NCIS: Los Angeles (Naval Criminal Investigative Service: Los Angeles) is an American police procedural television series, which premiered on CBS on September 22, 2009. The series airs in the 9:00 p.m. timeslot following NCIS
on Tuesdays. On January 14, 2010 the show was renewed for a second season by CBS.
NCIS: Los Angeles is the first spin-off of NCIS, which itself was a spin-off of another CBS series, JAG. The show premiered in the UK on Sky1 on October 21, 2009. On October 7, 2009, CBS gave the series a full-season pickup, extending the first season to 22 episodes. The season was extended again on November 4, 2009, when CBS announced its order for an additional two episodes.
The show was known as NCIS: Legend while in production (referring to the episode of NCIS in which the spin-off was introduced) and other names considered included NCIS: OSP (Office of Special Projects) 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 April 28, 2009. This episode served as a backdoor pilot for the series, in a manner similar to the introduction of NCIS, which was introduced by way of a two-part episode of JAG.
Chris O'Donnell plays the lead character, Callen, a lead agent whose natural talent for undercover work is legendary. LL Cool J plays the role of Special Agent Sam Hanna, an ex-Navy SEAL, who works in the undercover unit of NCIS in Los Angeles, and is also fluent in Arabic and an expert on Middle Eastern culture. Peter Cambor and Daniela Ruah are cast as a psychologist named Nate and forensic investigator named Kensi, respectively; Louise Lombard, who had been confirmed to play the role of lead agent Clara Macy, is not a regular in the new series, but may return for guest appearances.
"Identity", the show's first episode, garnered 18.73 million viewers with a 4.4/11 share in the 18–49 year old demographic and therefore won its time slot. It was the second most watched show of the week, behind only the original NCIS.
This first episode was moderately well reviewed by critics. 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." 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."
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."] 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." 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." 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.
Also known as NCIS: OSP
Summary courtesy of Wikipedia