Esai Morales Joining ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ As The Recurring Deputy Director

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NCIS: Los Angeles is one of CBS’ longest-running and most-beloved television shows. As the series heads into Season 10, it is adding a new recurring character to assist the members of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service team.

The drama starring LL Cool J, Chris O’Donnell, Linda Hunt, Daniela Ruah, Eric Christian Olsen, Barrett Foa, Renee Felice Smith, and Nia Long is adding actor Esai Morales to the cast.

According to Deadline, 55-year-old Morales — known for his recent roles on TV’s How to Get Away with Murder and Chicago P.D. — will play “smart, authoritative, polished, and trustworthy” Deputy Director Gaines, who will make his debut on the hit franchise in a late October episode.

“Gaines accompanies a special prosecutor from the Department of Defense who is investigating the NCIS office and its employees,” the website stated. “He is there to protect his people and advise them on how to navigate the prosecutor’s interviews.”

“We are thrilled that the talented Esai Morales has signed on to this recurring role,” said R. Scott Gemmill, the show’s executive producer.

“Following the rescue mission in Mexico from last season’s finale, and this season’s premiere, our NCIS: Los Angeles team will face challenging repercussions, but they will have a new ally in the Deputy Director.”

The fate of many pivotal characters’ lives were left up in the air during May’s season-ending cliffhanger. While it is pretty safe to say that viewers’ longtime favorites will be returning, it doesn’t seem likely that fans will be seeing more of actress Andrea Bordeaux, who joined the show for Season 9 (along with Nia Long), portraying Special Agent Harley Hidoko.

On May 20, the actress posted a long message on Instagram thanking everyone involved with the program — from the cast and directors to producers and fans —which seemed like she was saying goodbye.

“I just wanted to take a moment to say how grateful, humbled, and honored I’ve been to be a part of this show,” she wrote.

Fans of the series are still mourning the loss of Assistant Director Owen Granger, who was played by the late Miguel Ferrer. In real life, the actor died of throat cancer during Season 8 of the show. Producers then had his character also die since he was irreplaceable.

Season 10 of NCIS: Los Angeles premieres on Sunday, September 30, at 9:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. Central on CBS. The following week, the series will move to its regular time slot of 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. Central.