The new timeslot for the latest season of NCIS Los Angeles could prove to be its savior from cancellation with its best viewership ratings from last Sunday.

It was a strong start for NCIS Los Angeles Season 8. The procedural drama series recently premiered its first two episodes last Sunday. Aside from the change in its timeslot, the show also promised a number of character changes this time around. LL Cool J himself gave hints about the trending hashtags related to Season 8. According to him, fans can expect some characters being gone, hence a shocking premiere.

Showrunner Scott Gemmill also gave a hint at who was in or out of the series for the time being. As it turns out, fans of the show might miss Kensi (Daniela Ruah) and Hetty (Linda Hunt) for quite some time.

“[Kensi will be] out of commission potentially forever, but for an extended period of time at the very least. The remaining members of our team sort of have to step up. So we’ll see some different partnerships. We’ll have some people perhaps brought in, new people to work with. And people like Nell will find themselves doing some more field work than they’re used to,” Gemmill told TV Guide. Concerning the leadership issues, Gemmill revealed it is only temporary although their attempts to resolve the issues could prove catastrophic.

Nevertheless, the premiere had a very good reception from viewers on its new timeslot. TV Line posted the show’s ratings from last Sunday at 10.3 million viewers plus a demo rating of 1.5 for the first hour of the premiere. These would be the best figures for NCIS Los Angeles to date.

Ratings for the second hour of the premiere dipped slightly. However, it was still an improvement from its finale ratings last May. Thus, the new timeslot would appear to be the show’s savior from the threat of cancellation.