When CBS added the main cast for NCIS: Hawaii, the network also tweaked the show's name. It will officially be known as NCIS: Hawai'i, reflecting the state's name in the Hawaiian language and the official name for the Big Island of Hawai'i. The new series will be headlined by Vanessa Lachey, with Yasmine Al-Bustami and Jason Antoon.
Hawaii is most commonly spelled without the okina or glottal stop between the two i's. When Hawaii was admitted to the U.S. as a state in 1959, the federal government considered Hawaii the official state name. There have been movements to make Hawai'i the officially recognized name of the state in the past. Back in 2016, Kamana'o Mills of the Hawaii Board on Geographic Names told KITV4 that leaving out the okina is actually a "misspelling," comparing it to spelling the word "apple" without the "a."
However, according to the National Parks Service, Congress would have to pass an act to change Hawaii's official name. Still, Hawai'i is used elsewhere, just not to describe the entire state. The island of Hawai'i, also known as the Big Island, includes the okina in its official name. It is also included in the name of the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park thanks to legislation that "corrected" spellings of National Parks in Hawaii.
NCIS: Hawai'i received a straight-to-series order and was created by NCIS: New Orleans showrunners Christopher Silber and Jan Nash with SEAL Team producer Matt Bosack, reports Deadline. Lachey will star as Jane Tennant, the first female Special Agent in Charge of NCIS Pearl Harbor. Al-Bustami, who starred in The Chosen, will play Lucy, a junior member of Jane's team and eager to find the first piece of evidence that helps them solve mysteries. Antoon, who was seen on Claws, plays Cyber Intelligence Specialist Ernie.
The new series will replace NCIS: New Orleans, which is wrapping up its seventh season on Sunday, May 23 at 10 p.m. ET following the NCIS: Los Angeles Season 12 finale. New Orleans is the first NCIS spin-off to end. NCIS: Los Angeles and the main NCIS were both renewed for the 2021-2022 TV seasons. Hawai'i is expected to be ready to launch in the fall alongside the returning franchise entries.
Lachey has some experience solving crimes in the Aloha State, having guest-starred in the Hawaii Five-0 revival. She has a recurring role in Fox's sitcom Call Me Kat and recently co-hosted Netflix's Love Is Blind with her husband, Nick Lachey. The Lacheys also hosted the Miss USA 2018, Miss USA 2019, and Miss Universe 2019 pageants. Lachey also competed in Dancing With the Stars Season 25 and hosts Top Chef Junior.