CBS Shortens Seasons for 'NCIS', 'Blue Bloods' and Others Amid Pandemic-Related Delays

CBS is shortening the upcoming seasons of shows NCIS, Blue Bloods and other hit series amid delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to TV Line, the short-season order will affect a total of eight shows so far. There may be other shows impacted later, but that has not been determined at this time.

Per the terms of the new order, the following shows will all be cut down to 16 episodes: Blue Bloods, Bull, Magnum P.I., NCIS,
NCIS: New Orleans and SEAL Team. Both NCIS: Los Angeles and The Neighborhood will get 18 episodes. No decsison has been made yet regarding Mom, Young Sheldon, All Rise and S.W.A.T. One show that will remain the same is The Unicorn, which was already set to have only 13 episodes for its second season.

The new changes appear to be reflective of production delays that come as a result of the pandemic and all the necessary safety measures that have to be implemented to film. While many shows are back in production, following the mass shutdown earlier this year, when the coronavirus first spiked, some are still trying to find the best way to resume. As far as CBS' new seasons, they will kick off on Nov. 5 with Young Sheldon, a new comedy titled B Positive and Mom.

NCIS co-showrunner Frank Cardea previously spoke with TV Line about what had been planned for the finale before it was cut short due to the pandemic. He revealed that the show would have had "a very surprising ending" but didn't really "have a cliffhanger." He added, "We do plan to go forward with the episode in the early part of Season 18 but will probably reevaluate the ending when the time comes." Cardea then went on to describe the "flexibility" they have for the new season, saying, "We can pretty much air the first six episodes in any order that we choose."

Cardea also spoke with Entertainment Tonight and offered some insight into what fans could expect for the NCIS Season 17 premiere. "Some of our other characters are going to go find out new things about each other, certainly Kasie (Diona Reasonover), who is the newest member of our cast," he shared. "We also advance the relationships amongst our existing characters."