NEXT ON NCIS: Los Angeles
10×1 - "To Live and Die in Mexico” - Gravely injured and unable to communicate with the team in the U.S., Callen, Sam and Kensi, with an unconscious Deeks in tow, search for a safe way home as a cartel boss places a “dead or alive” bounty on their heads. Also, Mosely and retired Navy Admiral Hollace Kilbride (Gerald McRaney) beseech their contacts in Mexico and D.C. for assistance with their missing colleagues, on NCIS: LOS ANGELES, Sunday (9:30-10:30, ET/PT) on CBS.
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admin / October 21st, 2014   Articles,Interviews,News,Spoilers

Nell (Renée Felice Smith ) had no idea when she agreed to impersonate Hetty (Linda Hunt) on last week’s episode of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” just how life-threatening the mission was going to be. And even though Sam (LL Cool J) and Callen (Chris O’Donnell) were on the case, Nell had to take a life to save her own.

Traumatized by the action, on tonight’s episode, Nell is huddled up at home, where she gets a visit from Operational Psychologist Nate Getz (Peter Cambor), who visits to help her through her traumatic experience, but also to determine if she will be able to return to the field.

Of course, Hetty’s life is still in peril, and her team — Sam, Callen, Kensi (Daniela Ruah), Nell, Eric (Barrett Foa), and Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) — go to desperate lengths to keep her safe, even as she endangers her own life by returning from Washington, D.C. into the face of menace.

In a conversation with Renée and Barrett, the two talked about the separate journey their two NCIS characters have been on, how they will be back to the Nell and Eric banter we love so much in the future, and more.

Did it affect you as a person to have to pretend to kill someone? Or because of the way it is shot, you don’t really see it happen?

Renée Felice Smith:
We don’t see it happen, but I am a pretty sensitive person so it did affect me in having to play the aftermath of shooting someone, it does affect you psychologically. But that is what the character has to go through as well.

Tonight, we see her dealing with her emotions and Nate comes back and we talk it out to see if she can handle it.

Nell isn’t as close to Nate as she is to Hetty. Is he going to be able to help her or does she need her mentor to come back and make things okay?

Renée: She actually gets to talk to both of them. Nate comes back and assesses her. Then Hetty has a heart-to-heart with her as well, so she gets both doses of good medicine.

Is Eric jealous of the fact that Nell is in the field, or he by no means wants to do the dangerous missions?

Barrett Foa: What Eric and Barrett want and need is different. I like when Eric gets out. It is fun to be on location and getting to see how the other half of our show works. Eric mostly works with the inside headquarters half, and I don’t get to meet the fans on the street and see the sunshine. But there is something actually comforting about that, also. Being on the soundstage is comforting, like being home. You know how it works: You know the camera angles, you know the lighting, I have it all down to a science. There is something outside the box when you go out into the field. Eric is used to showing where the bad guys are, not being where the bad guys are. So Eric is comfy inside, but it is always fun to have someone who is comfy be in an uncomfortable place.

Even though Eric doesn’t want to be out there, danger finds him anyway, because on “NCIS: Los Angeles,” no one is ever 100 percent safe. So when that happens, does he find that he is cool in action?

Barrett: Eric is never cool. There is stuff coming up where Eric is in a lot of danger first hand. It is exciting to see how Barrett as an actor dealt with that because it is something I had never done before. Eric has never been in that kind of danger, and I have to think, “What would I do? How would I react because Eric is not used to it?”

Renée:
We all react in our own way. It is interesting to see a fish out of water sometimes.

I know we are only a few episodes into the new season but it feels as if as if the bit of romance between these two isn’t being played as much. Has something changed?

Renée: Nothing has changed. I think they were focusing on Nell now being a junior agent outside, so they haven’t physically been together on a lot of these missions. We are looking forward to them coming back together as the season goes on.

Barrett: I think that gets reestablished in upcoming episodes a little more. There is like a lovers/friends quarrel coming up, which is an indicator of how close they are.

