NCIS: Los Angeles

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NCIS: Los Angeles
NCIS Los Angeles 1.svg
Genre
Created by Shane Brennan
Starring
Theme music composer James S. Levine
Composer(s) Jay Ferguson (2010–present)
James S. Levine (2009–10)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 8
No. of episodes 192 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Shane Brennan[1]
Cinematography Victor Hammer
Russell McElhatton (2013)
Running time 42–44 minutes
Production company(s) Shane Brennan Productions
CBS Television Studios
R. Scott Gemmill Productions
Distributor CBS Television Distribution
Paramount Home Media Distribution (DVD)
Release
Original network CBS
Picture format HDTV 1080i
Original release September 22, 2009 (2009-09-22) – present
Chronology
Related shows
External links
Official website www.cbs.com/shows/ncis_los_angeles

NCIS: Los Angeles is an American action television series combining elements of the military drama and police procedural genres, which premiered on the CBS network on September 22, 2009,[2] and stars Chris O'Donnell and LL Cool J. The series follows the exploits of the Los Angeles-based Office of Special Projects (OSP), an elite division of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service that specializes in undercover assignments.

NCIS: Los Angeles is the first spin-off of the successful series NCIS.[3][4][5][6][7] On March 23, 2017, CBS renewed the series for a ninth season.[8]

Premise[edit]

NCIS: Los Angeles follows Special Agent G. Callen (Chris O'Donnell), a "legend" assigned to the fictional Naval Criminal Investigative Service branch known as the Office of Special Projects (OSP). Callen leads an elite team of undercover operatives as they battle enemies both foreign and domestic under the watchful eye of Operational Manager Henrietta Lange (Linda Hunt). The team is composed of Agent Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah), a hand-to-hand combat specialist and forensic whiz, Sam Hanna (LL Cool J), a former Navy Seal and G's partner, and technical analyst Eric Beale (Barrett Foa).

Over the course of the series, the team are assisted by allies from both NCIS and its local counterparts, including LAPD liaison officer Marty Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen), Intelligence Analyst Nell Jones (Renee Felice Smith), Operational Psychologist Nate Getz (Peter Cambor), and rookie field agent Dominic Vail (Adam Jamal Craig), all of whom work side-by-side with NCIS Assistant Director Owen Granger (Miguel Ferrer), a laconic agent and skilled bureaucrat.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

  • G. Callen (Chris O'Donnell) (birthname Grisha Aleksandrovich Nikolaev) is the Lead Senior Special Agent and undercover operative attached to the NCIS Office of Special Projects. He speaks several languages fluently, including Russian. Callen is a highly skilled field agent having worked numerous overseas undercover assignments. Placed in the foster system at a young age, G. did not know his first name but eventually learned about his family, and in turn, himself. As G. lives somewhat of a nomadic nature, Los Angeles is G's most stable home. He is partnered with Sam Hanna.[9]
  • Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah) is the daughter of a Marine and, initially, the only female Special Agent attached to OSP. Her father died at a young age, after which Kensi spent some time living on the streets. Estranged from her mother, Kensi is a skilled undercover operative and sniper who is not afraid to use her sexuality to get results. She is romantically linked to partner Marty Deeks.
  • Nate Getz (Peter Cambor) is an Operational Psychologist originally attached to OSP in order to monitor the team's emotional well-being. Valued as both an agent and a doctor, Getz is later drafted to a deep cover operation and subsequently becomes a well-established field agent. Despite his career change, Getz still returns to Los Angeles when needed (season 1; recurring subsequently).
  • Dominic Vail (Adam Jamal Craig) is a probationary agent and a technical specialist who was assigned to OSP straight out of training. He is partnered with Kensi and seen as a sort of younger brother to the other team members; NCIS Los Angeles is left devastated when, following a period as a missing person, Dom is assassinated during his own rescue mission (season 1).
  • Sam Hanna (LL Cool J) is the team's Senior Field Agent and G's partner. Sam has the most stable home life of the team as he is married with children. He met his wife on the job and still lives for the thrill of undercover work. He is a former Navy SEAL, an expert on Middle Eastern culture, and speaks fluent Arabic, and as such he not only provides invaluable insight on cases involving the USMC and USN, but also on cases involving ethnicity.[6]
  • Henrietta "Hetty" Lange (Linda Hunt) is a Supervisory Special Agent and the team's Operational Manager. As a veteran undercover operative, Hetty has achieved an unbelievable amount during her life, with distinguished work as an overseas intelligence operative during the Cold War. During her younger years, she took in several orphans (including Callen and Hunter) from the streets in order to mold them into undercover operatives.
  • Eric Beale (Barrett Foa) is the team's Technical Operator and resident geek. He is not an undercover operative like his teammates and as such is not firearms trained. Beale is incredibly comfortable in the OSP much to the chagrin of his teammates who often become annoyed by his quirks such as leaving his surf board by their cars. He is partnered and close friends with Nell.
  • Marty Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) is a veteran Los Angeles Police Department Detective who worked undercover and was exiled socially within the LAPD. Deeks is also an experienced attorney at law having worked as a Public Defender in the Los Angeles Criminal Courts prior to joining the LAPD. After he is selected by Hetty to be the LAPD's Liaison Officer to NCIS, it becomes clear that her plan is for Deeks to become an Agent. He has not had the easiest childhood and deflects a great deal using humor. He is partnered with, and romantically linked to, Kensi (season 2 onwards; recurring previously).
  • Nell Jones (Renée Felice Smith) is a Special Agent who acts as the team's intelligence analyst. She is just as comfortable outside the office as in it, and it appears that Hetty is grooming her as a replacement. Jones is a highly capable field operative and extremely skilled firearms expert. She has the highest IQ of anybody at NCIS. She is partnered and close friends with Eric (season 2 onwards).
  • Owen Granger (Miguel Ferrer) is the Assistant Director of NCIS. He is the team's link to Washington, and while he is often seen at loggerheads with his subordinates, he no doubt has a great desire to keep them safe. Unlike other administrators, he is not afraid to accompany the team into the field. Granger spent many years overseas as a field agent on many hazardous assignments before becoming an administrator. He is a long time friend and sometimes adversary of Hetty. Miguel Ferrer's last appearance as Owen Granger was on the Season 8 episode "Payback", which aired on February 19, 2017 (season 5 to season 8; recurring previously).

