The concept and characters were initially introduced in two episodes of theCBSseriesJAG(season eightepisodes 20 and 21: "Ice Queen" and "Meltdown"). The show, a spin-off fromJAG, premiered on September 23, 2003, on CBS. To date it has aired fourteen full seasons and has gone intobroadcast syndicationon theUSA Network.Donald P. Bellisario andDon McGillare co-creators and executive producers of the premiere member of theNCISfranchise. It is the secondlongest-running scripted, non-animated U.S. primetime TV seriescurrently airing, surpassed only byLaw & Order: Special Victims Unit(1999–present), and is the 15th longest-running scripted U.S. primetime TV series overall.
NCISwas originally referred to asNavy NCISduring season one; "Navy" was later dropped from the title as it was redundant (the "N" in "NCIS" stands for "Naval"). In season six, atwo-part episodeled to a spin-off series,NCIS: Los Angeles. Atwo-part episodeduring the eleventh season led to a second spin-off series,NCIS: New Orleans.
NCISfollows a fictional team ofNaval Criminal Investigative ServiceMajor Case Response Team (MCRT)special agents based at theWashington, D.C.field office inWashington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.In real life, the field office is based at the nearbyJoint Base Anacostia-Bollingwhile the Navy Yard is home to themuseumand several military commands within the Department of the Navy. It is described by the actors and producers (on special features on DVD releases in the United States) as being distinguished by its comedic elements, ensemble acting, and character-driven plots. The NCIS is the primary law enforcement andcounterintelligencearm of theUnited States Department of the Navy, which includes theUnited States Marine Corps. NCIS investigates all major criminal offenses (felonies) – for example, crimes punishable under theUniform Code of Military Justiceby confinement of more than one year – within the Department of the Navy. The MCRT is frequently assigned to high-profile cases such as the death of theU.S. president's military aide, a bomb situation on a U.S. Navy warship, the death of a celebrity on a reality show set on a U.S. Marine Corps base, terrorist threats involving U.S Naval and Marine Corps weapons, personnel and/or installations, and kidnappings of Navy and Marine Corps personnel and/or their dependents.