NCIS' Rocky Carroll Reveals Franchise's 'Blue Collar Approach' as Key to Success

NCIS reaches milestone with 1000 episodes filmed

by Zain ul Abedin
NCIS' Rocky Carroll Reveals Franchise's 'Blue Collar Approach' as Key to Success
© CBS Mornings/Youtube

Rocky Carroll, a seasoned cast member of the hit series NCIS, recently shared the secret behind the franchise's enduring success with PEOPLE as they celebrated filming their landmark 1000th episode. Despite such a significant milestone, Carroll described the day as typical, underscoring the series' straightforward, diligent approach to production.

After participating in 357 episodes over 17 seasons, Carroll remains unfazed by the numerics, attributing his nonchalance to the many achievements the series has achieved. "I've been a part of so many milestones with the show," he stated, recalling earlier celebrations for the 100th and 400th episodes.

This down-to-earth attitude exemplifies the series' work ethic, focusing on the next task rather than dwelling on current successes. Located 30 miles north of Hollywood, near Valencia, California, the NCIS set is far from the typical studio environment, nestled outside the Magic Mountain theme park.

This geographical separation from the usual Hollywood glamor contributes to what Carroll calls the show's "blue collar approach" to television production. The cast and crew's dedication was highlighted during the special luncheon CBS hosted to mark the 1000th episode—a brief celebration before it was back to work as usual.

Adapting to Success

Carroll appreciates this relentless work ethic, believing it is crucial to the franchise's longevity. "We don't spend a lot of time relishing or celebrating in the end zone because we have a workday to finish," he explains.

This sentiment is echoed by guest stars and newcomers who often remark on the special atmosphere on set. Carroll further reflects on the series' success, crediting the adaptability of the storylines and character development.

Over two decades, NCIS has allowed its characters to evolve, experiencing life's highs and lows, which keeps the show relatable and grounded despite the backdrop of high-stakes crime-solving. Even as cast members have come and gone, the essence of NCIS remains focused on the agency itself - a principle firmly advocated by former series lead Mark Harmon.

This foundational focus ensures that despite personal changes, the characters continue to serve a purpose greater than themselves, which may well be the true secret to the show's lasting appeal. NCIS continues to capture viewers' attention with its blend of procedural structure and character depth, airing Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.