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NCIS (TV Series 2003– ) Poster

(2003– )

Trivia

MTAC stands for the Multiple Threat Assessment Center. Previously the Antiterrorist Alert Center (ATAC), it was changed in 2002 in response to its expanding role after the terrorist bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen and attacks of September 11th, 2001.
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Pauley Perrette, who plays Abby, actually graduated from college with a degree in Forensics, and then moved to New York to get her master's, and it was there that she got in to acting, before coming to NCIS. Producers have said that most of the personality and interests displayed by Abby come from Perrette just playing herself.
Whenever we see flashbacks featuring young Gibbs, the younger version is played by Mark Harmon's son, Sean.
The hand tools that Mark Harmon uses on the set of NCIS are mostly his own. Those are the tools that he uses in his own personal workshop. His wife, Pam Dawber once stated that he will get on her case if the tools in the workshop are not put back exactly as they were.
Sean Murray (Special Agent Timothy McGee) is the stepson of Donald P. Bellisario, and his sister on the show is in fact his stepsister in real life.
In one episode Kate asks Gibbs "Gibbs? What did Ducky look like when he was younger?" Gibbs answers "Ilya Kuryakin". Ilya Kuryakin is the role David McCallum played in the show The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964).
There are two types of NCIS special agents: full time agents wear a gold badge, part time agents wear a silver badge.
The sound heard at the beginning and end of each act, when the scene goes to black and white is Donald P. Bellisario making that noise into a microphone. He wanted a unique way of bookending each act and took a microphone and went into a studio and made that sound into the microphone.
There is a picture of Donald P. Bellisario hanging on the "NCIS Most Wanted Wall".
In 2005 Mark Harmon requested that nobody make any fuss about his September 2nd birthday. New cast member Lauren Holly had other ideas though. The frequent victim of Harmon's practical jokes, she collaborated with Michael Weatherly on a Harmon birthday extravaganza. First they ordered 150 t-shirts that read 'It's Mark Harmon's birthday', that were passed out to the entire crew. On Thursday, September 1st, she waited in her hotel room for the heads-up call from Weatherly that shooting was wrapping. At three o'clock a.m., still in her pajamas, Holly got the call, loaded up her car with party supplies and drove back to the show's sets in Santa Clarita. She and Weatherly then proceeded to cover Harmon's trailer with crepe paper, helium balloons and piñatas, then dumped large amounts of confetti everywhere. They decorated every wall, truck and trailer, then, with the cooperation of the art department, put up a picture of Harmon on all the plasma-screen displays in the squad-room set. Holly then hopped on a plane on Friday to fly back to her husband and three sons in Chicago and waited for word on Harmon's reaction. When Harmon arrived to work he saw everyone in identical t-shirts, holding signs, and assumed there was a strike. Weatherly was called by the nervous producers, who were worried what Mark would think, and who was behind it. Michael replied "I'm not going to name any names. Lauren Holly". Harmon was very touched by the gesture, which was filmed so he could take the DVD home to his wife, actress Pam Dawber. He did however tell Lauren with a grin, "Payback's a bitch".
On the set of NCIS, Mark Harmon uses a 1972 Airstream that he restored himself.
Two real-life NCIS directors (David Brant and Thomas Betro) and the real-life Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus have all made cameo appearances on the show.
Jethro Gibbs's father Jackson Gibbs (played by Ralph Waite ) was a World War II US Army Air Force fighter pilot, as was Mark Harmon's real life father Tom Harmon.
DiNozzo's wealthy father cut him off from his inheritance when he was 12 years old. Michael Weatherly's father cut him off from his inheritance when he decided to pursue acting.
NCIS is one of very few spin-offs to run longer than the original show.
Michael Weatherly's character's father is played by Robert Wagner. Prior to joining NCIS, Weatherly played Robert Wagner in a TV movie The Mystery of Natalie Wood (2004) about Wagner's wife.
Lauren Holly originally auditioned for the part of Kate.