Renée:
It is great to see that they are comfortable enough to be honest with each other.

Barrett: There’s a really nice resolution. It was nice taking a break from it and then going back. It is going to be super sexy coming up.

So Hetty has all these places to live that were compromised in last week’s episode. Is she going to have to sell them all and move since the addresses were revealed? Does Hetty come from money?

Renée: You have to remember that Hetty is an enigma wrapped in a riddle covered in a …

Barrett: conundrum.

Renée: We know that. Her houses remain her houses. It is yet to be determined if she has to sell them and get some new extravagant [places to live]. I have to tell you, that house we shot in was absolutely gorgeous. It had gold-leaf detailing on the ceiling and murals from the 1920s.

Barrett: Who knows if Hetty has money or not, but, remember, she is well connected. Maybe these are favors; maybe these are gifts. I think

Renée: We just saw that she knows the pope. This is a woman who is well traveled and has a lot of friends in high places. One may never know where Hetty gets her money from, but we do enjoy [the mystery].

What would you like to see for your character going forward?

Barrett: We talked about something earlier. I think, for me, I am glad we took the Nell/Eric break, but I am excited for that to get rekindled. I miss that funny banter that was so delicious.

Renée: I miss the funny banter. The danger has been heightened and highlighted on the show, so it will be good to get back to the banter, which, I think, is the heart of our show. I am always looking for a dance break. Hopefully, one of these days, we will get one.

Barrett: At first I thought that was a metaphor. You want an actual dance break?

Renée: A choreographed dance break with Nell and Eric. I think Kensi and Deeks had one.

“NCIS: Los Angeles” airs in its new Monday night timeslot at 10 p.m. on CBS.

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admin / October 7th, 2014   Articles,Interviews,News,Sneak Peek,Spoilers

Densi fans take heart. Eric Christian Olsen, who plays LAPD Detective Marty Deeks on “NCIS: Los Angeles” is here to say that this week’s episode, “Inelegant Heart,” has one of his favorite-ever Densi moments. It all begins when Hetty Lange (Linda Hunt) is under investigation in Washington, D.C. in the White Ghost OP, while back in Los Angeles, Kensi (Daniela Ruah) is being interviewed by Chief Investigator Ava Wallace (Aisha Hinds) as to what she knows.

“It leads us to one of my favorite Densi scenes ever,” Olsen told Examiner.com. “It’s very revealing about their relationship and their feelings toward each other, and what kind of roles that they play in each other’s lives.”

During the phone interview with Olsen, he also talked about the “NCIS: Los Angeles” partners trying to put the pieces of their lives back together after each was tortured, what role DEA Agent Talia Del Campo (Mercedes Masohn) will play, how the dynamic of the Sam (LL Cool J)-Deeks relationship has changed, the move to Monday nights and more.

For Kensi and Deeks, there was the kiss — maybe more happened was implied — and then a lot of sexual tension, and Kensi was sent to Afghanistan. Is their relationship still affected by what happened to her there?

I think that part of it was — which is so great about the show — and the reason, I think, this relationship has found so much traction with the viewers is, it is honest. These things happen in life. One of the complications of a relationship when people are working together is navigating the circumstances of what happens professionally. When you add what it is that these guys do for a living, she was sent to Afghanistan to chase the White Ghost, who may or may not have been her ex-fiancé who left her at the altar. She already has abandonment issues, she has issues with her father, all of that stuff comes to a culmination in Afghanistan, and then she has to deal with the emotional fallout of what happened. The torture she went through, and Deeks, of course, went through a version of that himself. This is a really exciting year for Kensi and Deeks.

Also, what is so great about this season is we have a really great history for these characters to pull from, and we get to explore all that stuff. There is talk of Ray (Channon Roe )coming back from Deek’s past, which I think is really interesting because I think he represents a part of Deeks’ life that he tries to shy away from — a part of him that taps a little too much into his own father. They had this dysfunctional relationship and maybe the abuse– verbal or emotional — that he got from them.

