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### NCIS Celebrates 1,000 Episodes: Stars Reflect on Milestone and Franchise’s Enduring Legacy

As NCIS surpasses 1,000 episodes across its franchise, Rocky Carroll, who has portrayed Leon Vance since season 5, discusses the show’s remarkable longevity in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE. Reflecting on NCIS’s journey, Carroll credits the series’ ability to evolve its characters and storylines over the years as a key to its enduring success.

“NCIS hasn’t allowed its characters to remain stagnant,” Carroll explains. “They’ve grown and evolved over the 20-something years, experiencing peaks, valleys, loss, and change.”

Carroll emphasizes that while characters evolve, the core of NCIS remains steadfast: the agency itself. He recalls Mark Harmon’s belief that “The star of this show has to be the agency,” underscoring NCIS’s enduring appeal as a team effort rather than centered on any single character.

Meanwhile, Vanessa Lachey, the first female lead in NCIS history with the Hawai’i spinoff, shares her pride in contributing to the franchise’s milestone. “Being part of this incredible franchise and breaking new ground as the first female lead has been an honor,” she expresses, highlighting NCIS’s global impact in uniting fans worldwide.

Lachey celebrates the NCIS universe for fostering a sense of family across generations and continents, offering comfort and entertainment to viewers around the world.

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