The Most Watched Episodes of NCIS Season 11

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NCIS continues to be a ratings success for the CBS network. Now in its 12th season, the drama which stars Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, and Pauley Perrette has delivered extremely high ratings.  The first five episodes of season 12 have averaged 17.75 million viewers.  Though that is a slight dip from 18 million who tuned in on average for NCIS season 11, it is still the number 1 drama on network television. NCIS’ new spinoff NCIS: New Orleans has also proven to be a ratings success and is currently averaging 16.25 million viewers. Many fans were upset when Coty de Pablo decided not to return as a regular cast member for NCIS season 11, but they certainly did still continue to watch. It helped that de Pablo appeared in the first two episodes of the season. Here is a list of the most watched episodes of season 11. All of the episodes included on the list were watched by more than 19 million people.

5. Episode 11.9 “Gut Check” — November 19, 2013; 19.66 million viewers

Before NCIS season 11 went on a brief holiday break for Thanksgiving, this episode aired in mid-November and was the fifth most watched episode of the season. This episode also marked the first appearance of Emily Wickersham as NSA Analyst Eleanor “Ellie” Bishop.  Director Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll) is meeting with Defense Contractors and the Secretary of the Navy when it is unearthed that the entire encounter has been bugged. When Gibbs (Harmon) begins to investigate the crime, he finds out that Ellie described this same scenario two years ago.  Sunday Night Football was the number 1 show of the week with 7 million more viewers than the number two rated NCIS.

4. Episode 11.13 “Double Back” — January 14, 2014; 19.72 million viewers

The second episode of NCIS season 11 that aired in 2014 was the 4th most watched episode of the entire season.  It was the third most watched program of the week only being bested by the NFC Championship Game and The special that aired after the playoff game on FOX.  In this episode, Gibbs and the rest of the team try to capture the terrorist Parsa.  They track down one of his cronies using information from the drone attack in the episode shown a week earlier.  Though the crew does not catch Parsa, they are able to find where he possibly escaped to.  McGee (Sean Murray) is still trying to recover from the attack and tells Gibbs that Delilah (Margo Harshman) was paralyzed during the incident.

3. Episode 11.2 “Past, Present, and Future” — October 1, 2013; 19.98 million viewers

The second episode of NCIS season 11 was the third most watched episode of the entire season. It was just shy of achieving 20 million viewers, something most shows will never come close to reaching during their entire run on television.  NCIS was the second most watched program of the week only being bested by the football game on CBS, which was viewed by 28.32 million people.  Coty de Pablo is featured for a final time (but hopefully not her last time ever) in this episode as Ziva.  Tony (Weatherly) travels to Israel to find her though it is discovered that she does not want to be found.  Elsewhere, Gibbs and the rest of the NCIS team try to locate the source of a terrorist ring. The terrorists’ main goal is to completely wipe out the NCIS team.  The stunt double that was used for Agent Gibbs in this episode is Mark Harmon’s son Sean Harmon.

2. Episode 11.1 “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” – September 24, 2013; 20.02 million viewers

It is not surprising when a season premiere of a popular television show is one of the highest rated episodes of the season. That was the case with the NCIS season 11 opener that premiered in late September 2013. Unlike all the other episodes included on the list, this one was not the most watched non-football or awards program of the week. The top spot did go to Sunday Night Football on NBC with 20.49 million viewers. Second place went to the season premiere of The Big Bang Theory, which was viewed by 20.44 million viewers. NCIS came in third for the week with 20.02 million viewers. In this episode, a bomb at a hotel explodes and injures Tom Morrow and kills Clayton Jarvis the Secretary of the Navy. Agent Gibbs must travel to Tehran to speak with an informant, while Tony ventures off to Tel Aviv to meet Ziva. Before he is able to leave, he is attacked by a sniper. Agent McGee spends the episode trying to figure out who planted the bomb. Colin Hanks returns for a final time in this episode as DOD Inspector Richard Parsons.

1. Episode 11.12 “Kill Chain” — January 7, 2014; 20.84 million viewers

Television lovers dread the holiday season. This is because their favorite shows will take a three to four week hiatus so people can spend time socializing with their families and not sitting in front of a TV waiting to see what happens next on their favorite drama.  So when a show returns in early to mid-January, many viewers will tune back in to see what is happening.  This is what many viewers did for this NCIS season 11 episode that aired on January 7th.  It was the most watched episode of the entire season with almost 21 million viewers tuning in.  Though it was the highest rated episode, it still ranked as the third most watched program of the week.  The AFC Divisional Playoff game was viewed by 31.69 million sports fans and 20.87 million TV buffs watched Tina Fey and Amy Poehler host the Golden Globe Awards for the second year in a row.  In this NCIS episode, a stolen drone has been linked to terrorist Benham Parsa.  Gibbs and the rest of the NCIS team must join forces with the Department of Defense to track him down. This puts Gibbs back into contact with his ex-girlfriend Lt. Colonel Hollis Mann (Susanna Thompson).  The two teams must track down the device before it is part of a large attack.  Penny (Kaley Cuoco) from The Big Bang Theory mentions she had a small part in this episode, but it ends up getting edited out before it is broadcast.

What was your favorite episode from NCIS season 11? Tell us in the comments below.

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