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NCIS: Los Angeles: 'Cause San Diego Isn't Cool Enough


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#1

ScribblerGuy

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Posted May 20, 2009 @ 10:37 AM

Here's the official description from a CBS release:

NCIS: LOS ANGELES is a drama about the high stakes world of undercover surveillance at the Office of Special Projects (OSP), a division of NCIS that is charged with apprehending dangerous and elusive criminals that pose a threat to the nation's security. By assuming false identities and utilizing the most advanced technology, this team of highly trained agents goes deep undercover, putting their lives on the line in the field to bring down their targets.

Special Agent "G" Callen (Chris O'Donnell) is a chameleon who transforms himself into whomever he needs to be to infiltrate the criminal underworld. His partner is Special Agent Sam Hanna (LL COOL J), a former U.S. Navy SEAL who has seen action in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and a surveillance expert who uses state of the art monitoring equipment to look out for those in the field and feed them crucial information. Both Callen and Hanna report to Special Agent Lara Macy (Louise Lombard), the OSP team leader responsible for directing the operations and making life-or-death decisions. Assisting the team is Special Agent Kensi Lo (Daniela Ruah), the exceptionally bright daughter of a slain Marine who lives for the adrenalin rush that comes with undercover work, and Operational Psychologist Nate Getz (Peter Cambor), adept at getting into anybody's head, profiling the target and monitoring agents' states of mind before, during and after missions.

Armed with the latest in high tech gear and sent regularly into life-threatening situations, this tight-knit team relies on each other to do what is necessary to protect national interests. Shane Brennan ("NCIS") is the executive producer for CBS Television Studios.

(modified by breaking into 3 paragraphs)

According to the tentative CBS schedule (listed in the above linked press release), this will air on Tuesday nights @ 9pm Eastern, right after it's mother show, NCIS. (The Mentalist, which formerly occupied that timeslot gets moved to the cushy post-CSI timeslot of Thursdays @ 10pm.)

The backdoor pilot was aired as two episode of NCIS ("Legend, Part 1" and "Legend, Part 2"). And, yes, Callen is alive, he did survive the drive-by assassination attempt (see the NCIS episode, "Semper Fidelis"). Discussion of these episodes starts around this post in the main NCIS thread.

I thought the two-parter showed that the series had potential, but that the episodes themselves weren't all that special. They suffered from traditional "pilotitis" issues (e.g., bad exposition, or just unnecessary exposition - what I mainly remember is longish dialogues about the new characters backgrounds that didn't feel organic at all). But, I did end up liking Chris O'Donell's character and have a much better opinion of him than before -- the last place I saw him was in the TNT mini-series The Company. Also, I hadn't seen LL Cool J in any acting roles and what I thought was a bit of stunt-casting doesn't seem to be.

Essentially, the show, as presented in the "Legend" two-parter seems a bit like the British series MI-5 (or Spooks - original UK title) in that the OSP is basically acting like a smaller version of the UK's Security Service (aka "MI5"), which is charged with guarding the internal security of the UK, and roughly takes the form of a traditional intelligence agency (such as the CIA) but with some police powers.


(The thread title "'Cause San Diego Isn't Cool Enough" is because I feel that San Diego would have made much more sense as a spin-off location, as it has the largest Naval base on the West Coast which is home to the Pacific Fleet. That idea formed before the spin-off turned out to be more of a spy procedural rather than a crime-solving procedural, which was how the original NCIS started out.)
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#2

AimingforYoko

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Posted May 20, 2009 @ 10:46 AM

They shoulda went with NCIS: Special Ops. This just sounds like they're copying CSI.
Well, since O'Donnell is getting pimped pretty hard, I'm guessing he makes a full recovery.
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#3

ResearchGeek

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Posted May 20, 2009 @ 10:52 AM

Special Agent "G" Callen (Chris O'Donnell) is a chameleon who transforms himself into whomever he needs to be to infiltrate the criminal underworld.

