Shows You'll Love If You're An NCIS Fan

In the world of primetime television, there is no shortage of crime procedurals. However, of the endless shows, one series (along with its spin-offs) holds a special place as it blends police and military drama. That show is "NCIS," which also happens to be one of the longest-running television shows of all time (via Outsider).

"NCIS" chronicles the special agents and cases of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Despite debuting in 2003, the Emmy-nominated show is still a hit with viewers and often tops the list of most watched dramas. CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl even called it "one of the most popular and enduring series in the world" in a statement (via The Hollywood Reporter).

While "NCIS" fans might view the show as irreplaceable, there are a host of crime dramas that you will love if you enjoy the CBS juggernaut. Whether you're caught up on "NCIS" and need a filler, or you're looking to binge a new action-packed series, here are some shows you'll love if you're an "NCIS" fan.

NCIS Spin-offs

For anyone looking for shows similar to "NCIS," a natural place to start is with one of its many spin-offs. Lucky for you, there are several options to pick from, depending on your locale preferences.

If you love Louisiana culture, then "NCIS: New Orleans" might be for you. This spin-off ended in 2021, but that gives you an excuse to binge-watch the entire series. If you prefer Hollywood and palm trees, then try "NCIS: Los Angeles," which debuted in 2009. Those looking for a woman-led drama can tune into the newest spin-off, "NCIS: Hawai'i," starring Vanessa Lachey as NCIS Pearl Harbor's first female Special Agent in Charge.

Perhaps none of these are your cup of tea, or maybe you're a superfan who has already watched them. If so, be on the lookout for the first international spin-off. According to The Guardian, "NCIS: Sydney" will take place in Australia and feature Australian stars. The trailblazing spin-off is expected to debut in 2023.


If you're looking for a show similar to "NCIS," then why not start with the series that birthed it? That's right, although "NCIS" has several spin-offs of its own, it's actually a spin-off of another show — "JAG." Running from 1995 to 2005, "JAG" centered on the lives and cases of the U.S. Navy's Judge Advocate General attorneys (via IMDb). The show starred David James Elliott, Catherine Bell, and Patrick Labyorteaux, and won three Primetime Emmy Awards.

While "JAG" has riveting stories of its own, even being named one of the best legal shows of all time by the lawyers of the ABA Journal (via The Hollywood Reporter), it's also responsible for introducing viewers to the "NCIS" universe. Fans got their first glimpse of "NCIS" characters during the eighth season of "JAG," and some stars from the original show have even made their way onto the spin-offs (via TV Insider).

Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan

Fans of "NCIS" and Tom Clancy books are in for a treat. Based on Clancy's book series of the same name, "Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan" follows a CIA analyst and his action-packed adventures across the world. The first season was shot in six different countries, and cost around $8 million to $10 million an episode to produce, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The show stars John Krasinski as the titular character, as well as veteran television actors Wendell Pierce and Michael Kelly. If you haven't read the books, you might have seen one of the movies based on the character, who's been portrayed by several actors, including Chris Pine, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck.

"Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan" has been a hit with viewers and critics since debuting on Amazon Prime Video in 2018, and has been nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards (via IMDb). The show is so popular that it was recently renewed for a fourth season before the third season even premiered.

Criminal Minds

If you're in the mood for another long-running crime procedural, then you might want to take a look at "Criminal Minds." The CBS drama gives viewers a look inside the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) as they profile and locate serial killers. Running an impressive 15 seasons, the show starred an ensemble cast, including Matthew Gray Gubler, Paget Brewster, Shemar Moore, and Aisha Tyler (who joined the show in 2015).

While "Criminal Minds" gave a gritty look into the dark world of the BAU, it also served to show the important work of criminal profilers. "There are stories about the heroes who are fighting the good fight every week and there's something that makes me really proud to be able to tell those stories, to honor the men and women who keep us safe at night," executive producer and showrunner Erica Messer told Deadline.

You can currently stream "Criminal Minds" on both Netflix and Paramount+.


If you're in the mood to solve more murders, "Bones" might be right up your alley. As the show's name might suggest, the series follows a forensic anthropologist and FBI special agent duo as they work to identify dead bodies. It also follows the characters' personal lives and relationships. Starring Emily Deschanel as Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan and David Boreanaz as Agent Seeley Booth, the show was based on books by real-life forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs.

