‘NCIS: LA’: Gerald McRaney Promoted to Series Regular for Season 13

by Suzanne Halliburton

Terrific news for NCIS: Los Angeles fans. Gerald McRaney, everyone’s favorite grouchy former admiral, will become a full-time cast member.

McRaney plays retired Adm. Hollis Kilbride on NCIS: LA. On the show, his job is an adviser for undercover operations. He often brings humor to the part, with his matter-of-fact zingers to put topics into context. His gruff demeanor earned him the nickname Admiral Killjoy.

Deadline.com first reported the McRaney news. Then the NCIS: LA official twitter account posted the story.

“When you have an actor of Gerald McRaney’s caliber, you do everything you can to make sure you get him as often as possible,” executive producer R. Scott Gemmill told Deadline. “Admiral Kilbride has been an esteemed part of our universe for seven years now and we look forward to viewers seeing him come in and shake up our NCIS: LA world.”

In an interview with TVLine.com, Gemmill said of Gerald McRaney: “I mean, I grew up watching him and I was really happy when we had him on the show the first time, a few years ago. He’s such a pro and so cool, he raises everybody’s game.

“He’s so great because he can do comedy, and he can do drama,” Gemmill said of Gerald McRaney. “And he likes to be out running around with guns, because he’s a big hunter in real life.”

Gerald McRaney Gets Promotion After Departure of Two Show Regulars

NCIS: LA lost two major characters in the season finale last month. Renee Felice Smith, who played Nell, and Barrett Foa, who was a security/tech consultant Eric, both left the show. The two of them were referred to as the “wonder twins.” In the finale, Eric drives his expensive new sports car to the NCIS office and makes Nell an offer. The two of them can open a security office with Kaleidoscope, Eric’s company, in Tokyo. Eric, who used to work in the NCIS office, already was richer beyond his dreams. Nell could be, too. The couple drove off into the sunset as the finale closed.

Gerald McRaney, as the admiral, also made an appearance in the finale. He pushed Nell to take a promotion and replace Hetty. He also made fun of Eric’s new car.

Linda Hunt, who plays Hetty, also should see more screen time in season 13. The 76-year-old actress did much of her season 12 work from her driveway. She took extra precautions because she was more at risk for contracting Covid-19. But with most of the pandemic restrictions being lifted, Hunt was able to film her part in the finale from the NCIS:LA set. Her character also is well acquainted with Gerald McRaney, the former admiral.