Inside 'NCIS: Los Angeles' - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Inside 'NCIS: Los Angeles'

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(CBS 8) - From its inception in September 2009, San Diego has been a strong market for the naval criminal investigation drama "NCIS: Los Angeles". The CBS primetime Tuesday night lineup is hot, thanks to a couple of cool customers who lend their substantial star power to the show.

The scene: a dark, dusty boathouse with a suspected terrorist under investigation. Witness the fury of Sam Hanna, aka LL Cool J. He's an intimidating presence on and off the set. LL throws himself into his work.

"It's very physical, and I prefer to do a lot of my own stunts. Even scenes like that, I prefer to do them myself," he said. "I feel like when people are watching the show, they need to know that I'm really vested and I'm really committed, making this fun for everybody to watch. I don't want to like, you cut from the guy in the wig to me, back to the guy in the wig."

"NCIS: Los Angeles" is the new procedural series on the block, premiering in September 2009, and it has already found a solid, faithful audience. Actor Chris O'Donnell, who portrays G. Callen, knows why.

"On paper it looks pretty simple. It's a spinoff of "NCIS". You have the procedural element, the comedic element, but really it's all in the execution and having the chemistry among the actors. LL Cool J and I fortunately have great chemistry, as well as we have with the rest of the cast. But that's something going into a show you never know, if that's going to come off," O'Donnell said.

LL Cool J is a mountain of a man with a gentle heart.

"I'm very grateful and I'm very humbled and by no means do I think because this show has had one successful season, or almost one successful season, we're not finished filming yet. That's the coronation. I know that it's an ongoing process, an ongoing journey. I just hope that we can continue to just entertain the people," he said.

Landing a lead role in "NCIS: Los Angeles" is just the latest in a string of successes for LL Cool J. He's a world-renowned rapper with 10 platinum-plus albums. He's designed a line of affordable clothing, and he's founded a web site offering digital artists around the world a chance to be heard.

"You know what, I am very blessed, lucky. I have a great team of people around me who have helped me make some critical decisions," he said.

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