Is Deeks henpecked?

I think he kind of enjoys it. I don’t think he really falls for Talia, but I think he likes the idea that Kensi is acting like an 8-year-old child and becomes possessive. Whether or not they’re together, he is certainly not available for Talia. I think he finds great joy in the fact that it is so revealing about Kensi’s feelings toward him.

Then, when the two women become buddies and they are talking about him and whispering, I think the tables turn. He’s, “Wait a minute. This is not part of the plan for you guys to become friends. It was more fun when you hated each other.”

But he must be very confident in his masculinity to deal with it, don’t you think?

I think he is very confident in his masculinity. I think a lot of the things he does are just tools that he learned along the way.

What are you allowed to tease about Monday night’s episode in which one of the team has been compromised?

Hetty has been brought to Washington, D.C. for a hearing by the Department of Justice about what her role was in the undercover OP in Afghanistan. In the midst of that, somebody is selling information that may or may not be her own personal information about her whereabouts, because somebody is hunting her down at the same time.

For that, they sent in a great guest star, Aisha Hinds, and she is sent to interview everyone who is involved to find out who is buying this private information of Hetty’s, what they’re planning on doing with it, what is the purpose of finding out where she lives, and what they want of her. So she is interviewing Sam Hanna, which is actually one of my favorite scenes in the episode, where they are driving through the streets of Los Angeles in a shootout while she is interviewing him.

Usually a TV episode has an A storyline and a B storyline. This has four. So it is a lot of high-octane, action sequences with the investigations of Hetty at the Department of Justice. There is a lot going on.

Deeks didn’t reveal anything about Sam’s wife when he was being tortured. Has that changed their relationship? Does Sam have more respect for him?

That is one of my favorite kind of relationships on the show, too, because that is one of the relationships that Deeks really had to work to earn. Sam’s background was as an operator in Special Forces and that is all he knows. I think his definition of value comes from that. Deeks, obviously, has a very different path. He went and got a law degree. He went to LAPD. He was undercover. I think that the question was: When the world falls apart, are you strong enough to hold it back together? I think that moment, obviously, proved that Deeks was capable of it and he earned Sam’s respect. Forever that relationship will be different because of it. As much as they jest, and verbally joust with each other, I think now there is an underlying respect that wasn’t there before.

Why do you think Deeks stays a member of the LAPD instead of becoming an NCIS agent?

That is a question for [executive producer] Shane Brennan, but I have my ideas about it. Deeks goes back to the LAPD this year. I think any time a character puts himself out on a limb and takes himself out of his comfort zone, whether that be from a professional standpoint, an emotional standpoint, or a relationship standpoint, we either have great success or great failure. The catalyst for Deeks leaving to go to LAPD, and if he does end up becoming an NCIS agent, I think that would be the same catalyst for making that move, too. Whatever those reasons are, they are going to be big.

How do you feel about the move to Monday night at 10 p.m.?

We have just stepped into the most competitive hour of scripted drama on television opposite “The Black List” and “Castle.” I am excited to be a part of that. I think it just steps up the pressure on us. “The Black List” is one of those shows that has a lot of action sequences, and James Spader is amazing. But there isn’t a love story. I think “Castle” has done a really good job of building a love story between its two lead characters. We are a combination of those two things, so I think it is going to be really interesting as viewers sort themselves out with DVRs and live viewing as to what they are going to tune into. I think it’s great. We are in the big leagues. Everybody understands what is at stake and we are gunning for it.

Season six of “NCIS: Los Angeles” airs in its new timeslot Monday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

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admin / October 7th, 2014   Articles,Interviews,News,Sneak Peek,Spoilers

NCIS: LA didn’t wait long to dive right into the Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) and Kensi (Daniela Ruah) drama, and in this week’s episode adds more fuel to the will-they-or-won’t-they fire. While Hetty’s (Linda Hunt) getting grilled in Washington, D.C., the Department of Justice comes to LA to question the team in the form of Under the Dome’s Aisha Hinds, who rattles the usually unshakeable Kensi.

