NCIS: LA and NCIS: Hawaii three-part crossover episode
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Surprise – Sam Hanna’s coming back! While we all thought that we saw the last of LL Cool J in the NCIS franchise after the NCIS: Los Angeles series finale, we were (thankfully) wrong. Is LL Cool J going to NCIS: Hawai’i? Here’s what the actor’s involvement will look like in Season 3.

NCIS: Los Angeles officially ended with an emotional Season 14 finale on May 21, 2023. The show was the initial spin-off of NCIS and followed the Office of Special Projects (OSP) in Los Angeles which specialized in undercover assignments and apprehending dangerous criminals. Starring LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell, the show premiered in September 2009 and aired for 14 years. NCIS: LA was the fifth longest-running CBS primetime scripted series but was cancelled by CBS in 2023 (likely due to the hefty costs associated with making the show).

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight in February 2023, LL Cool J said that it wasn’t hard to wrap up the show after more than a decade. “Well, I gotta tell you it’s not hard at all,” he stated. “CBS did an amazing thing with us; it’s been an amazing run. We talking about 14 years. We not talking about two-and-a-half, three years and ‘Oh it was fun while it lasted.’ This was 14 years.”

The former NCIS: LA star continued: “So, I think that the show has done tremendous numbers. I mean, our last [NCIS] crossover did tremendous numbers.” On January 9, 2023, the NCIS franchise aired a three-show crossover with NCIS, NCIS: LA and NCIS: Hawai’i. “I couldn’t complain, I have nothing. All I could say is, ‘Wow, what a ride,’ you know what I’m saying?”

LL Cool J was also asked about an invitation from Lachey to join her spin-off, NCIS: Hawai’i. “I’ll definitely keep that invitation in mind, Vanessa, and you never know. We’ll see what happens. Maybe I’ll come play a little bit, we’ll see,” he teased. “Anything is possible.”

Is LL Cool J going to NCIS: Hawai’i? 

LL Cool J and Wilmer Valderrama on NCIS crossover

Is LL Cool J going to NCIS: Hawai’i? The answer is yes! The 55-year-old veteran actor and rapper revealed in a tweet that he will be in the Season 2 finale of Hawai’i and will be a recurring guest star in the show’s third season. “Couldn’t keep Sam Hanna off the case for too long!! Starting tonight, Sam Hanna will join forces with the @NCISHawaiiCBS team as a recurring guest star in the upcoming third season,” he wrote in the May 2023 post, which was accompanied by a photo of him and Vanessa Lachey, who stars in Hawai’i.

Lachey also shared a photo with LL Cool J to celebrate the news. “Surprise! Our ohana is growing We’re so excited to have @llcoolj join #NCISHawaii!” On NCIS: Hawai’i, Lachey plays Jane Tennent, the special agent in charge of her team at the Naval Criminal Investigate Service in Hawai’i, who are responsible for investigating incidents relating to military and national security.

“One of the most beautiful things about working on NCIS: Hawai’i is the show’s ability to bring the franchise together. We have had so much fun spreading the aloha to NCIS and NCIS: LA with the triple crossover,” Lachey said in a statement obtained by our sister site, Variety. “Now, we have the amazing opportunity to bring Sam Hanna to Hawai’i to help the island solve some cases and maybe have a few laughs in the process. Welcome to the ohana, Todd! It’s going to be a fun ride!”


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NCIS: Hawai’i’s executive producers Matt Bosack, Jan Nash and Christopher Silber also released a statement about LL Cool J’s future involvement in the NCIS spin-off. “All of us at NCIS: Hawai’i have been huge fans of LL Cool J for years and couldn’t be more thrilled or honored to be adding his spectacular talent to our ohana for Season 3,” their statement read.

NCIS: Hawaiʻi is the fourth spin-off in the NCIS universe. The show premiered in 2021 and just concluded its second season. In February 2023, CBS announced that NCIS: Hawaiʻi was renewed for a third season for 2023-2024, according to our sister publication, Deadline. Lachey is the first female and Asian American to lead an NCIS franchise. In addition to Lachey and Anderson, the show also stars Alex Tarrant, Yasmine Al-Bustami, Noah Mills and Jason Antoon.

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