NCIS Exclusive: A JAG Favorite to Return in This Season's 'Nail-Biter' of a Finale

NCIS Season 10 SpoilersAll hands on deck: A beloved JAG officer is poised to show up just when NCIS needs him most.

John M. Jackson will reprise his role of Judge Advocate General A.J. Chegwidden in the JAG spin-off’s 10th season finale, which finds a federal witch hunt threatening the future of Gibbs’ gang.

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“We needed a lawyer, a really good lawyer, to assist Gibbs and the team in the finale,” NCIS executive producer Gary Glasberg tells TVLine exclusively.

Enter Chegwidden, now retired from the Navy, who will step away from his powerful D.C. law firm to help Gibbs & Co. in the episode. Glasberg calls the outing a “nail-biter which will hopefully leave fans stunned all summer long.”

Fans of JAG will remember Chegwidden as Mac and Harm’s boss – and sometime father figure – whose gruff demeanor belied a deep devotion to his team. He was in charge during the Season 8 episodes that introduced Mark Harmon’s Gibbs and served as NCIS‘ planted pilot.

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Since leaving JAG in 2004, Jackson has guest-starred on series including Bones, Private Practice, CSI, Castle and Perception.

The retired Navy big shot is just one of the surprise guest-stars who’ll show up during the eventful season-ender, which airs Tuesday, May 14 (8/7c).

“Our NCIS team may never be the same again,” Glasberg adds.

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  1. Alan says:

    considering the show has done its best to distance itself from jag ever since it began im surprised by this.

    • JC says:

      Me too! Pleased, but surprised. Especially considering that NCIS has had Steven Culp (Clayton Webb) and Scott Lawrence (Sturgis) show up playing completely different characters.

      • TJCrinc says:

        dont forget Mikey Roberts. In ncis world, he was Chip Sterling, the psychotic lab assistant. And in the episode with the bomb strapped to the kid, one of the swat team guys was Harm’s brother.

      • Kathy Agel says:

        And Adam Baldwin played the same character in both shows.

      • Kathy Agel says:

        And let’s not forget Sean Murray, who played Chegwidden’s girlfriend’s pot-smoking son, who took Chegwidden’s Expedition and crashed it under the influence — and who now plays Tim McGee.

        • Mark Sevier says:

          Murray also played the young ensign accused of rape in Japan.

        • Kathy says:

          Sean Murray is the step son of Bellisario–show’s producer (his Mom is married to him). So, he is showing up on his shows..i.e; JAG and NCIS.

    • If you really want your head to spin, look up and see that there are a ton of Bellisarios (sp) involved in producing, writing, directing both shows. Mikey Roberts is a son in real life, Sean McMurray is a step son in real life, Trojan Bellisarios (who played Tim’s sister) is daugter in real life.(Sean McMurray’s half siser for real)

  2. JeffDJ says:

    Great news! I’ve waited ages for a JAG character to make an appearance on NCIS. looking forward to the finale!

    • Dreamrose says:

      He’s not the first JAG character to make an appearance on NCIS. Bud Roberts (Patrick Labyorteaux) appeared in the 2003 NCIS episode “Hung Out To Dry.”

    • znachki says:

      Patrick Labyorteaux’s Bud Roberts appeared on NCIS in the episode “Hung Out to Dry”, which was the second episode of the show proper. But until now, he’s it.

      • znachki says:

        Oops – took me too long to write this. But in the vein of “former characters returning” How great was it to see Alan Dale’s Director Morrow back.

      • Dreamrose says:

        Bud wasn’t the *only* JAG crossover character; for instance, Alicia Coppola appeared as somewhat compulsive JAG lawyer Faith Coleman in the JAG episode (and NCIS backdoor pilot) “Meltdown” where she served as Harm’s attorney. Coleman later showed up in three episodes of NCIS. However, Labyorteaux was the only member of the JAG main cast to appear on NCIS, until now, that is.

        • Nana S says:

          Am I really the only one who remembers McGee as the rotten son

          • drhenning says:

            He also played the a marine accused of rape in Japan that the Jag team had to save.. Helps that he was the boss’s step-son…

          • JoyAnne says:

            No your not. I’ve commented about it soon after NCIS started years ago. I love remembering that his last scene on Jag was the Admiral taking him to sign up for the navy. Then he turned up here on NCIS. :-)

      • Actually he is not the second. There have been many JAG characters on the show. Everyone with the exception of Tiner, Gunny, Harriett, Mac and HArm.

        • Kathy Agel says:

          No, there haven’t. There have been ACTORS from JAG on NCIS, but with very few exceptions, they weren’t they weren’t playing the same characters.

  3. John says:

    Excellent news (well aside from the cliffhanger bit, seriousely old gimmick), really liked that chareacter on JAG.

  4. I dont like the show but to see A.J. again ill have to suck up and watch it !

  5. hello says:

    The other Jethro

  6. kcam2013 says:

    Please please please….have him slip and tell us what happened with that coin toss! Loved him on Jag, excited to see him here!

    • Sarah says:

      Yeah, that would be great. :)

      • M3rc Nate says:

        That would actually smooth things over in regards to my total dislike of donald p bellisario’s style of will they wont they until the last episode of the series…which better not happen again with Ziva and Tony and Mcgee and Abby.

