The upcoming NCIS spinoff NCIS: Hawai'i has announced the casting of Vanessa Lachey as its lead actor, marking the first installment of an NCIS franchise with a female character as its lead. Deadline reports that the show received a straight-to-series order for next season and will air on CBS along with the original NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles. The title of NCIS: Hawai'i has been adjusted to reflect Hawaii's spelling in the Hawaiian language.
Lachey will star on the show as Jane Tennant, the first female Special Agent in Charge of NCIS Pearl Harbor, and her team as they balance duty to family and country, investigating high-stakes crimes involving military personnel, national security and the mysteries of the island itself. Jane is "as diplomatic as she is hard-charging. A woman in a male-dominated profession, she's thrived in a system that's pushed back every step of the way through equal parts confidence and strategy. But Tennant is more than just a job and a title. She's a mother raising her kids mostly on her own. Like any parent who loves their career and their family – she's a master juggler – balancing the duty to both her children and her country."
Yasmine Al-Bustami and Jason Antoon have also been cast as regulars on NCIS: Hawai'i. Al-Bustami will play Lucy, who is described as being "confident in the way that reflects a lifetime of achievement and youthful enthusiasm, Lucy is the junior member of Tennant's NCIS team. Eager to be the first one to find that key piece of evidence, create a workaround in the bureaucracy, or tackle a suspect down a flight of stairs."
Antoon's Ernie is NCIS's Cyber Intelligence Specialist and "a polyglot with a keen mind for technology, history, literature and all things Hawaiian. He's an essential component of the team, who can trace an anonymous ip address or profile a suspect using only their social media footprint. Ernie doesn't have family on the island so he's invited himself to join his Team's families."
Lachey has been acting since 2001, when she appeared in several episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful. She has since had recurring roles on shows including Truth Be Told and BH90210 and guest starred on CBS/CBS Studios' Hawaii Five-0. She has been recurring on the Fox comedy series Call Me Kat. The 40-year-old also works as a host, previously helming MTV's Total Request Live from 2003-2006, Wipeout and Top Chef Jr., among others, and is currently hosting Netflix's Love Is Blind alongside husband Nick Lachey.