‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Just Celebrated a Major Milestone the Cast is Grateful For

It seems like just a few months ago, Jethro Gibbs boarded a plane and flew to Los Angeles to work with a west coast NCIS team. It was a move that mirrored what Donald P. Bellisario did when he wrote Gibbs into a JAG script.

Just like the JAG episode laid the groundwork for Gibbs and the original NCIS team, Gibbs’s flight to L.A. was the launching point of another show. NCIS Los Angeles.

While it might seem like that fateful trip to the West Coast took place just a short while ago in reality, it took place an amazing eleven seasons ago. Everyone involved with the show is happily preparing for a milestone that few network television programs ever reach.

Is 250 episodes an important milestone?

NCIS Los Angeles cast
NCIS: Lost Angeles cast | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

In the past reaching a milestone episode, particularly the 100th episode was extremely important. Having 100 episodes greatly increased the show’s value as it sought syndication. Having 100 episodes made the show more valuable to the networks that wanted to show reruns, which meant that everyone involved in the first 100 episodes enjoyed higher residual checks. 

These days, that’s not quite as important as it once was. A good show with a solid fan base will attract strong syndication offers even if it hasn’t reached 100 episodes. That doesn’t mean milestone episodes aren’t still important.

Approaching a milestone episode provides the cast with a unique opportunity to do some mid-season promotional tours that can attract higher ratings, particularly as fans who have stopped watching the show, will often tune back into see what happens.

Many shows use the 100th and following milestones to do something special, they’ll bring back a character that has left a show, finally allow characters that have been doing the will-they-won’t-they dance to connect, or wrap up a series arc that has been going on for multiple seasons.

It’s also an opportunity for the cast to party, which they’ll often post pictures off on their social media channels which provides additional free publicity and excitement.

What NCIS Los Angeles did on their 250-milestone episode

One of the first things that became obvious as NCIS Los Angeles crept up on their 250 episodes was that the cast planned to celebrate it with a big party. The cast and crew attended. They enjoyed a special cake. They shared lots of photos of the event on the official social media sites. This was a great way to create buzz and to show how much fun everyone has while the cameras aren’t rolling

Parade reported that LL Cool J, who plays Special Agent Sam Hanna, used the opportunity to express his appreciation to everyone involved with the show.

“This is a testament to all of you guys and your hard work and the commitment to the work you put in every day. There are so many unsung heroes. It is not just about the people in front of the camera, it is about the people behind the camera that make this possible. I just want to thank the cast and crew and the whole entire team, everybody here. I am happy to be a part of this and appreciative and grateful. It is amazing, so congratulations.”

As far as the episode itself, the show decided that the milestone was the perfect opportunity to let beloved character, Hetty shine. The bulk of the episode centered around her and fans couldn’t have been happier. The way that the episode was written meant that it drew all the characters together and the case struck an important chord with each character.

Not only was it a good milestone episode, but it also did a wonderful job of setting up storylines the show will likely explore after the mid-season break.

When the ratings were calculated, it turned out that more than 6.2 million viewers sat down to watch the 250th episode of NCIS Los Angeles.