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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Linda Hunt is one of the reasons I watch NCIS:LA. When I saw her in The Unit a while ago I remembered her from Dune. Her role in this show adds something that you can not exactly be replaced... it was like replacing shepard with vance.. the feeling of the show changed.

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Has Shane completely lost his mind replacing Hetty....when you have great character, why cut them out. If Hetty OR LL Cool J leave, my watching is HISTORY.

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Okay why mess with a show that is good only because Linda Hunt is part of the show. You change it up you change the show and it's good just the way it is. I might have to stop watching I love Linda on the show.

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I love Linda Hunt's Hetty! She is the reason I watched the show a second time and continue to be hooked. The interplay and the relationships of all the cast now is perfect. If it isn't broke, don't fix it and this show isn't broke. Linda brings a richness to the show and I would be devastated if she were replaced!

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If Linda is gone then so are we....it makes no sense to replace the heart of the show...no heart no show....

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DO NOT REPLACE HETTY. THE CHRISMA BETWEEN HER AND THE THE OTHER ACTORS IS WHAT MAKES THE SHOW SO SUCCESSFUL. DO NOT RUIN A GOOD SHOW.

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LINDA HUNT IS THE HEART OF THIS SHOW------------------------

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Replacing Linda Hunt is madness, she's the heart of this show and replacing her would be insane

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We very much enjoy NCIS Los Angeles, after having our doubts upon viewing the pilot, as we didn't want NCIS competition. Linda Hunt is the perfect character to make this cast click together in being successful. I can't beleive you're thinking of not having her as part of next seasons team, and every season thereafter. When you accomplish great ratings for a secondary series backing up your already great show NCIS, why would you even consider changing the cast. The group as they are is the reason this series is great. Drop Linda, and you'll definitely lose this viewer, as I'm so tired of shows shooting themselves in the foot with such silliness.

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Linda Hunt as Hetty is an intregral part of the show. Her replacement doesn't look to have enough experience to lead the team. If she is gone, so am I.