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Here's Why "NCIS: Hawai'i" was Cancelled (Or So They Say)



So a few days ago, we were hit with the shocking news that NCIS:  Hawai'i, the fourth installment in the NCIS franchise, would be canceled after three seasons. The series starred Vanessa Lachey as Jane Tennant, the leader of the NCIS crew in the country's 50th state. We've seen this installment crossover with the original series, and it was near the tail end of Season 2 that LL Cool J began his reprising his NCIS:  LA role of Sam Hanna. So regarding the cancellation, why did this happen? Here's what CBS Entertainment president Amy Reisenbach had to say to Variety magazine:


“It is incumbent on us to always keep the schedule fresh, keep momentum going. We had to make some really tough choices this year. Everything came back [from the Hollywood strikes] really strong, but ultimately we have to look at the cohesiveness of the schedule flow. We have to evaluate the financials and the performance overall, and we make tough decisions."

"Keep the schedule fresh"? Soooo...the first NCIS series to have a female lead and have an out LGBT couple isn't "fresh" in your mind, Ms. Reisenbach?! The more I think about those attributes, the more I see this as a classic case of making the "old White men" happy. I've seen a lot of episodes of the NCIS franchise, and while the shows are good, the casts aren't that diverse. The OG series and the New Orleans incarnation both had White male leads, and LL Cool J was a co-lead on LA with Chris O'Donnell. "But what about NCIS:  Sydney?" you ask. "That has a female lead." That's right, Sydney does have a female lead. Here's the thing, though. Even now, in 2024, where diversity and representation are both big musts, the Highlander rule does apply when it comes to those things. What's the rule in Highlander? There can only be one. 

Sadly, that rule has applied with diversity in a lot of forums. Hawai'i had a female lead and so did Sydney, and once Sydney got the renewal, that sealed Hawai'i's fate. Marginalized groups will get an inch, but when we start to get more inches, we get cut down to size. I do not buy this bullsh*t excuse about "keeping the schedule fresh" and "keeping momentum going." You want to keep a schedule fresh? Move shows! It happens all the time! Shows always get moved to different time slots to test the waters. They didn't even try to do that. NCIS:  Hawai'i had a lot of momentum. It was the first in the franchise to be led by a female, and it had some good representation. And I think that's the true reason why they axed the show, because two NCIS shows with female leads would be seen as "catering" to the so-called "woke mob." This was CBS' way of appeasing the "good ol' boys." Shame on them for this decision.

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