NCIS: Los Angeles re-casts LL Cool J’s on-screen daughter in season 12 shake up

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The CBS action procedural will have to undergo a number of changes in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Following significant delays, NCIS and its Los Angeles-based companion series are finally returning this month, and will feature a brand new cast member.

NCIS: Los Angeles season 12 will finally introduce fans to the teenage daughter of Senior Special Agent Sam Hanna (played by LL Cool J). 

Reported by TV Line, Kamran Hanna will be portrayed by Kayla Smith, the daughter of former NBA player Kenny ‘The Jet’ Smith.

Production on CBS’ flagship NCIS series and its two spin-offs was delayed back in March, but the cast and crew returned to set in September to continue the franchise.

Thanks to extensive health and safety measures, all three series will be back on screens this November.

So far, it is unknown when fans will get to meet Kamran, as Hanna, Callen (Chris O’Donnell) and the team may still have to take down new adversary, Argento (Juan Reidinger). 

The role of Kamran was previously featured in a minor role, played by Layla Crawford when the character was much younger. 

Now, actress and singer Kayla Smith will provide some compelling family drama for Sam Hanna in the new series.

As well as reaching over 35 million streams for her music, the young star is best known for her roles on the Oprah Winfrey Network series Ambitions, as well as Black Lightning and All American.

After appearing in just four episodes of the twelve season NCIS spin-off, Kamran Hanna is confirmed to have a much more substantial presence in the upcoming instalments.

News of Smith’s casting was accompanied by a statement from showrunner R. Scott Gemmill, teasing her character’s dynamic with Sam Hanna in season 12. 

He revealed: “We never really spent much time with his daughter, who is getting to a point where maybe she doesn’t share in the plan her father has thought she was going to take. So that creates some conflict.

“She’s very socially active in terms of what’s going on in the world, and clashes with her father over some of that.”

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“He feels that her involvement with things like protests could theoretically jeopardize her chance of getting into Annapolis.”

Gemmil’s take on Kamran could prove very prescient in light of similar comments made by series co-lead LL Cool J.

Following the surge of Black Lives Matter protests earlier this year, the actor and rapper confessed his wish for the series to reassess its representation of law enforcement going ahead.

An extended part for Hanna’s rarely-seen daughter could finally bring those timely political themes to the forefront in NCIS: LA season 12.

Meanwhile, the series has also revealed its intent to incorporate the real life coronavirus pandemic into its upcoming storylines.

The news was confirmed by NCIS: New Orleans star CCH Pounder, as well as new pics of Scott Bakula’s character Dwayne ‘Cassius’ Pride masking up during a family moment.

As the real world and the fictional universe of NCIS start to collide even more this year, November is shaping up to be an interesting month for TV favourites.

NCIS: Los Angeles returns with season 12 on Sunday, November 8 on CBS.

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