All 20 seasons of NCIS ranked worst to best

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“House Divided” — Two months after Gibbs and McGee were last seen fighting an elusive group of rebels in a Paraguay jungle, the NCIS team in D.C. tirelessly searches for their missing colleagues. Also, Vance and Torres are summoned to a congressional hearing regarding the fallout from the Paraguay mission, on the 15th season premiere of NCIS, Tuesday, Sept. 26 (8:00-9:00, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured: Mark Harmon, Sean Murray. Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
“House Divided” — Two months after Gibbs and McGee were last seen fighting an elusive group of rebels in a Paraguay jungle, the NCIS team in D.C. tirelessly searches for their missing colleagues. Also, Vance and Torres are summoned to a congressional hearing regarding the fallout from the Paraguay mission, on the 15th season premiere of NCIS, Tuesday, Sept. 26 (8:00-9:00, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured: Mark Harmon, Sean Murray. Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved /

#18: NCIS season 15

After Gibbs and McGee escape Paraguay, things seemed a bit dull in season 15. The arc of Gibbs doubting himself after his capture treaded too much familiar territory and cases didn’t click as well. The sudden departure of Quinn was bushed off, although Maria Bello’s debut as Sloane was good. There was also the arc of Gibbs accidentally letting a killer go free, which ruined Fornell’s career, marring their great friendship. The hunt for the real killer thus didn’t connect as it should have.

Some bright spots included Torres and Bishop going undercover as a couple and McGee protecting Delilah from an attack at her hospital. Yet this was also a season working in a cameo from a guy from American Pickers and then the unneeded death of Reeves followed by Abby leaving. Kasie got an okay introduction, yet it was not as compelling as other character entrances with Abby’s departure being a bigger deal. Losing one of the bright spots of the entire show was a big hole for the series and ended the season on a downward arc even before the cliffhanger of Vance being kidnapped.

#17: NCIS season 1

The first season of a long-running show is often a rough one and NCIS‘ was a little different. It took a bit for the characters to gel and find their groove, although Sasha Alexander was a great presence from the start as Kate Todd. Fans can wince at the clumsy jokes on the name and the CSI comparisons were distracting. Also, there was how the show had to find its way as a procedural, the characters (especially Ducky) were not as fully formed as they should have been. Yet the seeds were there for how great the show would become, including the debut of Fornell and later Tim McGee.

The plots were big from the pilot having a death on Air Force One to murders on ships and the series did well explaining the naval terms and procedures to audiences not used to those terms. It was also fun looking at the differences between military Gibbs, cop Tony and Secret Service agent Kate coming together as a unit. There were a few familiar faces like a pre-Lost Terry O’Quinn in a powerful role as Gibb’s former CO accused of murder. There was also the first appearance of future enemy Ari to show how all the potential was there for the show to be a hit, it just took a bit for it to truly come together.