‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: Is Hetty Leaving the Show for Good?

by Matthew Memrick
Screen Grab/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

For NCIS: Los Angeles fans, it’s Kilbride’s show now, and with Hetty off on her classified mission, is she off the show?

Inquiring minds want to know. With Gibbs gone, Hetty is the topic du jour when it comes to favorite characters leaving.

After watching Sunday’s new episode, you kind of get a feeling that Linda Hunt’s Henrietta “Hetty” Lange may be gone. The website CarterMatt had to weigh in, too.

Lange lost her operations manager title, and now the retired admiral is running the show.

NCIS: Los Angeles writers have Lange on a mystery operation, and she’s just kind of in limbo. Maybe she gets killed, but everything is a guess at this point. 

Lots Of Questions For Hunt

The website Cinemaholic reported on a May interview where showrunner R. Scott Gemmill explained that they gave limited scenes to Hunt in ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ season 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Show producers have used the actress less to keep her safe from the pandemic. Season 12 was all about her remote appearances. 

Plus, she’s relatively cost-effective on the show. According to Looper, the 76-year-old star makes $80,000 for each episode.

Finally, Hunt has not released any official statements saying she’s going anywhere. She’s implied in the past her desire to continue with her character. So that’s a good sign.

McRaney, Hunt Chemistry Good For NCIS: Los Angeles

Besides, who doesn’t love those Kilbride-Hetty moments?

Gemmill told TV Line that “they’re both very smart and very stubborn, so it makes for a fun and volatile dynamic.” 

Kilbride, during Season 12, was telling people in the office, “Hetty’s not coming back… I think it’s time we accept this mission she’s on may very well be her last.”

But what does he really know? She will return, but we just don’t know when this season.

McRaney Settling In 

After random appearances since Season 6, Admiral Kilbride (Gerard McRaney) is seemingly here to stay.

And the 74-year-old actor is more than happy about that.

“I’m having so much fun on this,” the actor said. “I told some of the guys the other day, this is the most fun I’ve had on a series since Simon & Simon,” he tells TV Insider. “And it is just fun every day I go to work.”

McRaney’s 1981 show lasted 156 episodes over eight seasons. He was in 68 episodes of another CBS show, “Promised Land. And he’s had some other notable spots with Netflix’s “House of Cards” and HBO’s “Deadwood. 

Most recently, his appearance on one NBC drama came with a significant award.

McRaney’s Dr. Nathan Katowski character earned the longtime actor a Primetime Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor In a Drama Series in 2017. The following year, he got a nomination for the same award.