(modified by breaking into 3 paragraphs)
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.
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.)