‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Hardly Ever Films at Night, Here’s Why

by Anna Dunn

While some crime procedurals really benefit from some good night shots, NCIS: Los Angeles rarely films at night. The show, which CBS recently renewed for a 13th season, is part of a successful, ratings-crushing franchise of series. But NCIS: Los Angeles in particular films at night less.

Each NCIS series is filmed on location. For NCIS: Los Angeles, the production and cast find the LA location a huge strength of the show. In fact, they consider Los Angeles to be its own character that’s best seen during the day.

Chris O’Donnel, who plays Callen, further explained the filming process in an interview with CBS.

“We’re on in 220 countries. They want to see Los Angeles. It’s one of those iconic cities that people are fascinated with,” he explained. “I don’t know if there are many neighborhoods or you know iconic locations we haven’t filmed at yet but it never ceases to amaze me. We’ll show up at a neighborhood I didn’t know existed.”

It makes sense. Los Angeles is massive, both in population and in size. The city has countless neighborhoods to film in and explore and is deceptively different than most people would assume it is. There’s a lot more to Los Angeles than Hollywood and traffic, and NCIS: Los Angeles is determined to prove that.

‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Has a Lot Planned for Season 13

Like all shows, NCIS: Los Angeles had a few plans derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’re planning on doing a lot in the upcoming 13th season. First and foremost, Hetty will return. Fans were concerned by Linda Hunt’s absence on the show this year, but don’t worry, she’s not quitting.

Hunt, who is 76, was more at risk of COVID-19 than other members in the cast. Because of that, she stayed home while the rest of the cast filmed season 12. Now, however, Hetty is back. Producers have promised that they’re planning on further explaining Hetty’s absence next year.

Another exciting move on behalf of the production team is Gerald McRaney, who plays the ever so gloomy Admiral Killbride, will become a full-time cast member.

“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,’ Executive Producer, R. Scott Gemmill said in a statement.

The news came after two cast members, Barrett Foa and Renee Felice Smith, left the show. It’s always sad when NCIS actors leave, but hopefully, the addition of Killbride will provide much of its own entertainment. Killbride has been a fan favorite for years, so the move is quite exciting for NCIS: Los Angeles fans.

NCIS: Los Angeles is currently on hiatus. The show, along with NCIS and NCIS: Hawai’i will be back this fall.