Recurring cast and characters[edit]

Sam Hanna's wife, Michelle is a former deep-cover CIA operative. In season 8, Michelle is murdered.
He initially spent a great amount of time "getting the new LA office up and running", but still returns to ensure the well-being of his agents. Carroll also appears on both NCIS (as a regular), and NCIS: New Orleans.[10][11] He makes a seventh appearance in "Hunted". Vance appears in the season two finale and season three premiere. He makes his tenth appearance during season six.
  • Brian Avers as Mike Renko, an agent attached to NCIS' Los Angeles satellite office (seasons 1, 3):
He often works with OSP. An undercover operative, Renko later reported directly to Owen Granger. The team were fond of him, so it came as a shock when he was gunned down during an operation gone awry in a revenge attack.
She often assists the team on their investigations. She is incredibly quirky and develops an affinity for Nate Getz, showing great romantic interest in the psychologist.
  • Ronald Auguste as Moe Dusa, a man whom Sam first came into contact with in Sudan (seasons 1–2):
A "brother" to Sam, of sorts, he joins a terrorist group and assists in the kidnapping of Dom. Developing a conscience, Moe assists in Dom's escape. He is later found dead by the NCIS agents.
  • Vyto Ruginis as Arkady Kolcheck, a retired Russian operative (seasons 1–present):
He is friends with Callen. He considers himself to be of great assistance to the NCIS team but often brings trouble in his wake. He has a daughter whom he does not know very well.
  • Claire Forlani as Lauren Hunter, an NCIS Operations Manager and SSA (seasons 2–3):
Taken in by Hetty as a teenager, Lauren later becomes an NCIS agent and succeeds Hetty for a short time as Special Agent in Charge of OSP. Initially adversarial, the team later warmed to Hunter. She was reassigned following Lange's return but was later kidnapped and murdered by the Chameleon. Her death has a lasting effect on Lange.
  • Christopher Lambert as Marcel Janvier, a serial killer and criminal mastermind (season 3–5):
When Marcel is conducting business transactions, his M.O. is to buy the supplies for his employers and then arrange a drop-off for the merchandise. He is the primary antagonist to Callen during the show's third season and is responsible for the deaths of Hunter and Renko.
  • Scott Grimes as Dave Flynn, an NCIS Special Agent (seasons 4, 8):
Initially an NCIS forensic specialist assigned to the elite rapid response NCIS: Red team stationed out of San Diego, Dave later transfers to San Diego's NCIS: Cyber where he re-trains as a senior intelligence analyst.
  • Erik Palladino as Vostanik Sabatino, a CIA Agent (seasons 4–5, 7-8):
He is arrested by the team whilst he is deep undercover. He is friends with Michelle Hanna and later joins Kensi Blye's Afghanistan team. Kensi initially believes him to be her suspect, but she later realizes he is a skilled operative and will be of great use to her. In season 8, it is revealed that Sabatino is working as part of a rogue CIA faction attempting to dismantle the NCIS team.
Kensi's ex-fiance, who was suspected of being a war-criminal known as 'The White Ghost'. Kensi was assigned to assassinate him in the series' fifth season.
  • Bar Paly as Anastasia "Anna" Kolcheck, a freelance NCIS Special Agent (seasons 6-present):
The estranged daughter of Arkady Kolcheck, she is a prospective DEA agent who begins filling in on NCIS missions while Kensi is on medical leave. Following Kensi's return, Anna embarks on a relationship with Callen and joins NCIS as a Special Agent on a freelance basis.
A wartime confidente of both Hetty and Granger, Chegwidden served in Vietnam as a Navy Seal. He reenters the NCIS-fold at the behest of Lange during an investigation into the CIA. Jackson previously appeared as Chegwidden in nine seasons of JAG, and in one episode of NCIS.

