‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: One Fan-Favorite Character Is Getting Promoted Now That Two Actors Left The Show

by Matthew Wilson

As the old saying goes, when one door closes, another one quickly opens. “NCIS: Los Angeles” may have said goodbye to two of its principal cast in the season finale. But it’s promoting a fan favorite to take their place.

That’s right Gerald McRaney’s Ret. Navy Admiral Hollace Kilbride is finally getting his due. McRaney has been a recurring character on “NCIS: Los Angeles” since 2014. But fans should get ready to see more of the retired Navy admiral than ever. McRaney officially joined the main cast of the show for the upcoming Season 13.

McRaney’s promotion comes after “NCIS: Los Angeles” lost two of its own. Both Barrett Foa (Eric Beale) and Renée Felice Smith (Neil Jones) left the show. So the crime drama series needed some fresh new blood to fill out its ranks. Or in the cast, should we say old blood?

“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,” “NCIS: Los Angeles” 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.”

‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Adds an Old Favorite

Of course, fans are probably familiar with McRaney by now. The actor appeared more frequently on the show during Season 12, paving the way for a permanent role among the cast. There have been some rumors that McRaney may actually be replacing Linda Hunt’s Hetty. But Hunt appears to be returning to the fold for Season 13 after a season away due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Former castmate Renee Felice Smith praised McRaney for his acting in an interview with TV Insider.

“Mack is an absolute legend,” Smith said. “He is a bulletproof scene partner. He does not mess up. Iron sharpens iron. He’s witty, he’s prepared, He is everything you want in a scene partner and I would work with him for the rest of my days. Maybe we should go off and do ‘NCIS: New York’ or something together because he is just unmatched. I really am very fond of Mack and we have great conversations off-camera.” 

McRaney certainly has the accolades to fit right in with the best of them. He got his start in the entertainment industry in the 1970s, appearing on “Deadwood,” “CSI,” and “Castle.” He also won an Emmy for guest-starring on the popular series “This Is Us” as well. “NCIS: Los Angeles” will just be another notch in his belt.