After NCIS’ First Three-Part Crossover With Hawaii and Los Angeles, Should CBS Do It Again?


Warning: Ahead of the January 9 crossover spoilers between NCIS, NCIS: Hawai’i and NCIS: Los Angeles.

The NCIS franchise has officially made history with its first three-part crossover between current shows. The three parts have worked well for other franchises (including the FBI elsewhere on CBS), but it was hard to say how well the three NCIS shows would be able to fit together in one event. After all, each of the three series has an acting ensemble, the action takes place in a different place and has key differences from the others, right down to the color of the gloves at the crime scene. Now that the Hawaii-Los Angeles crossover has aired, the big question is: should it happen again?

Well, I have to thank the people at all three shows that made the crossover happen, because it was an ambitious venture that I would say worked out pretty well. Individual cast members moved on to other series, and the rest were mostly shown in their own episodes, which was especially noteworthy in the case of Los Angeles, where only Sam and Cullen appeared in the other two. Since Los Angeles was not part of either of the other two recent crossovers, this event was the first time that some characters from California crossed paths with agents from the state of Aloha.

The case, as expected, was complicated: the suicide of a professor, which united three teams, and then escalated to the involvement of the CIA, the murder program, the big bang, and even one long torture session. The end result was an event that was more cinematic than what we usually see on the small screen, and more interesting to me than the two-part NCIS/Hawai’i so far. I’d like to see another three-part crossover… at some point. I’m just not sure CBS should repeat this anytime soon.

The franchise had to raise the stakes to the skies to find a way to justify one case involving teams from Washington, D.C., Hawaii and Los Angeles working together, and there were a lot of missed time to travel around the country and/or the ocean. If cases happen on such a massive scale on a regular basis, it may start to seem far—fetched- or at least much less special, and potentially even make ordinary episodes less interesting.

The shows are simply too far apart for it to make sense to happen too often, and while the actors had something to say about the experience, even the characters rejected the idea of doing it again. This does not mean that there is something missing in the NCIS franchise, that the idea of frequent three parts sounds complicated; the same situation is with the FBI.

While the FBI is in New York, the “Most Wanted” is traveling around the country, and the “International” is outside Budapest. So far, only one three-part series has happened, and he was supposed to launch “International” as a series for newcomers back in 2021. to find an excuse for their very different shows, which take place in very different places, to combine them for several participants, some of whom were more successful than others.

Crossovers for the three One Chicago shows on NBC were an annual event even before the difficulties with COVID production, and they still often use common characters, which makes sense since they all take place in the same city. The same applies to the ABC series “Anatomy of Passion” and “Station 19”, which are set in Seattle. There is simply no such convenience in the universe for NCIS. Also, three shows don’t usually air on the same night; January 9 was a special occasion when Los Angeles aired on Monday.

Given all this, I would say that this complex three-part piece may have paved the way for simpler and possibly more frequent two-parts. NCIS and Hawaii have already pulled this off a couple of times, and Los Angeles technically crossed paths with the Hawaii show back on the day Kenzi traveled to Hawaii Five-0, so maybe there’s a precedent. I’m in favor of random major events in three series, but three-part ones on the scale of this one should be quite rare. As LL Cool J from Los Angeles said, it was like a Marvel event!

In addition, each of the three has a lot to do without cases that regularly require mixing it with the others. In December, news broke that a new character was heading to Hawaii to possibly create problems for Tennant, while the Los Angeles team continues to struggle with Hetty’s absence. As for the original, former star Michael Weatherly left a few comments that may tease DiNozzo’s return for the “Tiva” reunion, which fans missed after the temporary return of Cote de Pablo in season 17.

Follow what’s happening in the three shows, with new episodes of NCIS and NCIS: Hawai’i on Mondays at 21:00. Eastern Time and 22:00 ET and NCIS: Los Angeles on Sundays at 22:00. ET on CBS (opens in a new tab). You can also find more viewing options in our schedule of TV premieres for 2023.


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