Linda Hunt a lock for 'NCIS: LA'

Joins series after departure of Loiuse Lombard

Oscar winner Linda Hunt has joined CBS' new drama series "NCIS: LA" as a regular.

She will fill the void left by the departure of Loiuse Lombard, who co-starred in the pilot of the procedural toplined by LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell, which is set at the Office of Special Projects, a division of NCIS that is charged with apprehending dangerous and elusive criminals that pose a threat to the nation's security.

But the switch is not a direct recasting as Hunt will play a new character. Her character will oversee the "backroom" support staff tasked with providing everything from micro surveillance cameras to cars for Callen (O'Donnell) and his team. Efficient, hard-nosed and resourceful after years of being a Miss Fix-it in the film industry, she seems tough but genuinely cares about Callen and his team.

In the pilot, Lombard played a former major in the military police-tuned-investigator.

Hunt, who won an Oscar for "The Year of Living Dangerously," recently recurred on "Without a Trace" and also co-starred on "Carnivale."