Hit proof: In terms of total viewers, it’s the most-watched drama on TV, currently averaging 22.6 million viewers including DVR.
Why it shouldn’t work: Before you comment: I know that NCIS should not be a flop. It’s inclusion on this list is admittedly a stretch. But there’s also a reason it’s here. NCIS mystifies a lot of people not because it’s a hit, but because it’s this big of a hit (and no, the show’s fans are not just “old” people — NCIS does really well among adults 18-49 too). For many, NCIS is so corny that it’s downright difficult sit through compared to other procedural dramas, particularly for those of us in the TV industry and the media. I started asking insiders during get-to-know-you lunches if they watched NCIS just to see how long I could go before finding a person in Hollywood who watched TV’s most popular drama. It took two years. I’m sure that says worse things about the industry — being unable to appreciate such a popular title — than it does about the show.
Why it does: Here’s some explanation from Slate: “Amiable, unpredictable, and no more outlandish than any other prime-time fantasy about battling evil—gives you a lot for your 44 minutes. Mingling elements of a hardy cop show with those of a svelte espionage drama, segueing from macabre moments at the autopsy table to small giggles of office comedy, it’s lively with variety … The formula is so elastic that it doesn’t resemble a formula.”
9 TV hits that should be flops
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