'NCIS' spinoff officially lands LL Cool J

Llcoolj_lCBS has confirmed the scoop Michael Ausiello had three weeks ago: LL Cool J has been cast in the planned NCIS spinoff, NCIS: Legend, the pilot of which will air later this season during a two-part episode of the original series. Though we were unable to find out what Legend refers to in the title, we were able to get a full character dossier on LL’s Special Agent Sam Hanna: He’s a "former Navy SEAL who now works in the undercover unit of NCIS in Los Angeles. His training and experience make him the hard man of the team but his toughness conceals a thoughtful, eloquent and disarmingly charming man who speaks fluent Arabic and is an expert on Middle Eastern culture."

I’m digging this casting. He can be intense and fun (see him in Deep Blue Sea — he was the best part, which is why the ending was reshot so he’d live) and he can be quiet (such a doll in Last Holiday — wait, was I the only one who saw Last Holiday?). The only thing that makes me a little sad is that from the looks of the S.W.A.T. DVD jacket, he would’ve looked great in a NCIS ballcap, which I presume he won’t get to wear if he’s with the undercover unit. Pity.

While we await official confirmation that the spinoff’s other big name, Chris O’Donnell, has closed his deal, let’s do a pulse-check: How are you feeling about the NCIS spinoff now?

More on the NCIS spinoff:
Mark Harmon on the NCIS spinoff
Ausiello scoop: Chris O’Donnell, LL Cool J to headline NCIS spinoff
Ausiello scoop: Meet the characters in the NCIS spinoff
Ausiello scoop: CBS eyes NCIS spinoff
PopWatch’s pilot season coverage

Comments (23 total) Add your comment
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  • Adam

    As an occasional fan of the regular series, I think this is solid casting. He is a much better actor than people give him credit for. I have seen him be the best part in a lot of bad movies, deep blue see, edison, mindhunters…..etc

  • Alan

    God, the creativity level on network TV sucks!! Now we have 3 x Law & Order franchises, 3 x CSI franchises, and now 2 x NCIS franchises? They aren’t creative enough to even give it a new name? It’s just NCIS: Legend? God! Anytime a show is successful you just launch a carbon copy of the same show, with just a different cast? What’s next? “The Mentalist: Chattanooga”? BORING!!!!!

    • claudioX

      Well… hahah.. ( still laughing) :) … we watch it they give us more.. its called “the salami method” one slice at the time

  • Jenn

    Alan, Legend isnt the name of the show but the name of the two part episode of ncis they will be introduced on later this season. No name has been given to it yet. And it will be completely different from what NCIS is now. No murder scenes to investigate or anything like they do now. Unlike the CSI’S which all do the same thing.

  • Simon

    I did not get into NCIS until Kate died. Now I cannot get enough of it! Just hope that the spinoff does not negatively affect the quality of NCIS. Hopefully, fans of NCIS will give it a chance.

  • Sina

    Chris ODonnell is a big name? Since when..Batman and Robin?

  • clynngo

    I DO NOT buy Chris O’Donnell as a hardened agent who can change personalities at the drop of the hat. He plays the same character in everything he’s in— whiny milquetoast. NCIS works because Gibbs is believable as a marine and a team leader, and all the other characters fit their roles. Casting O’Donnell seems like a big mistake to me.

  • NavyResGirl

    Jury is still out – actually it hasn’t been selected yet.
    I’ll have to see the “launch” episode(s) before I make a decision on watching.
    Meanwhile, I’m still hopelessly addicted to the real thing.

  • Ceballos

    I like LL Cool J, but everyone knows the best part of “Deep Blue Sea” is the end of Samuel L. Jackson’s inspirational speech.

  • Margaret

    Terrible casting. I don’t mind LL Cool J but in small doses. Shame shame shame.

  • Tess

    I like LL, and I’m willing to give the show a chance. If it sucks, it sucks. No skin off my teeth. I don’t understand people getting so bent out of shape. You end up not liking it, don’t watch it. Easy as that.
    And Alan? The Mentalist is already a rip off, of Psych.

  • Jean

    I watched the interview with Mark Harmon and had to laugh when he said he is not a fan of spin-offs. He forgets that NCIS is a spin-off of JAG. It should worry him. JAG was moved to the Friday night graveyard and NCIS got JAG’s Tuesday night spot. The writers were moved to work on NCIS and new writers on JAG that did not know the background of the characters and story lines really messed it up and 2 years later it was canceled. Harmon apparently sees the same thing happening to NCIS and he should be concerned.

  • Ray

    I don’t like the casting so far. Urban NCIS with the LL. This sounds bad.

  • Jacki Plaisir

    Jean, no disrespect but do your research. jag was cancelled once way before, on a differet network. when it went on cbs, it ran for nine seasons, Daivd James Elliot left the show too. After eleven years, I say that’s a good run. Finally I Think if the first on screen appearance of the spinoff does not go well with fans, they’ll killed before the pliot airs. Just wait and see how it does.

  • Maizul

    So first of all: I really really like NCIS as is and the idea of a spin-off makes my stomach churcn a little. I suppose out of like for NCIS, I will def. give this spin off a shot. Second point, or more question, for anyone who knows and cares to comment: Is it that NCIS will be running at the same time as NCIS: Legend, or is it that we shall be saying farewell to NCIS as we know it at the end of season 6?(I hope it’s the former…)

  • L. Norton

    As long as NCIS stays on the air…they can have as many spin offs as they like.

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