Donald P. Bellisario was not sure whether Mark Harmon would be right for the role of Gibbs. However, following his role as Agent Simon Donovan on The West Wing (1999), he eventually decided to cast him.
In "Enemy On The Hill" Abby is seen holding a locket of her adoptive mother. The photo is Pauley Perrette's real mother Donna Bell.
Michael Weatherly once stated this when rumors that Mark Harmon was leaving NCIS, "He's the spine of the show. Without him it's a show about jellyfish. We need our spine."
The t-shirts that Gibbs wears while working on the boat in the basement of his home are sent to Mark Harmon from law enforcement agencies around the country. He also occasionally wears a sweatshirt with the letters "NIS". This stands for "Naval Investigative Service", the predecessor of the NCIS. An agent with Gibbs' seniority would have begun his career working under that name.
At one point, Michael Weatherly's character states "I've got a better chance of hooking up with Jessica Alba than these guys do of infiltrating SeaLift". Michael Weatherly was engaged for a time to Jessica Alba and starred opposite her on Dark Angel (2000).
Donald P. Bellisario considered casting Scott Bakula (who starred in his previous television production, Quantum Leap (1989)) as Gibbs. Eleven years later, Bakula was cast as Special Agent Dwayne Pride, Gibbs's former partner and star of NCIS: New Orleans (2014).
Mark Harmon, who was born in 1951, would be old enough to be a Vietnam era veteran, but his character of Gibbs stated that he was a Gulf War veteran as he was too young to be a Vietnam vet, so Gibbs is much younger than Harmon.
In the opening credits of the first couple seasons, an aircraft carrier is seen going under the Golden Gate Bridge. This is a clip from the opening credits of The Presidio (1988), starring Mark Harmon as a San Francisco police inspector investigating a murder on the Presidio army base in San Francisco.
In addition to Troian Bellisario, one of Donald P. Bellisario's children, who plays as McGee's sister, there is also one of his sons, Michael Bellisario, who played Charles (Chip) Sterling on the show.
Donald P. Bellisario named the character Leroy Jethro after his family. His brother's name is Leroy and his father's middle name is Jethro.
'Donald P. Bellisario' confirmed that before 'Sasha Alexander' decided to leave the show, his plan for Season 3 was to build on the Tony/Kate relationship, and the ideas for the episodes NCIS: Under Covers (2005) and NCIS: Boxed In (2006) (which have a large emphasis on the Tony/Ziva relationship) were conceived with the intention of forcing the characters to confront their emotional attachments to the other.
On a document Abby writes in one of the episodes, she lists her full name as "Abigail Beethoven Sciuto."
In NCIS: Chained (2004), Gibbs keeps getting phone calls from people asking about a Volkswagen Bug for sale. Frustrated, Gibbs asks,"Do I look like someone who would drive a Bug?!" In The Deliberate Stranger (1986), Mark played serial killer Ted Bundy, who drove a VW Bug.
After his death Osama bin Laden's picture is on NCIS' "most wanted" wall, crossed out with red tape.
NCIS Headquarters is shown to be at the Washington, DC Navy Yard. In reality, the Headquarters was moved in 2011 to a new facility at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Quantico, VA.
During one episode (Blowback), Gibbs was trying to solve a crossword puzzle. As his character is rarely in step with pop culture, he asked DiNozzo for a TV drama with eight letters. Tony answers St. Elsewhere (1982), which has more than eight, eliciting a knowing laugh from Gibbs. Mark Harmon played Dr. Bobby Caldwell on that show from 1983 to 1986.
Harrison Ford, who was experiencing a bit of a slump around the time of the series's conception, was urged by colleagues to pursue the role of Gibbs. He did not, but 'Mark Harmon' (qb)'s Gibbs does allude to this in the first episode (NCIS: Yankee White (2003), name-dropping Harrison Ford and his film Air Force One (1997).
