NCIS Los Angeles TV Series Overview


NCIS: Los Angeles (NCISLA) is an American action television series combining elements of the military drama and police procedural genres, which premiered on CBS on 22 September 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 (NCIS) that specialises in undercover assignments.

NCIS: Los Angeles is the first spin-off of the successful series NCIS.

Nia Long joined the cast as Shay Mosley for the ninth season after Miguel Ferrer’s death.


NCIS: Los Angeles follows Special Agent G. Callen (Chris O’Donnell), a “legend” assigned to the Office of Special Projects (OSP), a fictitious branch of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (the real-life NCIS has no offices in Los Angeles).

Callen leads an elite team of undercover operatives as they battle enemies both foreign and domestic under the watchful eye of Operational Manager Henrietta “Hetty” Lange (Linda Hunt).

The team is composed of Special Agent Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah), a hand-to-hand combat specialist, trained sniper and forensic whiz, Sam Hanna (LL Cool J), a former Navy SEAL and G’s partner, technical analyst Eric Bartholomew Beale III (Barrett Foa), and ranking team member Shay Mosley (Nia Long), NCIS Executive Assistant Director for Pacific Operations (EAD-PAC).

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), rookie Junior Field Agent Dominic Vail (Adam Jamal Craig), and recent addition Special Agent Fatima Nazami (Medalion Rahimi), all of whom work side-by-side with NCIS Assistant Director Owen Granger (Miguel Ferrer), a laconic agent and skilled bureaucrat.


  • 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 28 April 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.

Backdoor Pilot

The two part NCIS episode “Legend” serves as the backdoor pilot of NCIS: Los Angeles.

“Legend” introduces Chris O’Donnell as G. Callen, LL Cool J as Sam Hanna, Daniela Ruah as Kensi Blye, and Barrett Foa as Eric Beale.

Rocky Carroll recurs on NCIS: Los Angeles as his NCIS character Director Leon Vance, while Pauley Perrette has appeared twice as Abby, and Michael Weatherly has appeared once as Anthony DiNozzo. NCIS guest stars reprising roles between series include David Dayan Fisher as CIA Officer Trent Kort, in the seasonfinale of NCIS: Los Angeles; Kelly Hu as Lee Wuan Kai in NCIS: Los Angeles and later in an episode of NCIS.

John M. Jackson has appeared on NCIS: Los Angeles as his JAG character Admiral A. J. Chegwidden, while this series has also crossed over with Hawaii Five-0 and Scorpion.

Potential Spin-Off

On 05 November 2012, Deadline Hollywood 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 15 May 2013, CBS confirmed that NCIS: Red was officially passed on and would not be moving forward.

Scott Grimes reprised his potential spinoff role as NCIS Red Agent Dave Flynn during the eighth season of NCIS: Los Angeles.

NCIS TV Series

You can find a full index and overview of the NCIS Franchise here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Creator(s): Shane Brennan.
  • Release Date: 22 September 2009 to Present.
  • Running Time: 42-44 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link(s)


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