We’ve been extremely curious about the NCIS season 19 ratings for the past two episodes, and for good reason. How can you not be following the exit of Mark Harmon as Gibbs? Even though the actor is still in the opening credits, it’s pretty clear that he is not coming back in the immediate future. The show has to find a way to move forward, but there was no guarantee that the audience would be there for them, as well.
There were, in our mind, three major obstacles facing last night’s new episode “False Start.” First, it was coming back on the air after a one-week hiatus. Then, there’s the aftermath of Harmon’s exit and the polarizing decision to make Parker the new boss. Beyond all that, it was also up against an NFL game featuring a major-market team in the New York Giants and a perennial contender in the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s not all that hard to understand why there could be some struggles here.
Here’s the good news: All in all, the show is keeping the bulk of its audience. Last night’s episode generated a 0.6 rating in the 18-49 demographic, which remains equal to the last one two weeks ago. While it did drop to just over 7 million viewers (its lowest audience of the season), it marks just a 7% decline. All in all, that’s not bad for losing the face of the franchise. It still was able to hold onto the title of most-watched show on Monday night and that’s enough to help keep it around for however long CBS wants it to.
For now, all the network is likely hoping for is that viewers continue to give the new NCIS a chance. They don’t need to love it per se; they just need to keep watching to keep it around long-term.
Are you still watching NCIS season 19 without Mark Harmon?
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