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Where Is NCIS Really Filmed?

Location, location, location: These are the three most important rules in filming a movie. Not only do you have to take the venue into account, but you also have to be frugal. For instance, filming in New York City might sound tempting for authenticity, but it ain't cheap. Plus, you could probably earn more tax credits by filming in another state. That's why some people found an NYC Sanitation and F.E.A.S.T. truck in Atlanta — they had stumbled on a film set for Spider-Man: No Way Home. The same rule applies to shows such as NCIS.

NCIS takes place in a variety of locations, mostly in and around Washington D.C. and the Washington Navy Yard. Even if you didn't take into account the practice of filming in different locations, Washington D.C. is the heart of the U.S. government, so trying to shoot NCIS there is the definition of impossible. According to multiple sources speaking through USA Today, it's difficult to obtain filming permits, and even then, film crews have to deal with multiple, competing police forces. For the sake of sanity, NCIS isn't filmed where it's supposed to take place. But where is it actually shot? Keep reading to find out.

This episode, the role of Washington D.C. will be played by California

Washington D.C. and the Washington Navy Yard are smack-dab in the middle of what is called a humid subtropical climate, which is named after its muggy summers. So what better place to film a show that takes place in that climate than across the nation in California, a state with a predominantly Mediterranean climate and dry summers?

To be more precise, NCIS is filmed in Valencia, California, specifically Valencia Studios, which also served as a filming base of operations for movies like Terminator 2: Judgement Day. This might sound like a sound decision — and it is — but it flies in the face of the filming rationale of NCIS' spin-offs, NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans.

Unlike vanilla NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans are not filmed in the famed Valencia Studios. Instead, these shows are shot in their respective cities.