WASHINGTON, March 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.
All times are EST:
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.
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.
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.
NBC: The New Normal: (New) David takes a stance against Bryan dictating his Halloween costume. Nicole Richie guest stars in this special Halloween episode!
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.
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:
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
Margaret on HBO
Titanic on MOMAX
The Amazing Spider-Man on Starz
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
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