“She takes the bait and goes to an emotional place, because they’re essentially drilling her about Jack and about her role in Afghanistan and why specifically she was used,” Olsen tells EW.

After the interview, Kensi and Deeks will share a rare heart to heart—a scene Olsen says is one of his favorite Densi moments ever. “She has this incredible art of self-preservation and the biggest walls because of her failed childhood—same with Deeks, too,” he says. “So when these self-defense mechanisms crumble, which they do in this scene, the result is the most honest and kind of heart-breaking conversation that we have for these characters. It gets to a very real place.”

The duo will get a chance to work through their emotions physically, too. (Get your mind out of the gutter!) They have an intense sparring scene, which they filmed on a day when they didn’t have stunt doubles, so both Olsen and Ruah ended up black and blue. “It ends up with me on the ground and her on top of me landing a series of jabs while I talk smack about her being a pole dancer,” Olsen says.

Emotional and literal fighting aside, will we ever find out what’s in that box? You know, the one that Kensi gave Deeks for his birthday, but when he finally opened it, inside was… another box. Apparently, it will come back into play this season. “The only person that knows what’s in there is [Executive Producer] Shane Brennan, so I am as emotionally invested as everyone else,” Olsen teases, after describing an elaborate late-night plan to break into the studio in ninja gear to try to reveal the secret. “Because I want to know what’s inside the box!”

NCIS: LA airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on CBS.

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admin / October 7th, 2014   Articles,Interviews,News,Sneak Peek,Spoilers

Big changes are coming for Densi on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 6 Episode 2.

Series creator Shane Brennan teased it recently in an exclusive interview, so we thought we should talk to one of the players involved in the Deeks/Kensi relationship.

What did Eric Christian Olsen tell us about what we’re going to see and how audiences will probably look at the relationship differently moving forward? And just how will Deeks fold into Hetty’s interrogation story and, also, the tough, competitive Monday time slot. Let’s see what one of our favorite actors had to say…
Kensi and Deeks Have A Moment – NCIS: Los Angeles

TV Fanatic: I talked to Shane Brennan recently and he made it sound like some big steps are being taken forward for Densi. Would you say that that’s accurate?

Eric Christian Olsen: Yeah, I think that as the pieces fall on the floor and the person that you chose to put them back together with ended up playing the most kind of pivotal role in whatever that recovery is. I know that she’s obviously still suffering from what happened to her in Afghanistan. The body reacts in really bizarre, interesting ways [due to] traumatic experiences. Deeks went through that and I think Kensi is going through her version of that, and it comes in waves, it comes in flashes.

I think we have one of those moments where Kensi’s character in a very typical Kensi way, she tries to fight it. But they end up having this kind of conversation about it and it’s one of my favorite scenes that we’ve done so far about their relationship, about navigating the walls of her defense.

I think one of the most powerful tools in her toolbox is the art of self-preservation and she uses that a lot when things get too painful or too emotional. To deal with kind of thinking step by step is learning how to navigate those with her and there’s a really amazing scene that capitalizes on that.

TVF: How was it to shoot that scene because I’m guessing even as actors they are scenes that you guys have been kind of itching to play. Is that accurate?

ECO: I think you’re always itching to play those scenes, and I think the beauty of a show like ours, though, is unlike, you know, family dramas where this happens every single week, the backbone of the show, is because we’re inherently a show about NCIS and about all these crimes, and about these scenes that you get them once every seven episodes or so, you maybe get these juicy moments that are about characters, and they’re about the emotion of the characters. And so, yeah, we loved getting those, and it’s so fun to do them, because first off Dani is phenomenal. She’s a great actress.

I don’t know how other actors work, but it’s like watching Lebron [James] when he’s having one of those games where he scores 63 points. It just happens. And all of a sudden, you’re just like, “That’s it. That’s the take.” It’s so honest. It’s so heartbreaking, so real. And that’s kind of my way to look at all the scenes, especially dealing with my own acting and Dani does it too, if you never feel as if you’re being dishonest then the moments aren’t honest then you’ve got to go again. These moments in this scene are so heartbreaking and so honest and they’re one of my favorites so far.

