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Here's When NCIS: Los Angeles Will Start Filming Season 12

And everything else we know is in store for Callen, Sam, and the rest of the gang

Malcolm Venable

Season 11 of NCIS: Los Angeles came to an abrupt end as California began COVID-19 lockdown. Although it ended with Callen (Chris O'Donnell) and Sam (LL Cool J) in a hair-raising spectacle in Afghanistan, what viewers saw was never supposed to be the finale. Of course, the cast and crew have been keen to jump back in the saddle as soon as restrictions lift, and after a long wait, it seems as though an answer has finally come. Check out this guide to find out when NCIS: Los Angeles plans to get back to giving us answers, and to see what executive producer Frank Military told TV Guide about what to expect. (Note: this interview took place in April, before the death of George Floyd prompted global protests and police shows faced renewed scrutiny or, like Cops, cancellation.)

Production should resume in early September
Deadline reports that NCIS: Los Angeles has a tentative date of Sept. 3 to resume production. However, this timeframe may be subject to change. If all goes according to plan, production on the series -- filmed mostly in Los Angeles, where COVID-19 cases continue to climb as of mid-August -- might be completed in time to make CBS' ambitious fall schedule.

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Callen is opening up more...but that doesn't mean an easy road for him and Anna
"Callen has really evolved," Military told TV Guide in an interview. "This is the most evolved he's been in 11 years." As someone who didn't know his family and was forced to move around a lot as a kid, he didn't have a strong sense of feeling rooted growing up, which made it difficult for him to connect emotionally. That's changed, and will keep becoming a space of growth for him. "He's opening up," Military said -- and he's so confident in his feelings that Sam even feels it's ok to tease him about this new Callen. As for actually moving in together though, Military said, "We'll have to see what happens, because that will be in jeopardy at some point."

NCIS: Los Angeles

NCIS: Los Angeles

Cliff Lipson

Is Nell really going to be leaving?
Nell (Renee Felice Smith) has been less than subtle about her desire for change and overall ambivalent feelings about her career at this point; fans, rightfully, are theorizing her time on screen might be up. Frank Military played coy when pressed for a response, only saying that a previously planned cliffhanger ties into Eric Beale's (Barrett Foa) storyline about his absence. "I think at this point anything is possible," he said.

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We'll see more of Hetty this season but details of her absence might remain a mystery
Linda Hunt who plays the mysterious operations manager, was unfortunately sidelined last season after recovering from a car accident, and while she made a return in Season 11, fans have been wondering what Hetty's future holds. Well, good news: she won't be as hard to find going forward.

"I think we'll probably see more of her than we have this season. She is very much the heart and soul," of NCIS: Los Angeles he said. As for an explanation about where Hetty was, that might be a little more ambiguous. "Hetty is a very mysterious character. Sometimes we find out what she's been doing -- sometimes we don't. Fans have gotten used to the idea that she's not always there; people have gotten used to the idea that Hetty could be doing lots of interesting and complex stuff all over the world."

It sounds like the team may have a new member in Roundtree
FBI agent Roundtree (Caleb Castille) jumped into the fray feet first in the last episode, anticipating a day of paperwork but ending up in Afghanistan. At the end of the episode, he was offered a chance to stay a while longer with the NCIS: Los Angeles team but demurred, failing to give a definitive answer. Military hinted he may have already made up his mind. "It's something everybody is excited about. It's exciting to be injecting new blood into the show. I'm hoping he says yes."

LL Cool J, NCIS: Los Angeles

LL Cool J, NCIS: Los Angeles

Bill Inoshita, CBS

NCIS: Los Angeles concluded Season 11 Sunday, April 26. Previous episodes are streaming on CBS All Access.