Could the cancelation of ‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ lead to the departure of other fan-favorite ‘NCIS’ staples?

Could the cancelation of ‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ lead to the departure of other fan-favorite ‘NCIS’ staples?

Although there are quite a few spin-offs of NCIS, NCIS: Hawai’i quickly became one of the most exciting series in the franchise. That’s why it was so unexpected when CBS canceled NCIS: Hawai’i, which stars Vanessa Lachey and LL Cool J, in the Spring of 2024.

NCIS has been surprising fans with character exits and dramatic plotlines since the pilot aired on CBS in 2003. With the news that NCIS: Hawai’i would end with its third season and after the NCIS season 21 finale which had a huge cliffhanger, fans are wondering if the franchise is making some big changes that will affect fan-favorite characters like Jessica Knight (Katrina Law).

Was there a reason for the cancelation of NCIS: Hawai’i?

Image via CBS

In April 2024, Deadline reported that CBS was still making a decision about the future of NCIS: Hawai’i. The network then announced that the show was officially canceled and the season 3 finale would be the last episode. Also according to Deadline, there was a plan to decrease the budget and go forward with a shorter season 4, but that plan changed. Amy Reisenbach, the president of entertainment at CBS, said of the programming decisions, “We had some tough choices this year.”

It sounds like NCIS: Hawai’i got canceled thanks to some unfortunate choices that have to be made sometimes. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the procedural had great numbers in Nielsen’s seven-day ratings (7.8 million, to be exact). TV Line shared that 5.41 million fans watched the series finale, which definitely proves that this was a popular show that no one wanted to see go.

Entertainment Tonight reported that the NCIS: Hawai’i actors were sad about the show ending, and viewers were upset about the cliffhanger conclusion.

Did Katrina Law’s character Jessica Knight leave NCIS?

Screenshot via CBS

The cancelation of NCIS: Hawai’i does make us nervous that some popular characters could exit the franchise.

After Jessica Knight took the risk of getting a new job at the end of NCIS season 21, fans were concerned that the character would leave the franchise. Katrina Law gave several interviews after the thrilling episode aired, and she didn’t confirm her exit. Instead, she sounded excited about the trajectory of her free-spirited and intelligent character.

It seems possible that Knight will still be a regular character in season 22 of NCIS. While she might appear in fewer episodes than usual since she is now working in California for REACT, we would assume that her romance with Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen) will still be a focal point. Since the NCIS writers are used to juggling such a large cast of characters, fans of Knight might be able to breathe easy knowing that she’s still here (at least for now).

Are Gary Cole and Wilmer Valderrama leaving NCIS?

Screenshot via CBS

There have also been some rumblings that other NCIS fan-favorite characters like Gary Cole, who plays Alden Parker, and Wilmer Valderrama, who plays Nick Torres, are leaving the popular series. As of now, there is no reason to believe that either actor is exiting.

Valderrama made it clear to TV Insider that his character has a crucial part in NCIS season 22 (and even hinted that Katrina Law is totally safe). He said, “Torres is going to be very instrumental in the rebirth of Special Agent Knight.”

In an interview with Deadline, Brian Dietzen spoke to the concern that fans always have about the fate of popular characters. He said, “They shouldn’t just be worried about Gary Cole, they should worry about a lot of characters. No character is safe, that’s what NCIS stands for.”

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