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NCIS LA’s Caleb Castille thanks fans as season 12 premiere marks new record: ‘The best!’

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The 12th season of NCIS: LA brought some much-needed action back to Sunday nights on CBS as the likes of Sam Hanna (played by LL Cool J) and G Callen (Chris O’Donnell) returned to screens. Season 12 of the NCIS spin-off was, like so many other TV productions across the globe, delayed by the coronavirus pandemic but the premiere was worth the wait as the team tackled a brand new case. And it’s safe to say the CBS drama was met with a warm reception, raking in impressive viewing figures.

Sam, Callen, Marty Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen), Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah), Devin Roundtree (Caleb Castille) and Nell Jones (Renee Felice Smith) reunited to investigate an odd Russian bomber case.

After a Russian aircraft had dropped off the radar near the LA coast, the team were left piecing together just what had happened.

Had it been shot down by US forces? Was it an accident? Or was the incident all because of an inside job?

NCIS: LA witnessed the latter come to fruition as a result of a defecting soldier taking matters into his own hands and hoping to jump ship.

After rendering his cohorts unconscious, the defecting military man plotted to abandon the craft, only for them to regain consciousness when the NCIS team arrived.

Luckily for Callen and Sam, they managed to arrive on the scene just in time and escape when a shootout with the other soldiers ensued.

The premiere was also packed with other talking points, including Hetty’s (Linda Hunt) rogue mission to take to the front line.

And with so much going on, it’s no surprise millions of viewers tuned in to CBS to watch.

According to Deadline, the premiere brought in an average of 7.04million viewers.

This smashed the average record of season 11, which stood two tenths lower.

And this wasn’t the only record it broke as the season 12 opener also smashed Sunday’s record for a most-watched scripted programme in the USA.

Following the impressive news, NCIS: LA star Castille took to his Instagram page to share the accolade and show his appreciation for the fans who made it possible.

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Posting a screenshot of the article to his Stories, Castille captioned the post: “Greatest crew and fans of all time [trophy emoji].”

NCIS: LA’s fellow spin-off set in New Orleans also premiered its seventh season.

NCIS: NOLA returned with an average of 4.79million viewers, equalling the sixth season’s average.

And while the drama of the NCIS: LA season 12 opener had fans on the edge of their seats, there was also a touching tribute to producer David Bellisario.

As the premiere drew to a close, a title card paying honour to the former producer popped on-screen.

It described him as a friend and colleague known for his “wisdom” and “gentleness”.

Bellisario’s impact was felt among viewers, with one tweeting: “I honestly have no words. This is the best I could do… as I type through tears. Rest In Peace, sir. Thank you for everything. #NCISLA.”

And a second said on Twitter: “My condolences to the cast and crew on the loss of David Bellisario. May He Rest In Eternal Peace.”

NCIS: Los Angeles season 12 continues Sundays on CBS.

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