According to Pauley Perrette on the 'tour of Abby's lab' extra on the seasons 8 DVD, Bert "the Farting Hippo" has to be locked up at the end of shooting because extras and production interns have tried walking off with him before.
Mark Harmon received a call during the summer between seasons 3 and 4 telling him to stop shaving - because Gibbs was to have a scruffier look, along with a mustache.
DiNozzo is a fan of the shows Airwolf (1984) and Magnum, P.I. (1980), both also created by Donald P. Bellisario.
During the opening credits there is a note about what NCIS represents and it reads: The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is a worldwide federal law enforcement organization whose mission is to protect and serve the Navy and Marine Corps and their families.
The pilot for this series aired as a two-part episode of JAG (1995) in the spring of 2003. Two major changes were made for the series. A gimmick in which Ducky is shown talking to corpses - from the corpse's point of view - was dropped, and a character named Viv Blackadder (played by Robyn Lively) was replaced by the character played by Sasha Alexander.
When NCIS was originally the Naval Investigative Service (NIS) it was part of Naval Intelligence.
David McCallum appeared in every episode until Season 6, Episode 23, "Legend Part II". Even though he plays the medical examiner, this included shows where people weren't even murdered. In those episodes, Ducky would consult on the psychology of the case, or offer personal advice.
The Dodge Chargers used by these Navy Department agents are a color called Deep Water Blue, a special color costing several hundred dollars more than a standard black or white car, which a federal agency would most likely choose.
The boat that Gibbs is building is an Amigo Kit from Glen-L.
The 7th season was the first to not have a new set of opening credits at the start of the year, despite the fact the show was headed into its most successful season yet.
Dell sponsors all the laptops and PCs shown in every season.
Jennifer Aniston expressed interest in the role of Kate, but in order for her to accept the role, production would have had to wait for her to finish the final season of Friends (1994).
"FLETC" (flet c) is often referred to in regard to trainees. The word is an acronym for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. NCIS, along with 82 other federal agencies, train recruits at FLETC-Glynco, just north of Brunswick, Georgia.
The title of McGee's novel "Deep Six" is the name of an actual novel written by Clive Cussler.
Mark Harmon, Rocky Carroll, and Lauren Holly all appeared together on Chicago Hope (1994). Stacy Edwards and Jayne Brook have also appeared in guest roles.
A satellite image of the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid sometimes appears on Gibbs' computer.
Rocky Carroll and Michael Weatherly were born exactly five years apart. Carroll on July 8th, 1963 and Weatherly on July 8th, 1968.
Multiple times, Gibbs would comment that a shooter would "police their brass". This is a term for picking up expended casings off the ground.
The show was originally entitled "Navy NCIS". They dropped the "Navy", which was redundant because the "N" in "NCIS" stands for "Naval" referring to the Navy. "NCIS" stands for "Naval Criminal Investigative Service".
Michael Bellisario (son of producer Donald P. Bellisario) who played Chip Sterling, previously played Michael Roberts on JAG (1995), the show NCIS spun-off from.
In NCIS: The Good Wives Club (2004), McGee and DiNozzo are in the Priest's room where DiNozzo is watching an old rerun of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952). Ozzie and Harriet were Mark Harmon's sister Kristin's in-laws in real life.
Timothy McGee uses the pseudonym Thom E Gemcity for his novel 'Deep Six'. Thom E Gemcity is an anagram for Timothy McGee.
In numerous episodes someone is told to "watch your 6". Pilots and military fire teams call-out the positions of enemies by referring to their bearings via the use of a pretend clock face. Twelve o'clock means the enemy is directly ahead, whereas 6 o'clock would mean directly behind. Basically this means "watch your tail". Another comment "I've got your 6" means "I've got your back". Some in the military uses the phrase in casual conversation.
Gibbs and his team frequently talk about "local LEOs". "LEO" is short for "Law Enforcement Officer(s)".
