Claire Forlani Cast on NCIS: Los Angeles; Will She Replace Linda Hunt Next Season?

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Veteran actress Claire Forlani has been cast on NCIS: Los Angeles in the role of operations manager for the Office of Special Projects, according to TV Line and others.

The big news here is that the role is currently occupied by Linda Hunt as diminutive taskmaster Hetty Lange, making for an intriguing and surprising plot development.

Is creator Shane Brennan planning a power struggle for the office's top spot?

Forlani joins the CBS procedural in the recurring role - her character's name is Lauren Hunter - in the penultimate episode of the spring, Tuesday, May 10.

  • Claire Forlani Photo
  • Linda Hunt as Hetty Lange

Is Hetty going to be replaced on NCIS: Los Angeles?

Claire Forlani's character, according to reports, is described as “attractive, authoritative, cool and calculating” and in possession of “a dangerous quality that suggests she is much more than your run-of-the mill operations manager.”

That just sounds foreboding, doesn't it?

Both Forlani’s character and Hunt’s Hetty will figure into the second season finale airing May 17, raising the question of who will run the team come September.

We've seen several shakeups at the top on NCIS over the years, so it wouldn't exactly be unprecedented for LA's producers replace pint-sized powerhouse Hetty.

But will they? Should they? And if so, how?

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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Hetty makes the show. She, her mystery, her experience, her fine ability as an actress, and the respect the others have for her, all make the show. Replacing her with one of the "dime a dozen "beauties!?" found anywhere will turn alot of your audience off. If you are that lame, I hope she gets another good show for us to watch. We need her.

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You have got to be kidding! Hetty is the glue that holds the team together!! She's the leader! Sorry, but Hunter just doesn't cut it in that role. If you like her so much start a third NCSI and let her lead it but leave Hetty where she is.

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No Hetty....no watch.....just changed the channel to Dancing With the Stars....

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Why can't producers/directors leave WELL ENOUGH alone!!!!!!! I watched the 1st episode for the season and that thing that was on is no match for Hetty's roll. Get real! Leave it the H--- Alone and put Hetty BACK!!!!!!

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DO NOT GET RID OF HETTY LANGE!!! She adds such an amazing mysterious element to the show; also, she adds the humor. I love this character and would be greatly upset to see her go!!!!!

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Please, please do not get rid of Hetty. Where else can I watch a show where the main characters name is "Henrietta", I have always loved Linda Hunt. And leave Vance alone also, he is one really, really "cool" dude! RIP Franks we will miss you...

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If you people let Linda Hunt go you people are as dumb as a bucket of rocks. You better listen or you will lose all your viewers and I will be the first to leave.

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Just leave Linda Hunt on this show she terrific on it and really makes to show what it is I am so tired of you changing good shows

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I was going to stop watching NCIS until they replaced the Vance character. Now, he's also on NCIS LA. If Linda Hunt is replaced, it's a no brainer. I won't watch either.

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FINALLY! My comments got posted!