The fall TV lineup on CBS is missing its usual multi-show NCIS presence, and not just because the LA branch of the franchise ended back in the spring. The ongoing WGA writers strike and SAG-AFTRA actors strike mean that the original series and NCIS: Hawai'i will be missing from primetime with new episodes this fall for the foreseeable future, but CBS will indeed debut a brand new show for the franchise. It just won't be set in one of the familiar locations with a cast of familiar faces!
NCIS: Sydney is set for a November 13 premiere on CBS that will take viewers to Australia, and will be the first-ever international edition of the franchise. Announced back in February of 2022, the show was originally expected to release for Paramount+ Australia and Network 10 in Australia, which could have meant that American viewers who had access to NCIS and every spinoff so far wouldn't be able to tune in.
The strikes that mean delays for NCIS and Hawai'i presumably are what resulted in CBS giving Sydney primetime slot for U.S. fans of the franchise. CBS Entertainment president Amy Reisenbach said this in a statement about bringing the Down Under show to CBS and Paramount+:
NCIS is one of the most popular series in the world and we’re thrilled to expand this franchise with a uniquely Australian twist. With the addition of NCIS: SYDNEY, our studio and Network footprint continues to grow in this fascinating world that has been a proven winner with viewers on both linear and streaming platforms. Featuring the stunning backdrop of Australia, the new series will incorporate the high-stakes intrigue, humor and camaraderie that have kept fans captivated by the NCIS teams for over two decades
With the setting thousands of miles away from the mainland United States, NCIS: Sydney will follow a team of American NCIS agents teamed up with the AFP (Australian Federal Police) for a multinational task force facing increasing international tensions in the Indo-Pacific. Their goal is to work to prevent and investigate naval crimes in what is considered the planet's most contested waters. The show will premiere on Friday, November 10 for Paramount+ Australia subscribers before debuting a few days later for CBS viewers and Paramount+ subscribers on November 13.
NCIS: Sydney will star an actress who will be familiar to fans of Legends of Tomorrow, with Olivia Swann portraying Special Agent Michelle Mackey alongside Spartacus: War of the Damned alum Todd Lasance as Sergeant Jim "JD" Dempsey, who is her counterpart from the AFP. The series also stars The Covenant's Sean Saga as Agent DeShawn Jackson, Mystery Road: Origin's Tuuli Narkle as AFP liaison Constable Evie Cooper, Shantaram's Mavournee Hazel as AFP scientist Bluebird "Blue" Gleeson", and The Newsreader's William McInnes as AFP forensic pathologist Dr. Roy Penrose.
Based on the cast announcements, it appears that the cast of NCIS: Sydney will primarily play Australian characters rather than agents from the U.S. side of the pond. Of course, we'll have to wait until the show premieres to see what exactly the NCIS/AFP combined task force looks like, but it seems safe to say that this will be a franchise installment unlike all the others that came before.
When the series was announced and was seemingly aimed at an Australian audience, I had my doubts about whether there would be any ties or mentions of the other NCIS shows, but connections seem more likely now that Sydney is coming to CBS. It technically won't be the only NCIS installment in primetime this fall, but the others will all be reruns. A mini-marathon of NCIS episodes will air back-to-back-to-back on Monday, September 25 starting at 8 p.m., followed by repeats on Mondays at 10 p.m. ET in subsequent weeks.
NCIS: Sydney will take over that 10 p.m. ET time slot on Mondays with its premiere on November 13; it remains to be seen if NCIS repeats will be moved or simply replaced by the new show. A lot may depend on if the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes end in the foreseeable future and allow the networks to begin production on scripted shows again and salvage the fall portion of the 2023 TV schedule.
You can check out NCIS: Syndey starting on November 13 on CBS. In the meantime, you can always revisit old episodes of the franchise (including NCIS, NCIS: Hawai'i, NCIS: LA, and NCIS: New Orleans) streaming on Paramount+.