One of CBS’ longest-running scripted shows, NCIS: Los Angeles, comes to an end after 322 episodes. The current 14th season will be the show’s last, with the series finale airing on May 14 on the network and streaming live and on demand on Paramount+.
The NCIS spin-off, starring LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell, is the fifth longest-running CBS primetime scripted series ever, behind only Gunsmoke, Lassie, CSI and Criminal ghosts. Of the four, the two shows that have aired in the last 50 years, CSI and Criminal ghostsboth have since been revived, which bodes well for NCIS: Los Angelesfuture.
Additionally, NCIS: Los Angeles is a rare long-running procedural drama whose original leads, LL Cool J and O’Donnell, stay on throughout its run. Both have spoken publicly about their commitment to the series, which reached the 300-episode mark last May, and their fellow cast members.
According to sources, the cast and crew of NCIS: Los Angeles is told today that the series is coming to an end. A cancellation of a long-running drama filming big names in LA shouldn’t come as a shock given the hefty price tag involved, especially at a time when networks across the board are looking to cut spending. Still, I hear the cancellation news came as a surprise to many involved with the show as it follows the strong ratings for the three-way crossover with Mothership NCIS and last offshoot NCIS: Hawaii.
“This one NCIS Crossover was a huge success!!” LL Cool J just wrote on Instagram. “After 14 seasons, now is 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 crew to make a series finale, which they need to jump right on 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.
Stimulated by being part of the NCIS franchising, NCIS: Los Angeles set a record for fastest off-network syndication sales in the fall of 2009 when it was snapped by USA Network for a massive $2.2 million – $2.3 million per episode just 6-7 weeks after launch. The series has remained a moneymaker for producer CBS Studios with distribution in over 200 countries.
“For 14 seasons NCIS: Los Angeles has been a fixture in our lineup with characters that have been a joy to watch,” said Amy Reisenbach, president of CBS Entertainment. “From day one, the cast, producers and crew were great network/studio partners, and their teamwork, talent and spirit came alive on screen. We are so thankful for the collaboration and remarkable run of these esteemed members of our CBS family, and intend to give them the grand farewell they and their fans deserve.
Unlike the mothership NCIS series, which remained in its original Tuesday timeslot for nearly two decades until it recently moved to Monday, NCIS: Los Angeles has been a classic utility player for CBS, moving seven times in 14 seasons and helping restore a strand for the network with Sunday scripted series.
Created by Shane Brennan, the series averages 6.06 million viewers and is the most scripted program in the Sunday 10pm slot. Season to date, new episodes have accumulated more than 591 million potential social media impressions, and Americans have watched more than 4.2 billion minutes (through January 15) of the current season.
“I want to thank both the network and the studio for their cooperation 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 crew has grown into a true family and their hard work and dedication have been fundamental to our success year after year. My deepest thanks 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 loved our characters and followed their journeys, thank you. We look forward to an end 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, all serve as executive producers. NCIS: Los Angeles is produced by CBS Studios.