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NCIS: SYDNEY Breaks Streaming Records: ‘Absolutely Delighted’

NCIS Sydney

NCIS: SYDNEY Breaks Streaming Records: ‘Absolutely Delighted’

By Movieguide® Contributor  

The widely popular NCIS franchise has hit TV gold again with NCIS: SYDNEY, which set streaming records for CBS and Paramount+. 

The first NCIS series to center around an international location debuted Nov. 14, 2023, and has already been streamed 10 million times, making it the largest CBS series premiere on Paramount+.   

“We are absolutely delighted that audiences locally and internationally have embraced NCIS: SYDNEY with its stellar cast and compelling storytelling,” head of Paramount+ Australia Beverley McGarvey said.“We are so appreciative of the opportunity to utilize the world-class NCIS brand to tell quintessentially Australian stories and it has been so productive to work closely with our colleagues at CBS and Paramount+.” 

“In addition to its success in the U.S., NCIS: SYDNEY has scored impressive global audiences as it became the most-watched local series in Australia since the launch of Paramount+ in the region, and stood out as the most-watched scripted series in English-speaking Canada this season, as well as the No. 3 most-watched series overall,” reported The Wrap. 

CBS Entertainment president Amy Reisenbach credits the show’s characters and writing for its success. 

“These viewer numbers for NCIS: SYDNEY further demonstrate the global strength and popularity of the NCIS franchise, and highlight how strong characters and storytelling continue to resonate with the CBS audience,” Reisenbach said. 

The crime procedural brings the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Australian Federal Police forces together to solve military-related crimes committed on Australian soil. 

Morgan O’Neill, the show’s creator and executive producer, says that the show blends enough new characters and the “shared DNA” of the four prior NCIS shows to draw audiences in. 

“I think between the combination of the location, the exoticism of a place like Australia, the tempo of the way we work and a sense of larrikinism, you’re going to get a very different flavor of NCIS: SYDNEY and hopefully one that is additive rather than duplicative,” O’Neill said as reported in MovieWeb. “But I think they’ll also see a real twist in what they’re used to.” 

“I think there’s a lot of firsts that hopefully the core audience for NCIS will really lap up,” he added. 

The show stars Olivia Swann, who plays NCIS Special Agent Michelle Mackey, and Todd Lasance as Australian Federal Police Second-In Command JD Dempsey, along with Sean Sagar, Tuuli Narkle, Mavournee Hazel and William McInnes. 

“This feels so surreal. Already feels like family! The NCIS franchise is one of the biggest in the world, and I am genuinely honoured to be part of the first international reinterpretation of the show and at the same time playing an Australian in my own backyard!” Aussie actor Lasance posted on Instagram. “It’s rare you get to work with such a phenomenal cast, and we can’t wait to bring you all the crime drama, action and humour, all set on the world’s most beautiful harbour.” 

Movieguide® previously reported more detail on the show based in the land down under: 

“The show is an entirely Australian show,” Morgan O’Neill, head of NCIS: SYDNEY, told TV Line. “But when you work on a show that’s as big as NCIS, which is in 200 territories, in 60 different languages, with trillions of hours of this show watched, the great relief from a showrunner’s point of view is that I don’t really have to go out and find ‘stars.’ The show is already the star; I just get to cast the greatest actors on the planet! So we were able to cast really wide, really broadly, to find the best actors to slide into these pretty unique roles.”

O’Neill explained that the show will still connect to NCIS’ naval roots despite being set in Australia.

“It’s effectively the first ‘blended family’ where NCIS has to form a team with the Australian Federal Police and operate in conjunction with them,” he said. “It’s Australians and Americans working not always in concert, but certainly together, and working through cultural differences, working through the clashes that would naturally exist when you bring two disparate organizations together.”

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