LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell on NCIS: Los Angeles
Credit: Getty Images

As we approach the final episode of NCIS: Los Angeles on May 21, 2023, we all want to know: Why is NCIS: Los Angeles cancelled after 14 seasons? Keep reading to find out – plus see what the lead actors had to say about the series’ cancellation.

NCIS: Los Angeles, the initial spin-off of NCIS, is the CBS drama that follows the Office of Special Projects (OSP), a division of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service based in Los Angeles. The team specializes in undercover assignments and apprehending dangerous criminals. Created by Shane Brennan and produced by CBS Studios, the series premiered in September 2009 and is currently wrapping up its 14th season, which will unfortunately be its last.

Starring LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell, NCIS: LA is the fifth longest-running CBS primetime scripted series behind Gunsmoke, Lassie, CSI and Criminal Minds. Both of the leads, LL Cool J and O’Donnell, stayed on the show for the series’ entire 14-year run (which is a rarity when it comes to primetime shows). According to Deadline, the show was averaging 6.06 million viewers and is “the top scripted program in its Sunday 10 PM slot.” Additionally, the show’s received more than 591 million potential social media impressions and viewers have watched 4.2 billion minutes (through Jan. 15) of Season 14.

CBS announced in March 2023 that the NCIS: Los Angeles finale will be presented in two parts. The first installment, “New Beginnings,” aired on Sunday, May 14, 2023, on CBS (and is currently available on-demand on Paramount Plus). The second half, “New Beginnings, Part Two,” will debut on Sunday, May 21, 2023, on CBS and Paramount Plus. Following the last episode, Kevin Frazier will host A Salute To NCIS: Los Angeles, An Entertainment Tonight Special on both CBS and Paramount Plus.

So, why was NCIS: Los Angeles cancelled when it has such high viewership numbers for the current season? We’ve got the answer below.

Why is NCIS: Los Angeles cancelled?

Cast of NCIS: Los Angeles at the wrap party

Why is NCIS: Los Angeles cancelled? The long-running series was likely cancelled because of the hefty price tag associated with making the show. In the current climate, networks are looking to cut costs wherever possible. Despite the big cost, our sister site Deadline reported that the cancellation news came as a surprise for those involved with the show. It was announced in January 2023 that Season 14 would be the last for NCIS: LA. The cancellation news came after NCIS: LA received strong ratings for the three-way crossover with the flagship series, NCIS, and the most-recent spinoff, NCIS: Hawaii.


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After the cancellation news broke, lead LL Cool J went on Instagram to post a tribute to the show after the successful NCIS Crossover event. “This NCIS Crossover was a huge success!! Thank you to all our millions of fans around the world!! Some of our best ratings in years,” he wrote in the caption. “After 14 seasons, this is the perfect time to end @ncisla on top of our game!!! I look forward to continuing my fruitful partnership with @cbstv.”

LL Cool J’s costar, Chris O’Donnell, also thanked the fans for the 14-year ride on NCIS: LA. “What an amazing 14 year ride with my @ncisla family. Just want to take a moment to say thank you to all of our amazing fans that tuned in every week. On to the next adventure!” he wrote in the caption of a photo showing him and LL Cool J on set.


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Deadline reported that the timing of the decision to cancel the show was so showrunner R. Scott Gemmill and his team could craft a series finale. “NCIS: Los Angeles has been a stalwart of our lineup with characters who were a joy to watch,” said Amy Reisenbach, president of CBS Entertainment, in a statement. “From day one, the cast, producers and crew were amazing network/studio partners, and their teamwork, talent and spirit vividly came through on the screen. We are so grateful for the collaboration and remarkable run of these treasured members of our CBS family, and plan to give them the big sendoff they and their fans deserve.”

Gemmill also thanked the network and the studio for their partnership in creating NCIS: Los Angeles. “I want to thank both the network and studio for their partnership and support over the years; Shane Brennan for giving us such a great playground; and my partners John P. Kousakis, Frank Military, Kyle Harimoto and Andrew Bartels for their tireless efforts and collaboration episode after episode,” Gemmill said.

The showrunner continued: “Our crew has grown to be a true family, and their hard work and dedication has been fundamental to our success year after year. My deepest gratitude to the cast members, who have brought our characters to life with their impassioned performances – thank you for your talent, professionalism and continuous enthusiasm. And to our loyal viewers who loved our characters and followed their journeys, thank you. We look forward to delivering an end to the series that is both satisfying and does justice to these beloved characters.”

Want to learn more about NCIS cast salaries? Check out the gallery below to see how much each star makes per episode of NCIS.