Tonight, NCIS: Los Angeles hit a milestone 300th episode, and stars LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell say it’s all thanks to their fans.
“They’re the reason why we’re on the air as long as we’ve been on the air and I love it,” O’Donnell told Entertainment Tonight. “We’re coming up on 300 episodes on the show and you lose track of what’s going on but the fans. They know exactly what’s going on. And they correct us sometimes on things, so it’s nice to be able to celebrate a bit.
The series has been running for 13 seasons now—and it’s officially been renewed for a 14th. During its time, NCIS: Los Angeles has also won 19 different awards, including an Emmy nod for its effortless stunts.
Such longevity and success are uncommon in the TV world. And because of that, LL Cool J is also feeling thankful for all the people who tune in week after week.
“We havin’ a lot of fun,” he admitted. “When we first started, I figured it’d be a couple years. I had no idea we’d be going into a 14th season, so it feels good.”
The 300th ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Episode Will Follow Hanna and Raymond’s Strained Relationship
During this weekend’s special installment titled Work and Family, the team investigates two men who died after trying to use explosives to break into a military base. Callen also attempts to take his relationship with Anna to another level while Sam moves in with his ailing father, Raymond.
But as showrunner R. Scott Gemmill told TVInsider, the real story will center around Hanna’s relationship with his father. Because Raymond has dementia, Hanna has to sell his boat and become his caretaker. But the two have a strained relationship.
The former Marine colonel had expected his son to follow in his footsteps and join the corps. And when Hanna took another path, Raymond couldn’t forgive him. On top of that, Raymond is used to giving the orders. So relinquishing his power won’t be easy.
“They’re both very stubborn, prideful men,” Gemmill said. “Raymond balks at house rules — no alcohol, for one.”
“It’s going to be a rocky road, in a fun way, as these two try to find common ground,” he added.
And now that it’s time for the episode to finally hit airwaves, Gemmill is feeling nothing but pride for the series he’s helmed for 13 years.
“It was just amazing to have gotten there,” he told ET. “The first time you hit a hundred, you feel so fortunate, then two hundred and three hundred is unheard of…We’ve all been together 13 seasons some of us and it really is. We see the cast or crew get married, have children, so it’s a celebration of life for us and we’re so happy that we get to do it year after year and we’re blessed, that’s for sure.”