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NCIS is on hiatus until the fall, but that doesn’t mean you can’t watch episodes. We TV announced the station will be airing a two-day NCIS marathon for the July 4th holiday. Here’s everything Showbiz Cheat Sheet knows.

‘NCIS’ is a spinoff of ‘JAG’

The NCIS cast
The NCIS cast | Art Streiber/CBS via Getty Images

NCIS has been on CBS since 2003. The series started as a backdoor pilot on JAG. The JAG episodes that helped introduce NCIS aired in two parts.These episodes are titled “Ice Queen” and “Meltdown.” This is known as a “backdoor pilot” since a new show is being introduced within an existing show.

During JAG Season 8, fans are first introduced to Gibbs, Abby, and the rest of the team. “In these Season 8 episodes, viewers were introduced to what would become the core cast of NCIS as they not only work to solve the murder of a lieutenant but also try to thwart a terrorist attack,” reports TV Guide.

A 2-day ‘NCIS’ marathon on We TV

If you’re just becoming acquainted with NCIS or you’re a long-time fan and want to go down memory lane, you’ve got a treat coming your way. We TV announced they will run a two-day NCIS marathon starting July 4. Now, you can spend your holiday weekend with your favorite agents.

The ‘Gibbs head slap’ on ‘NCIS’

One thing you’ll see a lot on NCIS is the “Gibbs head slap.” Whenever DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) said something Gibbs didn’t like, he would slap him on the back of the head. Weatherly tells USA Today Mark Harmon would hit him pretty hard. He also had to endure these head slaps at least 30 times during the filming of a single episode.

“It’s important to remember a couple of things,” says Weatherly. “Mark Harmon did play football, kind of college level, as a quarterback. He’s has a very strong throwing arm. So, there was a certain degree of speed that would take place. When you watch [the head slap] it only happens once. But when we shoot it, as you are well aware, we might do it 30 or 40 times.”

Michael Weatherly and Mark Harmon
Michael Weatherly and Mark Harmon | Colleen Hayes/CBS via Getty Images

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How did the head slap become a thing on NCIS? During an interview with Festival de Television de Monte Carlo, Weatherly shared how the “Gibbs head slap” became part of the show.

“I had a dialogue with an actor; maybe it was episode three or four, season one,” says Weatherly. “And I was in the background, and I didn’t have any dialogue. So, I was whispering to a girl was working in the background of the set.”

Apparently, Harmon wasn’t pleased about Weatherly getting distracted. He wanted his co-star to stay focused on the work. “And all of a sudden, [Mark Harmon] came over and hit me on the back of the head,” continues Weatherly. “And everyone was shocked. And they printed it. The producers saw the footage. They laughed, because it was funny. Although it wasn’t really funny to anyone who was there that day because I was in trouble. And it just became part of the show.”

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