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January Crime Preview: NCIS Season Twelve

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Kicking off our series looking at the crime shows starting in January, tonight sees the return (for the twelfth time) of NCIS.

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation are the only American crime shows currently still in production which have been airing for longer than CBS show NCIS. It is the sixteenth longest running American show ever, including shows which have finished airing. Its tenth series was the most watched show in America in the 2013-2013 season. Clearly, there is something about the show that keeps audiences coming back for more.

NCIS follows a team of investigators who are part of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, who investigate crimes involving members of the US navy. Led by the indomitable Mark Harmon as Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, the team is at the heart of why NCIS has captured audiences for twelve years. The series also stars Michael Weatherly as Agent Antony Dinozzo, Sean Murray and computer expert Agent Timothy McGee, Pauley Perrette as fan favourite and standout technical analyst Abby Scuito, and David McCallum as the endearing Doctor Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard.

The breakdown of salary negotiations during the 2013 summer break led to the departure of fan favourite Ziva David, played by Cote de Pablo, which led to a question mark over whether a new female character would be able to fill the gap in the team which seemed like a bit seat to fill. However, new character Agent Eleanor Bishop, played by Emily Wickersham, fit in perfectly, precisely because she was positioned entirely differently to David – she is a technical analyst and is married, meaning that the infuriating will they/won’t they with Dinozzo which characterised his relationship with David is entirely bypassed. This meant that season eleven took the show from strength to strength.

Season 12 will start completely afresh in terms of storylines as the last season refreshingly ended without any kind of cliffhanger. Showrunner Gary Glasberg told TV guide in September that "Season 12 is all about bringing the team together and sort of keeping the family going, and really emphasizing the group," a refreshing return to the basics, which was what drew audiences to stick with the show in the first place.

The show also promises to feature more of Ducky’s backstory, and the appearance of yet another one of Agent Gibb’s ex wives as well as a Russian villain in the premiere, who has a long reach and a massive impact on the rest of the season.

NCIS Season 12  airs on FOX UK  on 09 January 2015 at 9:00pm.

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