy meets her new co-star. Sean Hayes guest stars.

Basic cable:

New episodes of:

Dual Survival: Untamed at 8 p.m. on DSC

Dual Survival at 9 p.m. on DSC

Top Gear at 9 p.m. on History Channel

Income Property at 9 p.m. on HGTV

Dance Moms at 9 p.m. on LIFE

Doomsday Preppers at 9 p.m. on NGC

Face Off at 9 p.m. on Syfy

Real Husbands of Hollywood at 10 p.m. on BET

Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan at 10 p.m. on BBC

The Millionaire Matchmaker at 10 p.m. on BRAVO

Yukon Men: Revealed at 10 p.m. on DSC

Chopped at 10 p.m. on Food Channel

Justified at 10 p.m. on FX

Alien Encounters at 10 p.m. on SCI

Robot Combat League at 10 p.m. on Syfy

Cougar Town at 10 p.m. on TBS

Diggers at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on NGC

House Hunters International at 10:30 p.m. on HGTV

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.

Gone in 60 Seconds on AMC

For Love or Money on ENC

The Big White on FLIX

Groundhog Day on IFC

Good News on TCM

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on SUND

9 p.m.

Margaret on HBO

Titanic on MOMAX

The Amazing Spider-Man on Starz

Later tonight:

The River Wild at 9:40 p.m. on ENC

Safe House at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX

The Mechanic at 10 p.m. on SHO

The Hard Way at 10 p.m. on TCM

Zodiac at 10:30 p.m. on FMC

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.


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