TVF: Did you feel challenged differently, with these scenes than maybe what you’ve done in the past?

ECO: Yeah, because the stakes are always higher. Like when you go to these scenes in life, the repercussions if it goes wrong, you know, you’re out there and you’re putting yourself out there. When you do a scene like this, it’s the same place, because you’re asking your actors to go to this place and if any fraction of that is false, I think we as an audience detach from it. That’s the great thing about Dani and this scene is they are nothing but honest and seamless, which is what I like to call that kind of acting.

TVF: Would you predict the audience might look at these characters differently after what we see in this next episode?

ECO: Yeah, I think they look at the relationship a different way. I think we have a general idea, kind of who these characters are. I think that Shane and Scott and Frank and all these guys have done such an amazing job with the slow reveal of these characters. One of the things I love most about them as writers is that it comes in the most surprising ways. We get to these places in the most surprising paths. And with this it’s the same thing.

You know, these two characters especially, makes these turns on a dime. In one minute there’s anger and then there’s comedy and then there’s honesty, and there’s heartbreak. And I think that’s what’s true about any character, and that’s what’s true about life, really, the relationships.

TVF: I know in the episode there’s something going on with Hetty and the case this week. How does your character fold into either one of those story threads?

ECO: I think it’s kind of the best version. My favorite kind of version of storytelling for our show, which is that there’s, instead of an A story and a B story, there’s about four stories. And Hetty has been taken by the DOJ, Department of Justice, and is being kind of grilled for her role in Afghanistan about the white ghost, about Kensi and there’s a cover-up and they want to know where the money came from. So, she’s really being grilled, and in the meantime, someone has bought personal information about Hetty because they’re coming for her.

So, we’re tracking that down, you’re dealing with Kensi and her own kind of struggle with what happened in Afghanistan and her past, and relationship. It’s a really incredibly, layered is the B-minus word, but there is a, there’s a lot of interwoven plot line in this episode. It’s a really good episode.

TVF: From talking to Shane and now listening to you, it sounds like things are definitely more emotional this season than what we’ve seen in the past. Would you say that’s true?

ECO: I think we’re at episode seven now. We’ve done seven, rising tension, emotional, high-action episodes. We haven’t had a dud yet and sometimes an episode doesn’t work out, but so far, everybody’s brought their A game. I think moving to Monday night at 10 o’clock, is kind of a rally cry for everyone. We’re all in. The ante has been upped. The most competitive hour of scripted television in that time slot on TV. You’ve got Blacklist. You’ve got Castle, not to mention Monday night football. So, I think everybody’s stepping up their game.

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 6 airs Mondays at 10/9c on CBS.

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admin / September 29th, 2014   Articles,Interviews,News,Sneak Peek,Spoilers

Callen and Sam are all wet in NCIS: LA Season 6 Episode 1… but not in a good way.

If you remember from NCIS: LA Season 5 Episode 24, the twosome ended the spring in a submarine, with their future looking anything but bright.

The season premiere picks up where we left off and – as series creator/executive producer Shane Brennan told me recently – the episode was quite the undertaking due to the use of a submarine, stunt work and, of course, water to contend with.

But what else is coming in the new season? Brennan had much to tease about Hetty’s big journey in the first few episodes and it seems we’re finally going to see some big emotional moments between Kensi and Deeks that could change their relationship as we know it. (One hint that Brennan offered: this potential romantic relationship won’t be dragged out the way DiNozzo and Ziva were on NCIS)

Let’s dive in, so to speak, to everything Brennan had to say we’ll see in NCIS: Los Angeles Season 6.


TV Fanatic: The premiere is really kick ass, I must say so my first question is what were the biggest challenges in shooting it??

