• Network: CBS
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 23, 2003
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12
Metascore
51

Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 23
  2. Negative: 3 out of 23
  1. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Mar 3, 2013
    50
    Harmon brings a light touch to this schizophrenic show. He's a sensitive cowboy who does his job and then goes home to work on a boat he's building. [23 Sept 2003, p.B1]
  2. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Mar 3, 2013
    70
    It's a competent clone, one that features a promising ensemble cast led by Mark Harmon and David McCallum - that's right folks, Illya Kuryakin from "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." If you have a taste for procedurals and a liking for Harmon's quiet charm, you'll find the show engaging enough. [23 Sept 2003, p.D14]
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Mar 3, 2013
    50
    Unfortunately for CBS, one tiny flaw slipped into its otherwise masterful plan: The network let JAG's Don Bellisario do the clone-off rather than the folks at CSI. That may not affect the ratings, but in terms of quality, it's a deal breaker.
  4. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Mar 3, 2013
    75
    While it's true that television has been overloaded with acronyms lately and the redundant, long and confusing Navy NCIS is an egregious offender, it's also true that television is exploding with quality dramas and this is another of them.
  5. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Mar 3, 2013
    60
    There's too much of this jurisdictional stuff and an overload of staring by Gibbs, most of it directed at the coltish Caitlin. The story is fairly involving, though. And Mr. Harmon is an underrated actor who's added some softer touches after playing Gibbs as a humorless taskmaster in a two-part JAG that introduced the character. [23 Sept 2003, p.10E]
  6. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Mar 3, 2013
    40
    No surprises here, unless Shannen Doherty oozes out of one of the petri dishes. [23 Sept 2003, p.4E]
  7. Reviewed by: Tom Shales
    Mar 3, 2013
    30
    Navy NCIS may not be ghastly, but it's a mutation, gratuitous and clunky. We don't need another criminal investigation show and we don't need another military justice show, and this series is those two, two, two shows in one.
  8. Reviewed by: Jonathan Storm
    Mar 3, 2013
    40
    Don't get this show mixed up with anything important on TV, though you may find it enjoyably diverting, if you can forgive the immorality of its premiere episode. I can't. [23 Sept 2003, p.C09]
  9. Reviewed by: Hal Boedeker
    Mar 3, 2013
    40
    Harmon gives the show a serious injection of star power, and David McCallum plays a colorful medical examiner named Donald "Ducky" Mallard -- Bellisario went wacky with the names. This average crime procedural needs Ducky and every bit of personality it can muster. [23 Sept 2003, p.E1]
  10. Reviewed by: Mike Duffy
    Mar 3, 2013
    50
    You'll never regret missing Navy NCIS if you forget to watch. [23 Sept 2003, p.1F]
  11. Reviewed by: Aaron Barnhart
    Mar 3, 2013
    30
    But if its idea of entertainment is a new domestic terrorist threat every week - as it is in tonight's debut - no thanks. As for the stars, Harmon is Harmon, an acquired taste I never acquired. [23 Sept 2003, p.E1]
  12. Reviewed by: Terry Kelleher
    Jun 28, 2013
    50
    This is a formulaic but fairly competent series with delusions of grandeur.
  13. 50
    And the evidence is plain: Millions of Americans sense that terrorism is in their midst, and CBS doesn't mind kicking up that fear a notch for the sake of gaining a rating point or two. [23 Sept 2003, p.E-6]
  14. Reviewed by: David Bianculli
    Mar 3, 2013
    50
    There's nothing flashy or special about this series, but it's satisfying and impressive in an old-fashioned way - much more so, in this opener, than its parent, "JAG." A lot of it is due to the ease with which Harmon and McCallum embody their characters. [23 Sept 2003, p.83]
  15. Reviewed by: Scott D. Pierce
    Mar 3, 2013
    70
    It's all nicely done, if you like this sort of thing. And there are a lot of people who like this sort of thing, judging by the ratings of both "JAG" and "CSI." [23 Sept 2003, p.C08]
  16. Reviewed by: Phil Rosenthal
    Mar 3, 2013
    63
    Too much of the pilot is spent trying to make us understand what NCIS is, and too much of this NCIS unit's time is devoted to wrestling for jurisdiction within the federal government. Just let these people do their work and we might actually have something beyond a mere potboiler. [23 Sept 2003, p.41]
  17. Reviewed by: Steve Johnson
    Feb 28, 2013
    30
    As slow-witted as its redundant title would have you believe. [22 Sept 2003, p.3]
  18. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Mar 3, 2013
    40
    But the oddest thing here is Harmon. Normally a charmer, his Gibbs is all stony glances and smarmy silences. Why waste that natural likability? [23 Sept 2003, p.1E]
  19. Reviewed by: Mike McDaniel
    Mar 3, 2013
    60
    There's nothing terribly wrong with the show except that it draws from the same procedural well as CSI, Law & Order and the show from which it's spun, JAG. [23 Sept 2003, p.Hou1]
  20. Reviewed by: Virginia Heffernan
    Mar 3, 2013
    70
    Another well-plotted show by Donald P. Bellisario.
  21. Reviewed by: Noel Holston
    Mar 3, 2013
    80
    NCIS is going to succeed first and foremost because of Harmon. His character is more or less the same quietly confident, genial guy he played when he was Allison Janney's ill-fated love interest on "The West Wing." He's essentially playing himself, and he's very good at it. [23 Sept 2003, p.B02]
  22. Reviewed by: Craig Tomashoff
    Mar 3, 2013
    40
    Instead of giving NCIS a playful touch, which could have distinguished it from "JAG," the writers repeatedly make every word and every situation as predictable as possible. Even the attempts to be hip and humorous -- Gibbs gets some shut-eye on a gurney alongside a corpse, the tattooed Sciuto loves to party into the wee hours -- seem as fresh and innovative as an "Adam-12" marathon.
  23. Reviewed by: Ann Donahue
    Feb 28, 2013
    40
    There's not a lot of originality being shown here, which is distressing to see in an initial effort that's so glacially paced. The audience literally knows what's coming and is forced to wait for the conclusion for the scenario to come to fruition.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 80 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. May 21, 2011
    10
    My review goes out to the whole show this is definitely one of my favorite series it provides a fair amount of dramatic episodes to keep theMy review goes out to the whole show this is definitely one of my favorite series it provides a fair amount of dramatic episodes to keep the attention of viewers. the cast all show great acting skills on the portrayal of their characters and there backgrounds and i will definitely carry on watching and would recommend it to all crime drama fans Full Review »
  2. Jan 10, 2011
    10
    Great start to a wonderful show.
    Many of the characters in this series are deeper and more complex than their competition, and offer an almost
    Great start to a wonderful show.
    Many of the characters in this series are deeper and more complex than their competition, and offer an almost unlimited direction and scope to grow into.
    Unlike other procedural crime shows, this one mixes the serious and the funny with quirky humor and enlightened gags.
    Many of the story arcs are short, but they are introducing many others that are proving interesting and should provide viewers some fun.
    The writing is done well, and the acting is even better.
    I would like to see some more of the back-story of some of the leads, and maybe a bit more action; not necessarily shooting or car chases, but more mental or in-depth action.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 14, 2014
    2
    I love, love, love this show but please get rid of Bishop. She is very cute but pulling this show down. She will never make it. I'm notI love, love, love this show but please get rid of Bishop. She is very cute but pulling this show down. She will never make it. I'm not comparing her to Ziva but the poor thing is boring. She will never be a Kate or ZIVA. Full Review »