At the beginning of season 8 Sean Murray (McGee) quit drinking and gave up sugar. Hence, his drastic weight loss throughout the season
Gibbs was a Gulf War veteran, but the tee-shirt he occasionally wears could be a reminder of his NIS origins. Although the NIS was renamed in 1985, becoming the NSIC, then the NISC, it was only in 1992 the NCIS was taken out of the uniformed navy's control and a civilian director appointed.
McGee is a fan of the electronic music group "Venetian Snares". There is a small poster to the right of him on his wall.
David McCallum plays Donald Mallard. Mallard is a breed of duck, hence his nickname Ducky. His name could also be construed to be Donald Duck.
Don Johnson was offered the role of Agent Gibbs. He turned it down.
The team frequently issues BOLOs for people - this stands for "Be On Look Out".
While characters will call Dr. Mallard by his nickname "Ducky", he only lets Gibbs call him "Duck".
Special Agent Caitlin "Kate" Todd was the first agent other than Gibbs to conduct a solo interrogation. 1x21: Split Decision.
Although Sasha Alexander and Rocky Carroll never worked together on the show, they both appeared in the movie Yes Man (2008).
Both Brian Dietzen (Palmer) and Sean Murray (McGee) were born in 1977. Dietzen was born on November 14th, and Murray was born the day after, on the 15th.
The scene at the start where the NCIS car is seen driving away from the camera is actually taken from JAG: Ice Queen (2003) and is not an NCIS scene. Although the "Ice Queen" was later aired as part of "Navy NCIS: The Beginning".
In a scene where the team is gathered at a Friday happy hour, Ducky (David McCallum) orders a Macallan.
The series creator Donald P. Bellisario's photo appears on the wall of Timothy McGee/Thom E. Gemcity's publisher.
In NCIS: Loose Cannons (2016) Dr. Cyril Taft (Jon Cryer) meets Ducky ('David Mc Callum') for the first time. Jon Cryer's character's nick name in the movie Pretty in Pink (1986).
In several episodes, characters are heard using the term "scuttlebutt". "Scuttlebutt" is a Navy term for a water-cooler or drinking fountain. It is also Naval slang word meaning gossip, since it is around around the area of a drinking fountain (scuttlebutt) where gossip can be heard, especially during break times and lunch hour.
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Throughout the first season Gibbs was the movie fanatic while from season 2 on Dinozzo was known to be the movie king.
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Abbey's Caf-Pow cups originally were filled with Hawaiian Punch. Once she stopped consuming processed sugar, she switched to unsweetened cranberry juice.
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One of the computer monitors used on the set is a 1600SW Flat Panel monitor built by Silicon Graphics in 1999 (hence the SGI abbreviation logo).
The name of Leon Vance, the NCIS director, is also the name of a World War II US Army Air Force B-24 Liberator bomber pilot who was awarded the Medal of Honor for action on D-Day for the Normandy Invasion, June 6, 1944. Lieutenant Colonel Vance was severely wounded in that action but recovered, but was then killed in the crash of the cargo plane transporting him to Washington DC to receive the Medal personally from President Roosevelt. He is the namesake of Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Oklahoma.
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While Agent DiNozzo was agent afloat in the beginning of season 6 he is aboard the USS Seahawk. This is the same air carrier from the first episode of JAG (1995), the show that NCIS is the the spin off of.
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John M. Jackson reprises his role as former admiral A.J. Chegwidden from JAG (1995) (the show of which NCIS was spun-off from). NCIS season 10 season finale, A.J. Chegwidden is called upon by Director Vance to be Gibbs' legal counsel.
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Numerous actors have appeared on both JAG (1995) and NCIS, but in different roles. Notables include: Sean Murray, Muse Watson, Terry O'Quinn, Steven Culp, Michael Bellisario, and Joe Spano.

These notables had a significant role in either JAG or NCIS, but not necessarily the other. For example, Sean Murray's roles on JAG weren't recurring, while he is a regular on NCIS. And Terry O'Quinn's role on JAG was recurring, but wasn't on NCIS.