Shane Brennan: Well there were two major challenges and the first was actually the submarine. We did in fact build the tank as well on the Paramount lot so it was a major undertaking. It’s probably one of the biggest set constructions we’ve done on the show and being able to flood it the way we did, all of the stunts that were involved, the water that came through the hull and the pressure, all of that stuff was a pretty big undertaking from everyone involved. And they did an amazing job. I mean, Chris and LL Cool J spent a lot of time wet making this episode…it’s a very big episode.

TVF: Without spoiling what actually happens, are there any repercussions from what happens in the premiere or is the chapter closed?

SB: Well the biggest repercussion to come out of the episode is what happens to Hetty. Hetty does end up in Washington. She cannot get away from that. And the next couple of episodes we find Hetty really under the microscope in Washington, in front of the Senate committee, Senate hearing, and she’s trying to explain to them how she runs her business. If people love Hetty, they are going to love these next two episodes following the premiere.

They are really, really strong episodes. In fact if you look at the season finale for season five, which was continued into the season premiere, the following two episodes from there are also episodes that are to be continued. So we had almost a four episode arc involving the sub and Hetty having to go to Washington and then Hetty’s faced with some pretty intense scrutiny.

TVF: Might that be an opportunity to maybe reveal a little more about her because there’s always so many questions about her past and even her past with Callen and other things?

SB: We reveal a lot about Hetty in these first three episodes. We reveal some pretty fun information, some pretty surprising information and for Hetty it’s not without its heartbreak. We see a return of someone from her past in a fairly major return, so it’s a very Hetty-centric sort of couple episodes after the premiere. The fans are going to love it.
NCIS: Los Angeles Season 6 Premiere Promo

TVF: Tell me where we’re going with Talia being in the mix and this potential triangle with Kensi and Deeks. There are some great scenes in this first episode with them.

SB: Yeah, Mercedes Masohn is just fabulous as Talia. We had such a good time with her last season we said we’re going to bring her back. And the relationship the chemistry between her and Kensi on screen, it’s fabulous. She’s a fun character and we’ll be seeing more of her.

I can tell you that there are some very emotional moments coming up in these first three episodes. There’s one particular moment that is very, very emotional between Kensi and Deeks. I won’t say any more about it other than that but it’s probably one of the most emotional scenes we’ve had on the show actually. That’s something for people to look out for. It is a very powerful moment. It’s kind of heart wrenching.

TVF: Will it change their relationship in a big way?

SB: I won’t answer that. [laughs] It’s an interesting thing because in the moment it may not necessarily, but you have to believe that such a powerful moment, emotional moment between the two of them will have some impact on their future relationship.

TVF: Beale is one of my favorite characters. And I’ve seen Barrett Foa sing. He’s really amazing.

SB: And he can sing. That may happen at some point. I’m not planning it, but at some point we use everyone’s skills.

TVF: What’s Beale’s piece of the new season?

SB: No one else could play Eric Beale but [Barrett]. He’s just fabulous in that role. The relationship that he has had with Nell really caught us all off guard. There’s a great sort of chemistry between the two of them and we’re always looking for opportunities to play that. There are some fun moments for Beale in these first half dozen episodes. He’s actually out in the field at one point so we get him out of the box and we’re always looking for opportunities to explore what Barrett can do because he’s such a fine actor.

TVF: Everything you’ve told me so far, I would say the first half of the season is more of an emotional journey for everybody than it has been in the past. Do you see it that way?

SB: Yeah, we had been slow with the emotional. We have an action sort of fun show but we don’t steer away from the emotional stuff at all. If we feel the characters are going in that direction we’re very happy to explore it. We’re not scared of exploring it. In terms of the Kensi/Deeks relationship we’re not going to do a DiNozzo/Ziva [from NCIS]. We’re not going to do that. We’re going to explore the relationship to its fullest.

