‘NCIS: Hawaii’ Already Has 1 Major Difference Than Any Other ‘NCIS’ Spinoff

NCIS: Hawaii is coming to CBS, and it’s making franchise history. It will be the first spinoff to feature a female lead character. There’s also one major difference that sets it apart NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans.

Vanessa Lachey smiles while in a black outfit
‘NCIS: Hawaii’ lead Vanessa Lachey at the “It’s A Wonderful Lifetime” Holiday Party in 2019 | Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

‘NCIS: Hawaii’ will star Vanessa Lachey as Jane Tennant

After months of rumors, CBS has confirmed that NCIS: Hawaii is officially in the works. The network has also revealed that Vanessa Lachey will star as Jane Tennant. She’s an intimidating but fair leader who is the Special Agent in Charge of NCIS Pearl Harbor.

Just like Mark Harmon’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Scott Bakula’s Dwayne Pride, and LL Cool J’s Sam Hanna, Lachey’s character will be in the center of the drama. She will be in a place of power, and that position is something she worked hard to earn.

Jane is also a loving mother, and she doesn’t have a lot of help raising her kids. According to Cinema Blend, she’s a woman in a male-dominated profession who has to find balance between her work commitments and family duties.

CBS reveals more casting news

In addition to Lachey, CBS has also cast The Originals and I Ship It vet Yasmine Al-Bustami as Lucy. She’s a junior member of Tennant’s NCIS team who’s excited about the job and brimming with self-confidence.

The third confirmed cast member is Claws and Famous in Love alum Jason Antoon. He will play the role of Ernie, an NCIS Cyber Intelligence Specialist and Hawaii expert.

The computer wiz is a walking encyclopedia that knows all things related to the Aloha State — history, literature, culture, and technology.

‘NCIS: Hawaii’ already has one major difference from other spinoffs in the franchise

NCIS: New Orleans executive producer and showrunner Christopher Silber and fellow EP Jan Nash created NCIS: Hawaii. Also on the spinoff’s creative team is SEAL Team writer/producer Matt Bosack.

CBS canceled the NOLA spinoff after seven seasons, so Silber, Nash, and Bosack will now move onto this latest iteration.

They will be doing things differently this time around, though. Unlike previous NCIS spinoffs, NCIS: Hawaii will not be introduced via a backdoor pilot.

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That is a method of introducing characters and setting up the story inside another NCIS series. Just like how they did with NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans.

With NCIS: Hawaii, there will be an original storyline from the beginning, and the show will be introduced all on its own.

There’s been a name change

Just after CBS gave NCIS: Hawaii a direct-to-series order, the network tweaked the name of its latest NCIS spinoff. According to Pop Culture, they changed the name from NCIS: Hawaii to NCIS: Hawai’i to reflect the state’s name in the Hawaiian language. That’s also the correct way to spell the Big Island of Hawai’i.

Hawaii is commonly misspelled in English by leaving out the okina or glottal stop between the two i’s. When Hawaii became America’s 50th state in 1959, the federal government recognized “Hawaii” as the official name and spelling.

In the decades since, there have been movements to make Hawai’i the officially recognized name of the state. Kamana’o Mills of the Hawaii Board on Geographic Names told KITV4 that leaving out the okina in Hawaii is a misspelling. She compared it to spelling “apple” without the “a.”

‘NCIS: Hawaii’ is expected to premiere this fall

CBS has officially renewed NCIS for season 19 and NCIS: Los Angeles for season 13. NCIS: New Orleans will wrap it’s seventh and final season on May 23.

NCIS: Hawaii is expected to replace NOLA in the primetime lineup. However, the network has not revealed its official time slot. The spin-off will most likely premiere in the fall of 2021.

NCIS airs Tuesdays on CBS. NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans air Sunday nights on the network. Episodes of all three NCIS series are also available on Paramount+.