Celebrating NCIS: Los Angeles at The Paley Center for Media


On Friday night as part of the annual Paley Preview Parties held at the Paley Center for Media every September (for the past 11 years), a celebration took place honoring the long-running spin-off series NCIS: Los Angeles, which is now going into its 7th season on CBS.

The entire cast, including Chris O’Donnell, LL Cool J, Daniela Ruah, Eric Christian Olsen, Barrett Foa, Renee Felice Smith, Miguel Ferrer and Linda Hunt, as well as executive producers Scott Gemmill, John Kousakis and Shane Brennan (the creator of the show) were on hand to speak with moderator Kevin Frazier from Entertainment Tonight.

After a special screening of the show’s upcoming season premiere – which will air on September 21 at 10 PM on CBS – the cast and creative minds were welcomed to the stage by the exuberant audience. The cast was clearly excited to be at the Paley Center and provided a very entertaining panel for the folks in the audience, including a quick dance number from Barrett and Renee (both who have theatre backgrounds), a “card” game of sorts where each cast member was asked to hold up the name of which cast member could be a real agent, who forget their lines the most, who spends the most time at craft services and who was the biggest prankster on set (among others) as well as joking around, and in some cases teasing mercilessly, each other. It was clear that after all these seasons on the show together they are one great big family, who truly enjoy and love working together.

In terms of talking about what the fans can expect to see this season (and beyond, yes the executive producers have plans already in mind for season 8), series creator Shane Brennan shared that “every character has a challenging moment this season, they may be back in Russia – where a reunion of sorts will take place – and there will be a Granger themed episode.” As for next season, Brennan shared that “there will be a lot for Deeks and Kensi” in season 8, including a Deeks themed episode.

Going back to the beginning then Brennan was asked how did he know the group on stage would work in the show. He shared that when Chris and LL Cool J were filmed together for the first time in the embedded pilot within NCIS, the chemistry was already there.

Shane was asked where Hetty uttering “bugger” came from; and he shared (in his soothing Australian accent) that it’s a common word used in his home country, but he wasn’t sure if it would be work on American television, but with Linda Hunt saying it, it seemed to be accepted.

In addition to the quick dance number, Renee and Barrett both admitted that they are not as technological as their TV personas. In fact, Barrett joked “superheroes of tech we are not, but we play them on TV.”

Eric, of course, got teased about his hair; Daniela was teased about the fight training she has undergone during the duration of the show and LL Cool J got teased about being a “crazy” driver at least according to Chris who was repeatedly called “panic man” because he panics every time LL is behind the wheel.

It was also shared by Scott Gemmill that during this new season Eric and Nell will go to a Ren Fair together and viewers will learn more about Nell’s background; and when asked by an audience member about a possible walk-on role ever being available to fans, Shane said for this season “we’ll guarantee that and (we’ll) call it the Paley Walk On”.

Among the audience questions were:

• If any of the cast will appear on Lip Sync Battle, the Spike TV series which is hosted by LL Cool J – the latter stated “there is absolutely a chance”;

• Eric once attempted to stop an actual crime to which his wife yelled at him that he’s “not a real NCIS agent” and then Renee shared that she helped her father solve a hit-and-run crime involving his parked car at her childhood home; using what she has learned from being on the show they tracked down the owner of the other car – because a piece of the other car that was found among the damage – to which she shared “I Nell Jones’d that shit” [that line became an instant Instagram hit];

• And, when asked how she got the role of Hetty Lange, Linda and Shane talked about his meeting with her for the first time about it “he didn’t pause for an hour or more” trying to convince her to take the role.

Fans should mark their calendars for the season premiere of season seven of ‘NCIS: Los Angeles” for Monday, September 21 at 10 PM on CBS.

[Photo Credit: Rueben]