NCIS Viewership Upticks After David Mccallum Tribute Episode


NCIS was CBS’ most-viewed TV show Monday night, garnering 7.2 million viewers.

Per AOL, “CBS’ NCIS (0.5, 7.20M) took home the night’s largest audience in the 9 p.m. hour, besting Fox’s THE CLEANING LADY (0.4, 2.90M) and CW’s ALL AMERICAN: HOMECOMING (0.1, 420K), which matched their ratings of the previous week.”

It tied with ABC’s THE BACHELOR for the nightly demo win, per MSN.

The uptick in viewership came as the show paid tribute to David McCallum, who played Donald “Ducky” Mallard, following his death last year.

According to TVLine, “Nearly five months after McCallum’s death, CBS’ NCIS this Monday at 9/8c will air ‘The Stories We Leave Behind’ which Dietzen co-wrote with executive producer Scott Williams. In that can’t-miss episode, as NCIS mourns Ducky, the agents find some comfort in working on one of his unfinished cases involving a woman whose father was dishonorably discharged from the Marines.”

The episode begins as Brian Dietzen’s Dr. Jimmy Palmer stops “to pick up Dr. Mallard — who was at long last home from the book tour that had kept him off-screen as of late — only to discover that his mentor had quietly passed away during the night.”

“I think everyone knows that we want to honor not only the character of Ducky, but also David McCallum, in a proper way, and what was important about it was showing that this is a family — how you come in and take care of your own, how you are there for your loved ones,” Dietzen explained. “This is a part of Jimmy’s daily existence, going into Ducky’s house and picking him up to bring him to work, dropping off some coffee, maybe just checking in on him as you do with a family member. I thought that it was really important to show how hard this team is hit, how hard they’re rocked by this loss. And the person that certainly was closest to him was Jimmy.”


The actor, who co-wrote the tribute episode, wasn’t initially slated to write for the show this year.

“Before David passed, we had that work stoppage with the WGA and SAG strikes, so I had said to Steven Binder and David North, our showrunners, ‘I don’t need to write this year,’ because we only have 10 episodes,” he said. “I didn’t want to insert myself. But then when David passed away, Scott Williams, my co-writer, volunteered to do this episode and he said to me, ‘I thought it was only right that you co-write with me.’ And then everybody in the room said, ‘Yeah, that’s perfect. That’s what should happen.’ And I said, ‘Absolutely, I’d be honored to.’”

Movieguide® reported on the tribute episode:

NCIS’ executive producers and co-showrunners Steven D. Binder and David North told TV Line, “Everyone at NCIS felt it was important to do an episode that honors such a legendary actor, not to mention a dear friend.”

“In the episode, the team will learn of Ducky’s passing and reflect on their memories of him as they grieve,” they said. “And true to Ducky’s meticulous and compassionate nature, even after he’s gone, he still manages to solve one last crime with the team. There will also be a very touching and special moment you won’t want to miss.”

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