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LL Cool J's next project after NCIS: Hawai'i cancellation revealed

The rapper joined season three as a recurring guest star

Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
May 8, 2024
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The NCIS: Hawai'i season three finale aired on Monday night, marking the last time fans will be seeing LL Cool J's Special Agent Sam Hanna pop up in the hit spin-off drama after it was cancelled by CBS. 

The rapper joined the Hawai'i-set show as a recurring guest star after NCIS: Los Angeles was axed last year. 

LL played the iconic role since 2009, and while he won't be reprising it anytime soon, fans can look forward to seeing the star back on their screens in his latest project. 

LL Cool J as Sam Hanna and Vanessa Lachey as Jane Tennant in NCIS: Hawai'i © Karen Neal/CBS
LL Cool J joined NCIS: Hawai'i as a recurring guest star for season three

The 56-year-old has been announced as one of the big names taking to the stage for Today's 2024 Citi Concert Series, which will see a host of big music stars perform at the morning show's iconic Rockefeller Plaza this summer. 

The 13-date lineup kicks off on May 24, featuring alt-rock trio Wallows, and ends on September 27 with Chris Stapleton. Meghan Trainor, Chance the Rapper, and Bleachers will also hit the stage this summer. The date of LL Cool J's performance has yet to be announced. 

LL Cool J wearing beanie and sunglasses © Getty
The actor will perform in Today's Citi Concert Series

The news of NCIS: Hawai'i's cancellation was announced in April and came after CBS renewed both NCIS and its new Australia-set spin-off NCIS: Sydney for their respective 22nd and second seasons. 

Addressing the decision, CBS Entertainment president Amy Reisenbach said: "It is incumbent on us to always keep the schedule fresh, keep momentum going. We had to make some really tough choices this year. 

"Everything came back [from the Hollywood strikes] really strong, but ultimately we have to look at the cohesiveness of the schedule flow. We have to evaluate the financials and the performance overall, and we make tough decisions," she told Variety.

OAHU - MARCH 4: "License to Thrill"  After a brazen daytime robbery of a Navy Federal Credit Union, the NCIS team tracks down a group of adrenaline-seeking thieves. Meanwhile, Tennant grows suspicious of Sam Hanna's reasons for being in Hawai'i, on the CBS Original series NCIS: HAWAI'I, Monday, Feb. 26  on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the episode airs). Pictured: Vanessa Lachey as Jane Tennant. (Photo by Karen Neal/CBS via Getty Images)© Getty Images
Vanessa Lachey starred as Jane Tennant in NCIS: Hawai'i

The announcement will no doubt come as a blow for LL Cool J, who had quickly become a beloved member of the NCIS: Hawai'i cast. 

While chatting with HELLO! in an exclusive interview earlier this year, Jason Antoon and Seana Kofoed, who play Ernie Malik and Commander Carla Chase respectively, revealed that LL was keen to join the show after visiting Hawai'i following 2023's crossover event. 

"LL loves being here," said Jason. "When he guest-starred in the crossovers when Chris O'Donnell and Wilmer Valderrama came, LL really loved the vibe

Jason Antoon and Seana Kofoed© @jasonantoon/Instagram
Jason Antoon and Seana Kofoed praised LL Cool J whilst chatting with HELLO!

"He talks about loving what he saw with the cast and the island and he really loved being part of that. I think that's why it came to be that he's on our show now."

On welcoming LL to the show, Jason said: "He's cool. He's a different vibe." The actor added: "It's like throwing a wrench into something in a way that's only good for our show and as a group of people outside of being actors."

Meanwhile, Seana praised LL's "really fun energy", hailing the actor as a "talented guy". 

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