Saturday, January 2, 2010

NCIS: Los Angeles actors LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell among 2009's Best TV Guest Stars

Chris O'Donnell and LL Cool J on 'NCIS'

NCIS producers used a tried-and-true formula to launch the spin-off, NCIS: Los Angeles. Incorporate your new leads into the anchoring show during the season's last episodes, and then send them on their way to their own time slot. So Agent "G" Callen (Chris O'Donnell) and Agent Sam Hanna (LL Cool J) debuted with a two-episode guest arc on CBS' NCIS. But then, in the last moments of the finale, Callen was shot in the chest several times. Would he survive to carry the spin-off -- was he even meant to? Had the producers actually cast O'Donnell as a diversion? The plot twist generated chatter on fansites, and when NCIS: Los Angeles debuted, we learned that Callen did, indeed, survive. For cleverly piquing the interest of viewers, the O'Donnell-LL Cool J casting stunt earns kudos.

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