One of CBS’ longest-running scripted shows, NCIS: Los Angeles, will end after 322 episodes. Its current 14th season will be the show’s last, with the series finale scheduled for May 14, airing on the network and streaming live and on demand on Paramount+.
The NCIS spin-off, starring LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell, is tied as the fifth-longest-running CBS primetime scripted series of all time, only behind Gunsmoke, Lassie, CSI and Criminal minds. Of the four, the two shows that have aired in the last 50 years, ITUC and Criminal mindsboth have since been relaunched, which bodes well for NCIS: Los Angeles‘ future.
Moreover, NCIS: Los Angeles is a rare, long-running procedural drama whose original protagonists, LL Cool J and O’Donnell, stay on for the duration. Both have spoken publicly about their commitment to the series, which hit the 300-episode milestone last May, and their fellow cast members.
According to sources, the cast and crew of NCIS: Los Angeles are informed today of the end of the series. The cancellation of a long-running drama with big names filming in Los Angeles shouldn’t come as a shock given the high price tag involved, especially at a time when networks at all levels are looking to cut spending. . Still, I hear the news of the cancellation came as a surprise to many associated with the show, as it follows strong ratings from the three-way crossover with the mothership. NCIS and last branch NCIS: Hawaii.
“That NCIS Crossover was a huge hit!!”, LL Cool J just wrote on Instagram. “After 14 seasons, it’s the perfect time to end @ncisla at the top of our game!!!”
I hear the timing of the decision stems from the network’s desire to allow showrunner R. Scott Gemmill and his team to create a series finale, which they’ll have to jump on immediately to get it ready for May. In a statement (you can read it in full later in the story), Gemmill promised fans an ending that “is both satisfying and does justice to these beloved characters.”
NCIS: Los Angeles was the first spin-off of NCIS, now in its 20th season. It was followed by NCIS: New Orleans, which ran for seven seasons, and NCIS: Hawaii, now in its second season.
Boosted by being part of the NCIS franchise, NCIS: Los Angeles set a record for fastest off-network syndication sale in the fall of 2009 when it was nabbed by USA Network for a whopping $2.2-2.3 million per episode just 6-7 weeks after the start of its broadcast. The series has remained a source of revenue for producer CBS Studios with distribution in over 200 countries.
“For 14 seasons, NCIS: Los Angeles was a mainstay of our programming with characters that were a joy to watch,” said Amy Reisenbach, President of CBS Entertainment. “From day one, the cast, producers, and crew were incredible network/studio partners, and their teamwork, talent, and spirit clearly showed on screen. We are so grateful for the collaboration and outstanding performance of these valued members of our CBS family, and we plan to give them the grand send-off they and their fans deserve.
Unlike the mother ship NCIS series, which remained in its original Tuesday timeslot for almost two decades until it was recently moved to Mondays, NCIS: Los Angeles has been a classic utility player for CBS, moving seven times in 14 seasons and helping re-establish a waterfront for the network with scripted series on Sunday.
The series, created by Shane Brennan, averages 6.06 million viewers and is the most scripted program in its Sunday 10 p.m. slot. Since the start of the season, new episodes have amassed more than 591 million potential social media impressions and Americans have watched more than 4.2 billion minutes (through Jan. 15) of the current season.
“I want to thank both the network and the studio for their partnership and support over the years; Shane Brennan for giving us such a great playground; and my partners John P. Kousakis, Frank Military, Kyle Harimoto and Andrew Bartels for their tireless efforts and collaboration episode after episode,” said NCIS: Los Angeles executive producer and showrunner Gemmill. “Our team has become like a family, and their hard work and dedication have been essential to our success year after year. My deepest gratitude to the cast members, who brought our characters to life with their passionate performances – thank you for your talent, professionalism and continued enthusiasm. And to our loyal viewers who adored our characters and followed their journeys, thank you. We look forward to delivering an ending to the series that is both satisfying and does justice to these beloved characters.
NCIS: Los Angeles is a drama about the high-stakes world of a division of NCIS tasked with apprehending dangerous and elusive criminals who pose a threat to national security. Chris O’Donnell, LL Cool J, Linda Hunt, Daniela Ruah, Eric Christian Olsen, Medalion Rahimi, Caleb Castille and Gerald McRaney star. R. Scott Gemmill, John P. Kousakis, Frank Military, Kyle Harimoto, Andrew Bartels and Shane Brennan, who created the series, are all executive producers. NCIS: Los Angeles is produced by CBS Studios.
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