Other[edit]

  • Louise Lombard as Lara Macy; a former Military Police Lieutenant and the Supervisory Special Agent of OSP, Macy was relieved of her position sometime between the pilot episode and the beginning of season one. Hetty remarks she was sent to Djibouti in retaliation for insubordination regarding budget, although the truthfulness of this is unknown. After a short time working with an NCIS satellite division, Macy is found dead in an NCIS episode, murdered as part of a vendetta against Washington Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Lombard was not picked up as a regular in the new series and the character was killed in the NCIS episode "Patriot Down".[12][13][14]

Production[edit]

Special Agent G. Callen was initially a CIA operative created by Shane Brennan for a series that was never produced. After taking over show runner duties previously held by Donald P. Bellisario on NCIS, he used the potential of a spin-off to bring his story to fruition.

Brennan intended for the series to hold a Miami Vice-esque vibe through its two co-leads, Callen and Agent Sam Hanna. However, the character of Lara Macy was written to serve as a parallel for Gibbs, the lead of the original NCIS team. Macy was portrayed by Louise Lombard in the backdoor pilot, but she was not featured in the actual spin-off, and Brennan was able to produce the show as he originally envisioned it.

The show was known as NCIS: Legend while in production (referring to the episodes of NCIS in which the spin-off was introduced), and other names considered included OSP: Office of Special Projects, NCIS: OSP and NCIS: Undercover.[7] Filming started in February 2009, with the characters being introduced in the two-part NCIS episode titled "Legend", the first part of which aired on April 28, 2009.[7][15] This episode served as a backdoor pilot for the series, in a manner similar to the way NCIS was introduced by way of a two-part episode of JAG.

Part of the cast in 2012 (from left): Barrett Foa, Daniela Ruah, Eric Christian Olsen and Renée Felice Smith

Episodes[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
Intro 2 April 28, 2009 (2009-04-28) May 5, 2009 (2009-05-05)
1 24 September 22, 2009 (2009-09-22) May 25, 2010 (2010-05-25)
2 24 September 21, 2010 (2010-09-21) May 17, 2011 (2011-05-17)
3 24 September 20, 2011 (2011-09-20) May 15, 2012 (2012-05-15)
4 24 September 25, 2012 (2012-09-25) May 14, 2013 (2013-05-14)
5 24 September 24, 2013 (2013-09-24) May 13, 2014 (2014-05-13)
6 24 September 29, 2014 (2014-09-29) May 18, 2015 (2015-05-18)
7 24 September 21, 2015 (2015-09-21) May 2, 2016 (2016-05-02)
8 24 September 25, 2016 (2016-09-25) May 14, 2017 (2017-05-14)

Crossovers[edit]

Crossover between Episode Type Actors crossing over Date aired
Series A Series B
Hawaii Five-0 NCIS: Los Angeles "Ka Hakaka Maikaʻi"
(Hawaii Five-0 2.6)
Guest appearance Appearing in Series A: Daniela Ruah October 24, 2011
Joe White calls in Agent Kensi Blye to review the video of John McGarrett, Governor Jameson, and Wo Fat for Steve McGarrett from Hawaii Five-0, but only recognizes the word "Shelburne".
Hawaii Five-0 NCIS: Los Angeles "Pa Make Loa"
(Hawaii Five-0 2.21)
"Touch of Death"
(NCIS: Los Angeles 3.21)
Two-Part Crossover Appearing in Series A: Chris O'Donnell, LL Cool J
Appearing in Series B: Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim
April 30, 2012
May 1, 2012
Agents Sam Hanna and G. Callen are called in to assist Five-0 finding a suspect, Dracul Comescu. Later, Callen and Sam must return to Los Angeles to stop a possible smallpox outbreak from becoming a reality with Danny Williams and Chin Ho Kelly of Hawaii Five-0 coming along to help.

