Sunday, May 19, 2024

NCIS Los Angeles: Gerald McRaney’s Promotion Suggests Linda Hunt May Be Stepping Down or Cutting Back Next Season


“NCIS Los Angeles” is going through some changes.

Gerald McRaney, TV veteran and Emmy winner, was just promoted from recurring to regular for next season. McRay, who’s 73, plays retired Adm. Hollis Kilbride, who advises and counsels the Los Angeles division of the NCIS Special Projects unit during their undercover operations.

But why need McRaney full time when Linda Hunt, who’s been playing Hetty since 2009, runs that NCIS? Hetty is beloved, and the audience tunes in for her.

But Hunt, who’s 76, didn’t really participate this season because of COVID. She appeared just in the last episode, fully vaccinated, and sparkling as usual. But at 76, the much awarded actress has had a phenomenal career and may not want to have a grueling schedule.

McRaney’s promotion suggests that he will be running NCIS Los Angeles in the next season, with Hetty semi-retired. Hunt could make occasional appearances. McRaney certainly isn’t replacing the two younger actors who just got written out of the show. He and Hunt would be the same demographic.

Linda Hunt should get a special Emmy or something this fall. She was Oscar nominated years ago for “The Year of Living Dangerously.” She’s a gem in Hollywood.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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