I know people can get a little impatient with those things but you can’t rush into any of this sort of stuff because the audience has to see the journey. The have to see the decision making that goes into a relationship and why some things happen and other things don’t. You can’t just leap to it because it doesn’t feel true. And what we’re trying to do with these characters is explore their relationship in a very honest and true way and that can take time because that’s what happens when you have these sorts of relationships take place at work. You have to be very careful with them so there’s a lot more that come in the Kensi/Deeks relationship, not just this season, but next season too.

We also have for Sam a big surprise coming for him later in the season. And we have a pretty big step up in the Callen story later this season as well and we will certainly be playing a little bit more of Callen backstory and some interesting romantic shifts in his life, too.

TVF: I was going to say, are these more personal stories or more professional stories or a little bit of both?

SB: It’s a little bit of both. I mean the fun we have when we work on the show is finding ways to, as I said, explore these characters in what is sort of a fun action escapist type of show and the cast is just so damn good. You can’t resist writing the material because you know they’re going to deliver it. It really is quite extraordinary how they step up to the challenge and how they can sell a big emotional arc in what is a fun action show.

TVF: Let me ask you just about the day shift to Monday nights. How do you feel about that and being away from the Mothership for the first time on the schedule?

SB: Well look, I think NCIS: Los Angeles is so different for NCIS and then when I created the show that was the mandate I gave myself. I didn’t want a clone of NCIS. I wanted it to be different. I think we provide for people who watch NCIS, it’s kind of a flipside of the coin. Let’s go to LA and see what’s happening.

So I think moving to Monday night, that audience we’ve had for almost since the first episode, we’ve had a hardcore group of people who watch the show and they’re going to find the show on Monday night at ten o’clock. I’m not concerned about that at all. In terms of standing alone, we’re following the show called Scorpion, which is a really great, serious show that’s got a lot of fun and action and it’s young and I think they’re great companion pieces together.

NCIS:LA premieres tonight in its new Monday at 10/9c time slot on CBS.

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admin / September 29th, 2014   Articles,Interviews,News,Sneak Peek,Spoilers

The Season 5 finale of CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles — as it was titled — left Sam and Callen in “Deep Trouble,” locked inside a small sub rigged with explosives and headed for a target unknown, and with no way to contact their colleagues. Hetty meanwhile pulled another of her disappearing acts, and Deeks realized that three is most definitely a crowd.

TVLine invited showrunner Shane Brennan to teases the Season 6 premiere — airing Sept. 29, in its new Mondays-at-10/9c time slot – and beyond.

TVLINE | Where do things pick up with the premiere? Are you going to, like, show us that everything’s fine and dandy then do “24 Hours Earlier…,” or are you jumping right in where we left off?
We jump right in. We left Sam and Callen stuck in a drug cartel sub that was…

TVLINE | Filled to the gills with ammonium nitrate.

… and we come back right on top of it. It’s just continuous action. It’s a very, very intense opening episode, and at one point both Callen and Sam realize that in order to stop what they’ve discovered is a terrorist attack, they will have to, in fact, die. So it’s pretty full on.

TVLINE | “Assuming” here that Sam and Callen survive, what is the big question surrounding the premiere?
The big question is: How the hell are they going to get out of this? But there are a number of questions, you know. We left a bit of a mystery at the end of last season as to what was actually going on with these terrorists, including: What’s their target? And it’s a very credible target. When Sam and Callen discover that, they realize that they’ve got to stop this thing from happening, but they’re totally isolated. They’re fighting a losing battle. Meanwhile, back at Ops, the question for Granger and for Hetty is: How do we stop it the Navy from taking unilateral action to stop the terrorists?

TVLINE | Because we all know how that can shake out – “We’ll blow it up even if it means sacrificing two of our guys for the greater good.”
Exactly, and it puts them all under really intense pressure. Kensi and Deeks, meanwhile, are sort of tracking down as much information as they can, while both having their moments with Talia (returning guest star Mercedes Masohn).

