Country of origin
First episode date
22 September 2009
No Crew Is Superior
Police proceduralMilitaryAction drama
Chris O'DonnellPeter CamborDaniela RuahAdam Jamal CraigLL Cool JLinda HuntBarrett FoaEric Christian OlsenRenée Felice SmithMiguel Ferrer
Jay Ferguson (2010–present)James S. Levine (2009–10)
Daniela Ruah, Eric Christian Olsen, LL Cool J, Chris O'Donnell, Barrett Foa
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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, 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.
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- Main characters
- Recurring cast and characters
- Potential spin off
- Home video releases
- International broadcast
NCIS: Los Angeles is the first spin-off of the successful series NCIS. On March 25, 2016, CBS renewed the series for an eighth season, which premiered on September 25, 2016.
On March 23, 2017, CBS renewed the series for a ninth season.
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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.
Recurring cast and characters
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. 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. 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.
"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.
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." 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."
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." 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." 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." 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.
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.
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. 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. Scott Grimes, as NCIS Red agent Dave Flynn, reprised his potential spinoff role during the eighth season of NCIS: Los Angeles.
Home video releases
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.
In India the series airs on AXN (India). In the UK the series airs on Sky 1 and on Channel Five. In the Netherlands the series airs on SBS 6. NCIS: Los Angeles on Network Ten and TVH!TS (formerly TV1) in Australia. In Portugal the series airs on FOX.