‘NCIS: Hawaii’ gives CBS a chance to prioritize diversity


NCIS is one of the longest-running police dramas of all time, and over the years it has spawned several successful spin-offs. The series’ spin-offs spawned a range of interesting characters and situations, all within the larger NCIS universe.

Yet at times fans also craved something new, something with a unique perspective and an entirely new setting – and they may be getting that with the latest spinoff, NCIS: Hawaii. While little is yet known about the newly announced series, many viewers are excited about the chance to see a more diverse cast than what has been seen in the past.

‘NCIS: Hawaii’ was announced for release in the spring of 2021.
‘NCIS: Hawaii’ Would Have Epic CBS Crossover Potential

In the spring of 2021, CBS producers came out with two big announcements, back to back. One announcement was that they would be discontinuing the series NCIS: New Orleans, with the final series airing in May 2021.

After a seven-year success, many actors are sad to see the series go, but have expressed nothing but affection for the network and for the NCIS universe. NCIS: New Orleans star Scott Bakula issued a statement saying “sad to end our love affair with this phenomenal city, but so grateful for all the friends we’ve made along the way.”

The other announcement was much more positive, with showrunners revealing that the network is currently preparing and shooting a brand new NCIS spinoff series, titled NCIS: Hawaii. Details are scarce for now, but what fans know is certainly exciting.

What does one know about “NCIS: Hawaii”?

CBS is developing NCIS: Hawaii, a new installment in the hit #NCIS franchise#NCISHawaii https://t.co/Ljpyj2MhwW

– Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) February 16, 2021

What ‘NCIS: Hawaii’ should learn from the failed spinoff ‘Red’

So far, none of the stars of the new NCIS: Hawaii series have been announced. Still, some of the behind-the-scenes club members from NCIS: New Orleans will be coming on board for the new series, including Christopher Silber and executive producer Jan Nash. Many fans are summing up that some cast members from NCIS: New Orleans, such as Bakula, could be starring in the series.

Many media outlets are speculating that NCIS: Hawaii will be filmed in Hawaii – although no official confirmation from the network has yet been released to address that point. A recent report from Deadline reveals that the team could have used the large production base built in Hawaii for filming the TV series Hawaii Five-o.

Certainly, showrunners at CBS have revealed that they prefer to shoot the film on location whenever possible in order to maintain a sense of realism and bring viewers right into the heart of the NCIS universe. That commitment to authenticity may mean that NCIS: Hawaii will feature a diverse cast of characters – actors and onesies who actually represent the real look and feel of the Hawaiian Islands.

Would ‘NCIS: Hawaii’ give the showrunners a chance to bring in more diverse characters?

#NCIS: New Orleans ends season 7 on CBS while showrunners prepare NCIS: Hawaii for the network https://t.co/LOqtBkuZST pic.twitter.com/7pR4zDdo0y

– Lesley Goldberg (@Snoodit) February 18, 2021

Why was ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ caancelled after season 7?

With NCIS: Hawaii potentially filming on location in Hawaii, there are plenty of opportunities to incorporate an ethnically diverse cast of characters into the show. The same report from Deadline includes several contributions from fans pointing out that the show should feature at least one or two actors of Hawaiian origin, with one fan writing, “hopefully you’ll put an actor representing Hawaiians in the lead role.”

Hawaii’s diverse demographics lend themselves well to an ensemble drama show – so it certainly seems that the production team would do well to take a step toward inclusivity by casting an Asian or Pacific Islander in one of the main leads.


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