'NCIS: New Orleans' Canceled: Why the CBS Show is Ending

The NCIS: New Orleans team has just celebrated their last Mardi Gras. CBS has announced the show has been canceled and will come to a close at the end of its current Season 7. This means that the procedural starring Scott Bakula will end after 155 episodes—less than half the episode total managed by the mothership NCIS, which recently aired its 400th episode.

Why has NCIS: New Orleans been canceled?

The main reason that the show is ending is the usual reason that such shows are axed: dwindling ratings.

Per TVLine, viewers are down nearly a quarter for Season 7 against Season 6, the second-highest ratings drop out of any CBS show (only The Unicorn had a higher drop-off). Per TVSeriesFinale's data, an average of 750,000 fewer people watch NCIS: NOLA than watch the show directly before it on Sundays, NCIS: Los Angeles. New Orleans also gets less than half the viewers of the original NCIS in its plum Tuesday night slot.

Though the show has always had respectable ratings, especially against Sunday Night Football, in a bumper year for CBS shows its ratings were not enough to save the show.

Last week (beginning February 8), CBS had all of the top 5 most-watched primetime programs, with NCIS, 60 Minutes, The Equalizer, FBI and Young Sheldon topping the list.

NCIS: New Orleans, in contrast, is 15th (out of 23) in TVSeriesRatings's list of CBS scripted shows that aired on the network in the 2020-21 TV season, with an average of 4.8 million viewers.

ncis new orleans canceled
'NCIS: New Orleans' is ending after Season 7. CBS

Deadline, meanwhile, wrote that the show, "has not been able to match the ratings strength and lucrative off-network deals of the other two NCIS series, in large part because of the fundamental changes in the TV business over the past decade."

The writing may have already been on the wall for NCIS: NOLA earlier in the week. At that time, the series' showrunners were announced to be taking on a new project, NCIS: Hawaii, which looks likely to take New Orleans' timeslot if it gets picked up for a season order.

In a statement, Silber and Nash said of their canceled show: "It has been our sincere pleasure and honor to work on this show and with this incredible cast and crew for over 150 episodes, as disappointed as we are to see NOLA end, we couldn't be prouder of the work we've done and are grateful to the spectacular and resilient Crescent City that embraced us for seven wonderful years."

CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl, meanwhile, said, "from the start, NCIS: New Orleans was able to distinguish itself with its New Orleans authenticity. From the colors and music to the vibrancy and stories you can only find in the Big Easy. Thanks to the amazing talents of the producers, writers, cast and crew, NOLA has played a key role on our schedule. We're pleased to give it a big sendoff and that viewers will have the opportunity to say goodbye to their favorite characters as the final season wraps."

NCIS: New Orleans Season 7 airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET / 9 p.m. CT on CBS.