Although, the fact that he does this without ever changing what he looks like is interesting. I mean ... at some point, aren't the bad guys going to catch on that all of their contacts look exactly alike?

I feel that San Diego would have made much more sense as a spin-off location, as it has the largest Naval base on the West Coast which is home to the Pacific Fleet.

Personally, I like "NCIS: Special Ops" because, y'know ... that's who they are. Seems to make sense. Even if they'd have gone with "NCIS: Pacific Fleet" or "NCIS: West Coast" it would have been better. Plus, it would have given them room to move around, if LA gets boring. But "NCIS: Los Angeles"? Unless every episode is going to include jokes about CSI and its various locales, it seems kind of "been there / done that."
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#4

tgrfan23

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Posted May 20, 2009 @ 10:52 AM

I liked NCIS:Legend, which was the jokey title Mo Ryan, James Poniewozik and a couple of other critics were batting around last week.
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#5

kkowalski

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Posted May 20, 2009 @ 11:03 AM

I kind of wondered how Callen could keep moving around LA and not change his looks... Really odd.

I hate the title too, I like NCIS: Special Ops better. Maybe they'll change it, they changed Navy NCIS, didn't they?
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#6

kar328

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Posted May 20, 2009 @ 11:45 AM

I kind of wondered how Callen could keep moving around LA and not change his looks... Really odd.


If the show lasts, maybe they could get a different actor each season to play Callen.

I can't believe I'm posting on this board already ... sigh ...
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#7

Beacon

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Posted May 20, 2009 @ 12:00 PM

There are already too many shows set in Los Angeles, and now they have to put the name in the title of the show. NCIS: Los Angeles is a dumb title. Should have been simply OSP. I was interested in it based on the two-parter, but not so much now.
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#8

Enthused Fish

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Posted May 20, 2009 @ 12:27 PM

I can see why they didn't choose OSP because that would make it quite a long list of letters. NCIS: OSP. Still, the setting (Los Angeles rather than San Diego), the focus (are there that many undercover operations necessary in NCIS?), and the lack of Navy presence makes me wonder how long this show will last.

I found the cast to be...fine in and of itself, but I don't see how this is going to be actually focused on the Navy. NCIS has trouble with this problem already, and I'm not hopeful about the spinoff succeeding in that regard.
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#9

catray

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Posted May 20, 2009 @ 12:46 PM

I think I hate NCIS: Los Angeles for exactly the reason stated in a comment above-- it sounds too much like the CSI spin-offs. And we all know this show is not another CSI. Urgh. I would have liked NCIS: Special Ops or NCIS: Legend much better than the current title. Here's to hoping they decide to change it again before the fall.

As for the show itself, I'll probably watch because I enjoy NCIS, but the spin-off doesn't really seem to have a flavor yet. The "back-door" pilot only gave us a glimpse into the world of the OSP, so I'm curious to see what it'll be like when it's on it's own. I like Chris O'Donnell's character already, but the rest are still part of the background and don't have much personality yet.
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#10

fifty8th

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Posted May 20, 2009 @ 1:52 PM

They shoulda went with NCIS: Special Ops. This just sounds like they're copying CSI.


Exactly what I have been saying, partly because I liked CSI and never any of the ":locations" but also because it is way too similar in name. But then again NCIS: Special Ops follows the "Law and Order: Squad" formula so there is no winning I guess.

Edited by fifty8th, May 20, 2009 @ 1:52 PM.

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#11

LT

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Posted May 20, 2009 @ 2:53 PM

NCIS: Special Ops or NCIS: Legend much better than the current title.

Someone suggested NCIS: Undercover (kind of as a joke) when the backdoor pilot was airing but I think that would have worked best. They are the undercover team, they could be anywhere with the title and there is perceived (stress: perceived) sex appeal with the name.
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#12

ResearchGeek

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Posted May 20, 2009 @ 3:23 PM

I can see why they didn't choose OSP because that would make it quite a long list of letters. NCIS: OSP.

