NCIS: Hawai’i Canceled, Series Ends With Cliffhanger

By Nikola Pajtic | Published

After weeks of uncertainty, CBS has canceled NCIS Hawai’i. The cancellation comes despite the show being a network hit with a strong #12 ranking for non-sports programs. Unfortunately, the show isn’t returning for a fourth season amid CBS’s crowded schedule and a renewed focus on cost-cutting measures.

NCIS Hawai’i Is Now The Shortest NCIS Series

NCIS: Hawai’i was the first series in the long-running franchise with a female lead, but it was also the shortest one. The most notable is the original NCIS, which started airing in 2003 and has been renewed for a 22nd season. The second longest was the first spin-off, NCIS: Los Angeles, canceled this year with Season 14 planned to be the last, while NCIS: New Orleans aired for only seven seasons. 

An Ensemble Show

NCIS: Hawai’i stars Vanessa Lachey as Jane Tennant. Vanessa brought a fresh take to the familiar crime-procedural formula. In addition to Vanessa, the series also featured Alex Tarrant, Noah Mills, Jason Antoon, Yasmine Al-Bustami, Tori Anderson, and Kian Talan, among others.

The show followed the diverse team of NCIS agents investigating high-stakes crimes that often had national security implications. Military personnel grounded in Hawaii were often involved in crimes that were combined with mysteries specific to the Hawaiian islands themselves. 

Success Of The NCIS Formula Comes To An End

There was something more unique to NCIS: Hawai’i than the beautiful backdrop of Hawaiian islands and the female lead. The charming stories were told through agents’ personal lives, which showed them experiencing drama, love, and the everyday struggles of those serving their country. 

Ends On A Cliffhanger

Unfortunately, all of that ended in a rather unpopular way. The third season of NCIS: Hawai’i ends in a cliffhanger, teasing what would happen in the next one. According to people close to the showrunners, the third season finale, which is set to premiere on May 6, is not the end to the series that they had envisioned. 

More Spin-Offs On The Way

The reasons behind the cancelation are many despite a strong fan base. For instance, CBS has already greenlit several new and returning shows including Matlock, NCIS: Origins, and Young Sheldon spinoff, and there is a possibility for a renewal of NCIS: Sydney

Additionally, franchise saturation is yet another strong reason for the decision. International spin-off NCIS: Sydney is likely returning for a new season, and NCIS: Origins, which is essentially Young Gibbs, is in the works; alongside the Tony and Ziva NCIS spinoff, the network felt that there wasn’t room for a show in its early stages.

Paramount Is Trying To Save Money

It is important to note that CBS is focused on short-term financial planning. Right now, cost management is being prioritized due to the parent company, Paramount Global, hitting the market and looking for buyers. 

However, the showrunners were willing to accept budget cuts and end the series with a shorter season, giving fans a proper conclusion. Despite that and a notable viewership of 7.8 million, CBS still prioritized short-term finances and canceled NCIS: Hawai’i

The cancellation leaves a bitter taste for fans of the short-lived crime-solving drama. Nevertheless, there is still a chance of NCIS: Hawai’i being picked up by another network, though there are no reports of it for now.