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 is the best character on the show, replacing her with another Hollwood Barbie will cause the show to lose viewers, including myself.

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Hetty gone? Why bother to watch a show that simply becomes another factory product

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What kind of car was Mr. Callen driving (briefly) in yesterday's episode? (5-31-11)

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I DON'T BELIEVE IT!!! I'd like to type that several thousand times but out of respect for the reader I won't. How on earth can they replace Linda Hunt? Her gravitas, her confidence, & her mysterious background as an "old world" spy, are essential to the stature and believability of the show NCIS: Los Angeles. A young, pretty face (also the same age as the ops), is not BELIEVABLE as the head admin of this show. She can contribute nothing no matter whether she is a competent or superior actor. Hetty is NCIS:LA's "M" from the James Bond mythology. Hetty's years of experience can not be replaced by this new admin director, therefore, "that dog won't hunt." Shane Brennan is an idiot and should study Bellisario's story and character development closely. In fact, I think he should be res-schooled. He stated "...that he wanted there to be pairs..." because the conflict it promotes is interesting. Give it a break! This isn't dancing for the stars or a ballroom dancing competition or tennis. :) Please hire a new casting director. Here are the idiotic casting decisions. Nellie (milquetoast and uninteresting) is to bounce off Eric? How? Their characters, personas and demeanors are identical i.e., no conflict. These idiotic pairings leave Nate w/o a foothold. He is unbelievable as the psychiatrist to undercover agents anyway. His nervousness and unconvincing demeanor, turned me off long ago, although, I bear him no ill-will. I just wouldn't (and haven't) missed him. Deeks is good. No complaints about him. I'm not watching the show for Nate and Nellie disgusts me. She's such a needless addition to NCIS:LA. Since the most interesting part of the show were the interactions of the 4 undercover operators and Hetty, I won't be watching the show anymore. An interesting spy game is now just another workplace.

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Like many of the people that have commented, I too started watching NCIS LA because of Linda Hunt.
I first saw her (more likely, remember seeing her) in SILVERADO and have had a great respect for her since. Watching her in NCIS LA is fantastic and she has moulded the team into a family.
I thought NCIS messed up when they introduced a female director into the series someone with a (spurious) connection to Gibbs. It was totally awful and the episodes I did watch was because I fast forwarded her when she was on. But! Thank god for Rocky Carroll and I was able to watch NCIS again.
Don't let this happen to NCIS LA.!!!! So, she maybe a hot chick, well put her in Desperate Housewives. Either keep Linda Hunt in the show...or, get a guy that Callen can really "mix it up with" in an insubordinate kind of way. As is his want.
IF IT AIN'T BROKE DON'T FIX IT.

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Please keep Hetty she is a great part of the show. It is a good programme but it want be the same without her. Why does she have to leave? Why do you have to change the people about.

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Where else can you get an Oscar winner on a weekly series. Come on guys Linda Hunt is the real deal. She brings sophistication and class to a cop show. Pulling her would be like pulling Gibbs, the end of the show. Pay her whatever she wants. You can afforgd it you group greedy bastards!!!!

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Linda Hunt should go, It would give me a reason to get rid of the satellite dish. If she is gone in season 3, I will save 80 bucks a month, cause it is the only show I DVR. Linda Hunt is only of the only reasons that I watch the show. Later

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Do not replace Linda Hunt, She is such a good actor and I just love her to death!!! Kay MacIntosh, Mount Holly, NC

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Please do not lose Linda Hunt!!!! She makes the show, period. I shan't watch the show without her.