TVLINE | Yeah. I’ve heard that as provocative as the finale was, it perhaps doesn’t compare to the events of the premiere. Is that true?
If you like Kensi and Deeks, and you’re intrigued by Talia, you are in for a kind of pretty full-on moment. And what’s great about it is there’s a particular moment between Kensi and TaliaNCIS LA Season 6 Spoilers that is resolved beautifully, in terms of the way the characters resolve their personal relationship and the way the two of them then have fun with Deeks. There’s a lot fun for Kensi/Deeks fans in this one. There really is.

TVLINE | Outside of titillating us a bit, what larger purpose does thrusting Talia into this situation serve for the show?
It makes Kensi, particularly, focus on her relationship with Deeks. Because Talia poses some questions of her own to Kensi that makes Kensi stop and think. She also gives Kensi some, let’s call it, “unasked-for advice.”

TVLINE | Oh, so is Mercedes around for more than the premiere?
She is around for a little bit more. And there’s always a possibility she may well return deeper into the season as well.

TVLINE | The finale left Hetty’s fate in question, and it’s not the first time you’ve ended a season that way. How is it different this time around?
Well, this time we actually take it much further. Spread over the first three episodes of this season, the story takes Hetty to Washington, where she faces some very hostile questioning from a Senate committee trying to get to the truth of what happened in Afghanistan and whether Hetty was acting outside her job description, so to speak. And then we discover there’s more to this, that in fact Hetty is being targeted by someone. And that actually puts her life in danger. And someone very close to her — someone we actually don’t know anything about, really, but someone very close to her — dies as a result of all of this. We actually see Hetty reaching a point where she cannot resolve the situation herself. She can take certain things a long way up the chain of command, but eventually, they hit a wall and she can’t do any more than what she’s done.

TVLINE | Is there any kind of serialized arc going on this season? Any recurring Big Bad?
As we get deeper into the season, there is a recurring character that we’ve met a number of times over the course of this show who’s not so much a bad guy, but he’s not necessarily a good guy, either. He’s in this sort of gray area. And he makes a fairly dramatic return, and that then sparks a longer story arc that involves Callen in a pretty serious way.

TVLINE | But you want to keep that identity under wraps for now?
Yeah. I want to keep that one under wraps until a bit later in the season.

TVLINE | Any dollops of character backstories during the early season?
We have someone who would be familiar with fans of NCIS – Leon Vance (played by Rocky Carroll) — popping into the show in the first three, and that should be a lot of fun. And we’ve got some really interesting stuff coming through with Callen, and relationship with Katie. Also, a mystery woman comes into the show. There are a lot of intrigues this season.

TVLINE | Does that “mystery woman” tie into one of my next questions, about perhaps a romantic interest for Callen?
Romance is definitely on the cards for Callen this season, and from an unexpected quarter.

TVLINE | What about Nell and/or Eric? What’s on tap for either of them?
Well, Nell finds herself in a pretty dangerous situation pretty early on in the season, and it has to do with Hetty. As everyone who’s watched the show knows, Nell and Hetty have a special relationship.

TVLINE | Yeah, they had a couple great moments in the finale.
Well, they’re in for some surprises in the first and second episode. In the third, too, but particularly the second episode. Nell comes to Hetty’s rescue in a very interesting way. As for the relationship between Nell and Eric, we’re still exploring that in small ways, I guess, from episode to episode, but I am looking to do a little more with their relationship later this season. There’s another step or another stage, perhaps, in their relationship that we are really looking forward to exploring, and it should be a lot of fun when we take that step.

TVLINE | With the new time slot, are you looking to make the show maybe a bit noisier, to give people who aren’t familiar with it that extra reason to check it out on Monday nights?

You know, one of the great things about our show — and this goes right across the board, to the writers, the cast, the crew – is that we have always done it at 100 percent. We’ve never backed off on anything, and we’re not backing off now in any way. We are going to try to make it as noisy as we possibly can, but for fans of the show who are concerned that the show may change by going to 10 pm, they’re going to be relieved to know that it will still be the same show that they’ve loved. And anyone new who comes to the show who has the habit of watching CBS at 10 o’clock on a Monday, they’re going to be rewarded with a really intriguing show.

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