NCIS: Los Angeles

NCIS: Los Angeles
Created by Shane Brennan
Composer(s) Jay Ferguson (2010–)
James S. Levine (2009–10)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 8
No. of episodes 178 (list of episodes)
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)
Original network CBS
Picture format HDTV 1080i
Original release September 22, 2009 (2009-09-22) – present
Related shows
External links
Official website

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] 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 25, 2016, CBS renewed the series for an eighth season, which premiered on September 25, 2016.[8][9]


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

Main cast

Actor Character Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Chris O'Donnell G. Callen Main
Peter Cambor Nate Getz Main Recurring N/A
Daniela Ruah Kensi Blye Main
Adam Jamal Craig Dominic Vail Main N/A
LL Cool J Sam Hanna Main
Linda Hunt Hetty Lange Main
Barrett Foa Eric Beale Main
Eric Christian Olsen Marty Deeks Recurring Main
Renée Felice Smith Nell Jones N/A Main
Miguel Ferrer Owen Granger N/A Recurring Main

Note: Adam Jamal Craig playing rookie field agent Dominic Vail was credited as a regular through the first dozen episodes of season one, but was subsequently written out of the show,[10] and the character was killed in episode 21.

Main characters

Recurring cast and characters

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: Los Angeles.[12][13] 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.
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.
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.
He is friends with Hetty. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.



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][17] 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


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
Intro2April 28, 2009 (2009-04-28)May 5, 2009 (2009-05-05)
124September 22, 2009 (2009-09-22)May 25, 2010 (2010-05-25)
224September 21, 2010 (2010-09-21)May 17, 2011 (2011-05-17)
324September 20, 2011 (2011-09-20)May 15, 2012 (2012-05-15)
424September 25, 2012 (2012-09-25)May 14, 2013 (2013-05-14)
524September 24, 2013 (2013-09-24)May 13, 2014 (2014-05-13)
624September 29, 2014 (2014-09-29)May 18, 2015 (2015-05-18)
724September 21, 2015 (2015-09-21)May 2, 2016 (2016-05-02)
8TBASeptember 25, 2016 (2016-09-25)TBA


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.[18]

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."[19] 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."[20]

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."[21] 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."[22] 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."[23] 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.[24]


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
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[25] May 25, 2010 13.12[26] 2009–10 9 16.08[27]
2 24 September 21, 2010 15.76[28] May 17, 2011 15.61[29] 2010–11 7 16.54[30]
3 24 September 20, 2011 16.71[31] May 15, 2012 15.19[32] 2011–12 7 16.01[33]
4 24 September 25, 2012 16.74[34] May 14, 2013 13.52[35] 2012–13 4 17.31[36]
5 24 September 24, 2013 16.35[37] May 13, 2014 14.85[38] 2013–14 4 16.03[39]
6 Monday
10:00 pm/9c
24 September 29, 2014 9.48[40] May 18, 2015 9.33[41] 2014–15 27 11.72[42]
7 24 September 21, 2015 7.89[43] May 2, 2016 8.10[44] 2015–16 24 11.11[45]
8 Sunday
8:00 pm/7c
September 25, 2016 10.34[46] 2016–17

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2010 People's Choice Awards Favorite New TV Drama Nominated [47][48][49]
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
2011 Teen Choice Awards Choice Action Show Won [50]
Choice Actor Action LL Cool J Nominated
Choice Actress Action Linda Hunt Won
2012 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Stunt Direction Troy James Brown Nominated [51]
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 [52]
Choice Actor Action LL Cool J Won

Potential spin-off

On November 5, 2012, 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.[53] 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.[54]

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.

International broadcast

In India the series airs on AXN (India).[55] In the UK the series airs on Sky 1 and on Channel Five.[56] In the Netherlands the series airs on SBS 6.[57] NCIS: Los Angeles on Network Ten and TVH!TS (formerly TV1) in Australia.


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