Reception[edit]

Filming the pilot episode in 2009

"Identity", the series' first episode, garnered 18.73 million viewers with a 4.4/11 share in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic and therefore won its timeslot. It was the second most watched show of the week, behind only the original NCIS.[16]

Reviews for the show have been mixed. It has a score of 59/100 on Metacritic. According to Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times, "The crime is intriguing and multifaceted, its resolution requiring a nice balance of street smarts and lots of gunfire. But as with the original "NCIS", the emphasis is on the characters of the team... Los Angeles, meanwhile, looks fabulous, a pleasing mixture of noir and gridlock, and there's an air of stability that's comforting in these uncertain times."[17] The New York Daily News reviewer, David Hinckley, was more critical of the show saying that although "It all adds up to an hour of decent entertainment, and there's room for enough character development to give "NCIS: Los Angeles" a personality of its own, ... a premiere episode shouldn't feel even a little like something we've already seen."[18]

Tom Shales of The Washington Post felt that, "NCIS: Los Angeles gets the job done ... It's a procedural that follows strictly the established procedure, but it has likable characters, dislikable bad guys and the occasional flabbergasting shot of L.A."[19] Robert Bianco of USA Today summarized it as a "serviceable hour that takes the NCIS formula—a light tone and a lot of banter wrapped around a fairly rudimentary investigatory plot—and transfers it to a special, undercover NCIS division in Los Angeles. Nothing more, but also nothing less."[20] The Hollywood Reporter compared the show to The A-Team with "the same lighthearted approach to life-or-death situations. Maybe the biggest change is that 'NCIS: L.A.' achieves its inevitably favorable outcomes with a little more intellect and a little less testosterone."[21] IGN stated that although "NCIS: Los Angeles doesn't exactly reinvent the police procedural... it's another above-average entry, aided by the fact that the people behind the show know what they're doing" and ultimately gave the episode a 7.7/10.[22]

Ratings[edit]

Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS.

Note: Each U.S. network television season starts in late September and ends in late May, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps.
Seasonal ratings table
Season Timeslot (ET) No. of
episodes
Premiered Ended TV season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
Date Premiere viewers
(in millions)
Date Finale viewers
(in millions)
1 Tuesday
9:00 pm/8c
24 September 22, 2009 18.73[23] May 25, 2010 13.12[24] 2009–10 9 16.08[25]
2 24 September 21, 2010 15.76[26] May 17, 2011 15.61[27] 2010–11 7 16.54[28]
3 24 September 20, 2011 16.71[29] May 15, 2012 15.19[30] 2011–12 7 16.01[31]
4 24 September 25, 2012 16.74[32] May 14, 2013 13.52[33] 2012–13 4 17.31[34]
5 24 September 24, 2013 16.35[35] May 13, 2014 14.85[36] 2013–14 4 16.03[37]
6 Monday
10:00 pm/9c
24 September 29, 2014 9.48[38] May 18, 2015 9.33[39] 2014–15 27 11.72[40]
7 24 September 21, 2015 7.89[41] May 2, 2016 8.10[42] 2015–16 24 11.11[43]
8 Sunday
8:00 pm/7c
24 September 25, 2016 10.34[44] May 14, 2017 9.40[45] 2016–17 11 12.51[46]
9 Sunday
9:00 pm/8c
October 1, 2017[47] 2017–18

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2010 People's Choice Awards Favorite New TV Drama Nominated [48][49][50]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Action Show Won
Choice Actor Action LL Cool J Nominated
Choice Actress Action Daniela Ruah Nominated
Portuguese Golden Globes Revelation Daniela Ruah Won [citation needed]
2011 Teen Choice Awards Choice Action Show Won [51]
Choice Actor Action LL Cool J Nominated
Choice Actress Action Linda Hunt Won
2012 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Stunt Direction Troy James Brown Nominated [52]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Action Show Nominated
Choice Actor Action LL Cool J Nominated
Choice Actress Action Linda Hunt Won
2013 Teen Choice Awards Choice Action Show Won [53]
Choice Actor Action LL Cool J Won

Potential spin-off[edit]

On November 5, 2012, Deadline.com reported the first news about a spin-off of NCIS: Los Angeles titled NCIS: Red. The new characters were introduced during a two-part episode of NCIS: Los Angeles. The spin-off was to feature a team of mobile agents, who travel around the country to solve crimes.[54] This would have been the second successive spin-off in the NCIS franchise. However, on May 15, 2013, CBS confirmed that NCIS: Red was officially passed on and would not be moving forward.[55] Scott Grimes, as NCIS Red agent Dave Flynn, reprised his potential spinoff role during the eighth season of NCIS: Los Angeles.

Home video releases[edit]

The first six seasons have been released on DVD in Regions 1, 2 and 4, and Season 1 was released on Blu-ray Disc in Region A. The first season DVD release includes the two-part pilot episode that aired as part of the sixth season of NCIS, which were also included on the Season 6 DVD of NCIS. All releases are distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment.

International broadcast[edit]

In India the series airs on AXN (India).[56] In the UK the series airs on Sky 1 and on Channel Five.[57] In the Netherlands the series airs on SBS 6.[58] NCIS: Los Angeles on Network Ten and TVH!TS (formerly TV1) in Australia. In Portugal the series airs on FOX.[59]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]