"Bones" aired on FOX from 2005 to 2017, making it the network's longest-running one-hour drama, according to Entertainment Weekly. The series was also nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards and became a beloved hit amongst its fans. "Bones" even had several guest stars throughout its long run, including actress Zooey Deschanel (who happens to be Emily Deschanel's sister) and pop icon Cyndi Lauper. If "Bones" sounds like your cup of tea, you can binge-watch it on Hulu.


"Bones" isn't the only crime drama David Boreanaz has starred in. Fans of both the actor and "NCIS" are in for a treat. If you have room for another naval crime series, you should give "SEAL Team" a try. The show features an elite team of U.S. Navy SEALs navigating their work and personal lives. The Emmy-nominated show also stars actors Max Thieriot, Neil Brown Jr., A.J. Buckley, and Toni Trucks (via IMDb).

The Paramount+ military series originally aired on CBS before it was moved to the streaming platform, where it was recently renewed for a sixth season, according to Deadline. "You look at the numbers and the streaming, and then we've been trending as one of their number one shows for the past few weeks," Boreanaz told TV Insider in 2022 about the move from CBS to Paramount+. You can head to the streaming platform to watch the adventurous missions of the "SEAL Team."

LA's Finest

"NCIS" fans on the search for a classic buddy cop show should watch "LA's Finest," starring Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union. Based on Union's character Syd Burnett from the hit movie "Bad Boys II," the series follows her and her partner Nancy McKenna (played by Alba) as they sort out their arduous pasts while on the beat in Los Angeles.

Although the Spectrum Originals show only lasted for two seasons, those in the mood for a fast binge can watch the entire series on Netflix. With its "Bad Boys II" connection, big-name stars, and classic odd couple pairing, the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced show might be a thrill to "NCIS" fans — especially those eager for a female-led police drama. "I always knew we were shooting a great show and I always knew we were doing something provocative and that's opening up eyes and conversations that people in traditional media aren't accustomed to," Alba told The Grio.

The West Wing

Even if you've never seen "The West Wing," you've probably at least heard of the series. Considered by many to be one of the best shows of all time, the Aaron Sorkin classic is a must-watch for any "NCIS" fan interested in the inner workings of United States politicians. The series is so believable that a 2022 poll found a majority of Americans believe "The West Wing ” gave a realistic portrayal of Washington politics (via The Hill).

Running for seven seasons, "The West Wing" starred Martin Sheen as President Josiah Bartlet and depicted the lives and drama of his administration and staff members, including Rob Lowe, Allison Janney, and John Spencer. In addition to its critical acclaim and devoted following, "The West Wing" also received a staggering 95 Primetime Emmy Awards nominations and won 26 times, including in the category of Outstanding Drama Series. You can currently catch the award-winning show on HBO Max.


If you're an "NCIS" lover who also liked the 2003 movie "S.W.A.T." starring Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, Michelle Rodriguez, and LL Cool J, then be sure to check out the television show of the same name. Inspired by the film, the "S.W.A.T" series takes place in Los Angeles and follows S.W.A.T. sergeant Daniel 'Hondo' Harrelson (played by Shemar Moore, who also appears in "Criminal Minds") and his crime-solving team.

The action drama also depicts Harrelson's internal struggle as a Los Angeles native balancing his love for his job and his hometown. "We're trying to bridge the gap of all the fear and anger and lack of trust that's going on between civilians and cops," Moore told in 2018. "That's what 'S.W.A.T.' is."

Now in its fifth season, the CBS police procedural also stars Alex Russell, Lina Esco, and Kenny Johnson, and has been recognized for its stunt work with three Primetime Emmy nominations.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

While "NCIS" might be one of the longest-running dramas on television, another show takes the top spot. Anyone who loves crime shows might be able to guess that the longest-running primetime live-action series is none other than NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." "This incredible run is an example of what happens when producers, writers, and actors all come together and create a show that, year after year, speaks to its audience in a powerful way," NBC Entertainment co-chairmen Paul Telegdy and George Cheeks said in a statement (via Deadline).

Whether you want to go back to the beginning or catch newer episodes, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" is the perfect show for "NCIS" fans. The legendary "Law & Order" spin-off follows the NYPD's Special Victims Unit, led by Detective Olivia Benson (played by Mariska Hargitay). The show also stars Christopher Meloni, Ice-T, and Dann Florek, as well as a host of guest stars.