Although, the new show will end up being called NCIS: LA, which is only one letter less. So ... NCIS: OSP would be a much better choice!
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#13

fifty8th

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Posted May 20, 2009 @ 5:57 PM

Although, the new show will end up being called NCIS: LA, which is only one letter less. So ... NCIS: OSP would be a much better choice!


I'm not sure, LA is recognizable most people know what is stands for. OSP is confusing to casual viewers who probably barely know what NCIS stands for. In the end NCIS: OSP is a bunch of confusing letters and NCIS: LA is instantaneously recognizable since LA is basically a word.
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#14

Zoned Out

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Posted May 21, 2009 @ 1:20 PM

I saw a preview for NCIS: Los Angeles last night during Criminal Minds. For now I guess they're deliberately typing out the whole city name rather than shortening it to LA (though that's obviously what writers and fans will do). The name looked even more ridiculous to me in the promo than it had just talking about it here.

OSP is confusing to casual viewers who probably barely know what NCIS stands for. In the end NCIS: OSP is a bunch of confusing letters and NCIS: LA is instantaneously recognizable since LA is basically a word.

OSP might be confusing to some people, but so was NCIS which is why they put the redundant Navy in front of it for the first couple of seasons. I would be more willing to overlook the silly name choice if I knew there was a possibility that they would be willing to change it down the road to something better like how they allowed NCIS to drop the Navy at the front.

Edited by Zoned Out, May 21, 2009 @ 1:20 PM.

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#15

ScribblerGuy

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Posted May 21, 2009 @ 1:55 PM

Official behind the scenes promo (2:20). It employs the classic cliche of having the various lead actors give interview answers about how awesome, new, and different the show is suppose to be, which I find to be very annoying. -- So, if you're on the fence about the show, don't watch it.

At the end is a graphic with a possible logo. (Zoned Out, is that the same or similar to what you saw regarding the title?) Anyway, I hate, hate the choice of fonts used (which looks to be in the Bitstream Square 721 family). The wide "C" in NCIS and the equally wide "O" in "LOS" overwhelm almost everything else.

***
If this show can finds its leg as some sort of domestic spy drama that "keeps it real" (e.g., avoids the absurd) then I'll be a long-time viewer. And, I much prefer that this show becomes the hub for Shane Brennan's spy fetish, so that the NCIS mothership can return to its roots as a crime procedural.
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#16

Zoned Out

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Posted May 21, 2009 @ 3:43 PM

Yes, ScribblerGuy, that's exactly the logo I saw last night. And it's maybe partly about font, but mostly I think it was just seeing NCIS: Los Angeles in a promo that really brought it home to me how stupid an idea that name choice was.
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#17

liz26111

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Posted May 21, 2009 @ 3:56 PM

Other than the bad name, I find the time in which this show will air odd. I am not sure if I can handle back to back NCIS' each week. Once and a great while but every Tuesday seems like a horrible idea. I know that CBS does not have a lot of time slots open but Thursday after CSI sounds like a much better idea.

Edited by liz26111, May 21, 2009 @ 3:57 PM.

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#18

fifty8th

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Posted May 21, 2009 @ 4:28 PM

Other than the bad name, I find the time in which this show will air odd. I am not sure if I can handle back to back NCIS' each week. Once and a great while but every Tuesday seems like a horrible idea. I know that CBS does not have a lot of time slots open but Thursday after CSI sounds like a much better idea.


I agree the time slot is too much, one right after the other, I guess they are hoping that because you watch one you will stick around for two but personally I rarely have the patience to watch two shows in a row, I have other things to do so in the end I'll DVR it and watch it whenever.
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#19

ScribblerGuy

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Posted May 25, 2009 @ 9:23 PM

For those up north in Canada, CanWest Global has picked up the series (Variety article).

