by Julian Spivey
CBS and it’s longest-running original series “NCIS” have undergone quite the scandal this week when a sharp-eyed fan recognized the show was recycling scripts almost plot-for-plot and in some cases even word-for-word from the earlier seasons of the show, which debuted in 2003.
Twitter user MarkHarmony4All tweeted on Tuesday, March 26 that that night’s newest episode (No. 371 in the show’s run) titled “Silent Service” was almost a dead ringer for the season two episode “Call of Silence,” which aired on Nov. 23, 2004.
The astute “NCIS” viewer tweeted: “I feel like I’ve seen this exact episode before.”
Upon further investigation, which involved dusting off old box sets from the early seasons of the show that my mother bought for me for my birthday in 2006, all the dialogue spoken by former “NCIS” cast members Michael Weatherly and Sasha Alexander in the late 2004 episode was just transferred to the characters of Ellie Bishop, played by Emily Wickersham, and Nick Torres, played by Wilmer Valderrama, in the most recent episode. To make matters even worse all of the dialogue spoken by original cast member Mark Harmon’s Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs in the 2004 episode was repeated verbatim. In fact, in some scenes it looked like Harmon had lost nearly 15 years in age.
“I think they totally just repackaged some old episode scenes into this week’s show,” tweeted Entertainment Weekly television critic Frank Gellington, who’s been reviewing and recapping “NCIS” episodes for the entertainment magazine’s website since the first term of George W. Bush’s presidency.
When we reached out to “NCIS” executive producer Mark Horowitz, Chas. Floyd Johnson and Harmon himself we received no response.
Kelly Kahl the current President of Entertainment at CBS released a statement that said: “We are currently investigating the allegations of ‘NCIS’ repackaging old scripts as new episodes, but 12 million of you people are still watching this show every week, so I don’t really give a damn if they are. And, it doesn’t seem that you do either.”