Is ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ Getting Canceled? Ratings At All-Time Low For Midseason Premiere

NCIS: New Orleans returned from fall hiatus to a new night. The show moved from the Tuesday timeslot, immediately after the mothership series, NCIS, to Sundays following NCIS: Los Angeles. Ratings for the midseason premiere aren’t up to par. Will the show get canceled? Here’s what we know.

The ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ midseason premiere tanked in the new time slot

'NCIS: New Orleans'
Scott Bakula as Special Agent Dwayne Pride and Vanessa Ferlito as FBI Special Agent Tammy Gregorio | Sam Lothridge/CBS via Getty Images

As fans predicted, the move of NCIS: New Orleans from Tuesdays at 10 p.m. to Sundays at 10 p.m. might’ve been the kiss of death. So far, only the midseason premiere has aired, so there’s plenty of time to bring the ratings up.

However, the NCIS spinoff received just 5.2 million viewers in the 18-49 age demographic and a 0.5 rating in the demo which is down 41 percent compared to the last new episode. The ratings mark a series low.

Despite the massive success CBS has had with the NCIS franchise — with NCIS on season 17, NCIS: Los Angeles on season 11, and NCIS: New Orleans on season 6 — the new change hasn’t proven to be a good one just yet.

The mothership of the franchise, NCIS, stayed in its Tuesday timeslot with high ratings. According to The Los Angeles Times, the show is “the first recorded program to be the highest-rated program during any of the 21 weeks so far in the 2019-20 prime-time television season.”

Ratings for the show averaged 11.761 million viewers, according to Nielsen. No other show produced more than 9 million viewers for the same week. NCIS: New Orleans only had 5.2 million viewers, according to TV Series Finale.

Many complained about the switch to Sundays when the announcement was made. As CBS reigns as the highest-rated network f the moment, claiming five of the week’s top eight performing shows, it’s somewhat shocking to see the drastic dip in NCIS: New Orleans viewership.

The drop in ratings might not only be due to the move

While the drastic drop in ratings is certainly a cause for concern, there may be another reason NCIS: New Orleans didn’t hit the numbers it should’ve.

“When is the show coming back?” this fan tweeted after the midseason premiered aired. “I had no idea! I’m just glad I don’t have to wait till Tuesday,” another said. “How about you stop assuming you can go months midseason and still keep viewer interest? CBS has done this with virtually all their programming,” another added.

The sentiments continue on Instagram. Many commenters weighed in saying they didn’t realize a new episode of NCIS: New Orleans aired yet. The biggest issue seems to be that, with such a long break from programming, the show became a distant memory.

That, mixed with moving to a new night may have compromised many viewers that would normally tune in one the night and time they remember from before. The last new episode, before the long break, aired Dec. 17, 2019. That’s nearly a 2-month absence, and a lot can happen in two months.

Is ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ getting canceled?

The second half of NCIS: New Orleans Season 6 has only gotten started. Even with ratings below average, the network will likely wait to see if the numbers improve before axing one of its franchise hits. In other words, there’s been no decision on whether the series will get canceled or not.

That said, sitting in the 10 p.m. slot on Sunday nights, ultimately ended shows like Madam Secretary. The icing here is that, as some have noted, even though ratings are low in the new slot, NCIS: New Orleans is still performing better than those that were ultimately canceled in the same spot.

NCIS: New Orleans airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on CBS.