It was a busy weekend for CanWest Global, which has bought many series from CBS Studios Intl. (formerly CBS Paramount) in the past. After picking up "Glee," "The Cleveland Show" and "Sons of Tucson" at Fox on Friday, the conglom purchased "Melrose Place," "NCIS: Los Angeles" and "The Good Wife" shortly after viewing the skeins on the Paramount lot.


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#20

kristinj

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Posted May 27, 2009 @ 10:55 PM

Recast news on one of the lead roles from The Hollywood Reporter. Interesting.
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#21

callietwo

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Posted May 27, 2009 @ 11:02 PM

Recast news on one of the lead roles from The Hollywood Reporter. Interesting.


Yay! That was my least favorite of all the characters but I felt it was mostly due to the casting.. which I felt was not done well in that particular instance.
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#22

catlover8400

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Posted May 27, 2009 @ 11:33 PM

Recast news on one of the lead roles from The Hollywood Reporter. Interesting.


I'm not surprised. When NCIS was doing its spinoff episodes on JAG, there was a different female lead until Kate was brought on, which I was very thankful for. It is very hard to judge the spinoff episodes when it is on a different show because so much can and will probably changed. It will be easier to make a more objective call once it is on its own and the changes can be seen. I liked what I saw and besides Chris O'Donnell is nice to look at.
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#23

Ohmo

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Posted May 28, 2009 @ 11:43 AM

From TV Guide:

For starters, CSI alum Louise Lombard will not be making the trek to NCIS: Los Angeles, despite having appeared in the two NCIS episodes that served as a backdoor pilot. The spin-off instead will recast its female lead.


Looks like Louise Lombard wasn't a hit. It's too bad they can't do some story tweaking. Susanna Thompson won't be doing Kings anymore, so I'd bring Col. Mann out of CID retirement, make a lateral move from Army to Navy, and send her to LA. There would have to be a suspension of disbelief, but ST's Mann definitely has the presence to head the OSP.
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#24

kkowalski

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Posted May 28, 2009 @ 12:14 PM

I agree Ohmo, but I don't see why there's be any suspension of disbelief. NCIS is a civilian organization and Col Mann is no longer Col Mann, and could easily be hired by NCIS.

I say, bring Susanna Thompson on! I loved her and I loved her chemistry with Mark Harmon!

Yes she was, AimingforYoko!

Edited by kkowalski, May 28, 2009 @ 12:38 PM.

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#25

AimingforYoko

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Posted May 28, 2009 @ 12:19 PM

Wasn't MD talking to her about that very thing?
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#26

Enthused Fish

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Posted May 28, 2009 @ 12:43 PM

I just made this very same suggestion on another site. :) I really liked Hollis Mann and I think she'd do well. At least, if they have to have someone with a "past" experience with Gibbs, hers is one not fraught with romantic angst. They may have broken up but it doesn't seem to have been something terrible on both sides.
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#27

westwinger247

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Posted May 28, 2009 @ 12:59 PM

I'm very happy that Louise isn't going to be on this show. I couldn't stand her on CSI. Anyone else would be an improvement. She wasn't believable as a CSI/Detective and certainly wasn't believable as a former Marine.
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#28

djcolts

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Posted May 28, 2009 @ 1:11 PM

Thumbs up on gettting rid of Lombard. I like the Col Mann idea. I feel better about the direction of the show already!
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#29

kkowalski

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Posted May 28, 2009 @ 1:13 PM

If they have Col Mann on the show they guarantee me as a viewer. Not that that makes any difference...

Enthused Fish: Then they can forget the history with Macy, because that was just stupid. At least, I thought so.

Edited by kkowalski, May 28, 2009 @ 1:28 PM.

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#30

Enthused Fish

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Posted May 28, 2009 @ 1:23 PM

I didn't find Louise Lombard to be a problem. What I disliked was the history they made with Gibbs. I think it was a big mistake and made her less sympathetic, less tough and less likable overall.

I'd be much more tempted to watch the spinoff if they put Mann on the show, myself.
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