‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ Drops First Look Photos as Executive Producers Spill On the Series Premiere

‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ is the latest spinoff in the world’s most-watched TV franchise, and it will debut this fall. Recently, fans got their first look at Vanessa Lachey starring as Special Agent in Charge Jane Tennant. The executive producers have also spilled some details about the series premiere.

NCIS: HAWAII kicked off its first season production at Mokulia Beach on Oahu with a traditional Hawaiian blessing in honor of its host Hawaiian culture, which was held in line with the series overall filming safety protocols.
The cast of ‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ | Karen Neal/CBS via Getty Images

‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ director says the spinoff is a ‘love letter’ to the Navy and the Aloha State

While speaking with The Daily Hawaii about the tone of the new spinoff, pilot director Larry Teng described NCIS: Hawai’i as a “love letter” to the Navy and to America’s 50th state.

“This is a love letter to the Navy,” Teng said. “But it’s a love letter to Hawaii, too, you know, and I gotta make sure we protect that. And, you know, it’s one of the things we stress about every day.”

The series’ location is also a character

As fans know, NCIS stands for Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the series is first and foremost about the US Navy. But just like NCIS: New Orleans, the location of NCIS: Hawai’i — Pearl Harbor and the island of Oahu — will also be a character.

“What I took away and learned from working with Jan [Nash] the last couple of years in New Orleans is really getting to know the place that you’re shooting and making it a character in the show,” executive producer Christopher Silber told Deadline.

The latest NCIS spinoff is using locals as extras, with the goal being to have “all kinds of inclusion.”

‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ drops first look photos

Filming for season 1 is underway in Hawaii, and CBS has dropped the spinoff’s first look photos to TV Line. Both pics feature Lachey as Jane Tennant, the first female lead in the NCIS franchise. One features Lachey sitting in a helicopter while wearing a headset.

The second features Lachey and co-star Enver Gjokaj in front of an aircraft at the Pearl Harbor Naval base. Lachey is dressed in a black pantsuit, while Gjokaj — who plays Navy Capt. Joe Miliu — is in his dress whites.

RELATED: ‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ Showrunners on Potential Crossovers — ‘Never Say Never’

“When we first meet Special Agent in Charge Jane Tennant, her brilliance and compassion are on full display when, after being pulled away from coaching her daughter’s soccer team, she heads to the North Shore to lead an investigation into a top-secret Navy program,” executive producers Matt Bosack, Nash, and Silber told TVLine.

The EPs ‘can’t wait’ for fans to meet the Hawaii team

The producers went on to say that they can’t wait for NCIS fans to finally meet and get to know Jane and her team when the series premieres this fall. Lachey has also noted that she doesn’t take lightly the fact that she’s the first female lead in the NCIS universe.

In a teaser video released earlier this year, the 40-year-old said that she hopes to inspire the next generation of young girls and women.

“My character Jane Tennant is the Special Agent in Charge of NCIS. She’s the mother of a 15-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl. And, that is real life. Juggling life, and love, and work,” Lachey said.

The ‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ star says they’ve chosen the perfect setting for the next chapter in the franchise

Lachey believes that Hawaii is the “perfect setting” for the next chapter of the NCIS franchise. She noted that many people know about Hawaii’s beautiful waters and beaches. But what she’s interested in showing is “the depth to the people of Hawaii.”

RELATED: ‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ EP Larry Teng Knows He Has a Responsibility to Make Sure the Hawaiian Community is ‘Represented Properly’

“There’s so much beauty there, there’s so much culture there,” Lachey explained. “Hopefully I can portray to everyone and show the beautiful side of Hawaii.”

NCIS: Hawai’i premieres Monday, September 20 after the season 19 premiere of NCIS.