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In every backdoor two part Pilot for the Spin offs (for NCIS JAG: Ice Queen (2003)/JAG: Meltdown (2003) and for NCIS: Los Angeles (2009) NCIS: Legend (2009)/NCIS: Legend (2009) & for NCIS: New Orleans (2014) NCIS: Crescent City: Part 1 (2014)/NCIS: Crescent City: Part 2 (2014)), all these Two Part Pilots feature one character who doesn't appear in the full series. These include Vivian Blackadder (played by Robyn Lively) in NCIS's Backdoor Pilot, Lara Macy (played by Louise Lombard) in NCIS Los Angeles Backdoor Pilot and Wendell Hobbs (played by Aaron Moten) in NCIS New Orleans Backdoor Pilot.
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Many of Gibb's whiskey bottles in his basement are re-tooled bottles of real brands and/or labels that have been removed or partially obscured. Maker's Mark, Wild Turkey Rare Breed, Blanton's Original are just a few of the bottle's which have appeared. It's mentioned in SWAK that he is also partial to Jack Daniels but a bottle has yet to be seen in his basement.
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Mark Harmon (Leroy Jethro Gibbs) previously played a former Marine stationed in Lebanon in the made-for-TV film Original Sins (1995) prior to landing the role of Gbbs who is also a former Marine.
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Even though they should be sending a large contingent of NCIS agents, police and/or other federal agencies to many emergencies, many times it is just Gibbs and his team confronting dangerous criminals and are often outgunned by the bad guys who have automatic weapons.
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Michael Weatherly played actor Robert Wagner in The Mystery of Natalie Wood (2004). Later on, Wagner would play Weatherly's father in a recurring role on NCIS.
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Seamus Dever and Jon Huertas, who play secondary cast members in separate episodes, are partners in Castle (2009).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Many of the characters' histories are taken from the actors' real lives. For instance, Michael Weatherly's father has a large fortune from a family business, as does Tony's father (and Weatherly's Dark Angel (2000) character). Abby Scuito states she used to go through old cars to see what happened to them and try to find out what went wrong, which Pauley Perrette did in her childhood.
One of the pictures on the "most wanted" wall is of agent G. Callen from NCIS: Los Angeles (2009), presumably under cover using one of his aliases.
Ralph Waite, who played agent Gibbs's father in the series passed away in 2014. The final episode in season 11 (NCIS: Honor Thy Father (2014)), in which Gibbs must deal with his father's death, was dedicated to his memory. Furthermore, in the final scene of the next episode (NCIS: Twenty Klicks (2014)), the mug on Gibbs's work table has the name Ralph on it.
In the episode NCIS: Seek (2013) Vance is escorting a potential Nanny to the elevator. She speaks in A British accent, is named Maria, and gives, nearly verbatim, part of the speech given by Julie Andrews in the film version of The Sound of Music (1965) while applying to be the governess for Captain von Trapp's children. After she gets on the elevator and the door shuts, Vance references "a problem" with Maria, which is a clear reference to the song in The Sound of Music titled, "A Problem with Maria."
Due to the several crossovers between them, the series is set in the same universe that JAG (1995), NCIS: Los Angeles (2009), Hawaii Five-0 (2010), NCIS: New Orleans (2014), Scorpion (2014) and Macgyver (2016)
Gibbs joined NCIS because of the death of his wife and daughter.
Although it is said that the show ("NCIS") takes place in the same universe as "JAG (1995)" and "Hawaii Five-0 (2010)", actor Terry O'Quinn (Lost (2004)) guest stars in multiple episodes of all three shows as three different characters with different names. Also, Power Down, season 7 episode 8, in an homage to Hawaii 5-0, ends with Gibbs telling Tony to "book him, Dan-ozzo" while arresting a bad guy.
In the episode where Director Jenny Shepard is killed, Gibbs opens a file in his basement. The file number is 8675309.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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