        • Alan says:

          well considering bellisario has nothing to do with it now you can hate on shane brennan instead for not pandering.

          • Tegan says:

            Considering Shane Brennan has nothing to do with it now, you can talk to Gary Glasberg. -.-

        • Steve says:

          I just hope they can get Cote under contract….

          • dan says:

            I think that mark harmon and cote de Pablo are the strongest of the ncis cast, yhey are really the main reason why this is the top show on tv, not saying the others aren’t good its just they aren’t sa good as them.

        • Joe Blow says:

          Donald P Bellisario takes a back seat to NCIS since his heavy-handedness caused Harmon to almost leave years ago. DPB’s brother runs the everyday operation.

    • Connie says:

      The coin toss leaves up to your imagination who left service. AJ was gone when that happened I think. Wish they’d play reruns of JAG again.

    • Pete VE says:

      Love Catherine Bell – love her. Her character, Lt Colonel Sarah Macenzie was one of the best female TV characters of all time. Never has a female role embodied so many great qualities. An accomplished military career in a man’s world, lawyer, highly intelligent, physically capable, complex and yes, beautiful. You could piece meal other’s roles individually with someone better. But no one, not one possessed all that Sarah had and Catherine was the complete actress to accomplish that. TV Guide magazine did a bit on actor/actresses and shows over the last decades, since the start of the magazine. They name the actresses of the 1990’s and 2000’s as Jennifer Aniston and Kaley Couco respectively. Seriously? No one looked better or portrayed females more positively than Catherine Bell during her tenure on JAG.

      • Dora Alicia Hunt says:

        In total agreement, Catherina has been an extrordinary example of women in charge. Lately I have seen her in the “good Witch” and she stills remarkable.

      • Brenda says:

        While I love JAG as a show, and Catherine Bell as Mac, I have to argue that Amanda Tapping did an amazing job as Captain/Major/Lt.Colonel/Colonel Samantha Carter on Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. Not only was she a decorated military officer on the premier frontline field unit, she was also a theoretical astrophysicist with a brain to match.

      • nmgirl says:

        one of my favorite jag moments: mac is wearing a bikine and bud asks “permission to speak freely ma’am? she says yes and he replies, “wow, just wow.”

  7. Sarah says:

    This makes me excited and happy. But I also really wish he was back on Bones.

  8. Steph says:

    Ahhhh YES!

  9. Liz says:

    I’ve never really watched NCIS before, but I have to check this episode out. I missed A.J. during the final season of JAG.

  10. taw2236 says:

    The dark haired, obsessively neat lawyer from JAG was on the episode with WWII vet who said he killed his friend.

  11. DramaMomma says:

    Finally, some JAG love from NCIS. Seeing that Gibbs and The Admiral didn’t see eye to eye in the NCIS kickoff this will be fun. Happy dance!!!!!!!

  12. Saint Alicia says:

    Aw man, was hoping it was either Harm or Mac, or Harm & Mac (my first ship!). They were supposed to get married and would maybe have kids by now. Just a little something for Tony & Ziva to think about…

  13. Sassa says:

    Reblogged this on Sarah.

  14. Molly says:

    Very cool that they are recognizing the show’s roots. Contrast this with “Boston Legal”, which never seemed to want to acknowledge its roots in “The Practice”, going so far as having “Practice” guest stars essentially playing the same characters with different names.

  15. CC says:

    Whoo! Hopefully he gives us a hint about what happened after the coin toss with Harm and Mac! :)

  16. Dreamrose says:

    Very glad to see John M. Jackson again as Chegwidden; he was such a fantastic character, with a great balance of seriousness and biting wit. My only question is who brings him into this mess? My money’s on either Gibbs or Vance.

  17. Sharon says:

    I was hoping for David James Elliott.

    • Deena says:

      He would have been my choice too.

    • CC says:

      Unfortunately, David has said numerous times he would not reprise the role of Harm again. But maybe they’ll get Catherine Bell one day, because she’s said she wouldn’t be opposed to it.

      • GoodieGoddess says:

        Even if CBell did agree to reprise her role as Mac, no one would recognize her due to her extensive plastic surgery. :-(

        • Regal says:

          Yes they would. I don’t know where you’re coming from honestly because she really doesn’t look that different now then she did then.

        • A says:

          What are you talking about?

        • drhenning says:

          CB started on Jag in her 20’s and it ran into her mid-late 30’s… don’t forget that ticking clock on that show!!! Army Wives is now in its 7th season and she’s in her 40’s.. Women do change!! She still looks great… It would be fun for the fans of the JAG world that NCIS first came from to see its characters… JAG fits the pattern of many CBS shows that got an older audience and got shot off to a bad viewing night ( went from NCIS’s Tuesday at 8 slot to Fridays).. But it had a nice 10 year run and lasted years on USA Network before being retired..

          • Kathy Agel says:

            And it out-performed expectations in that Friday night timeslot. The only reason it was canceled was because DJE wasn’t resigned for the 11th season because of Bellisario’s hubris. Two years earlier, during his contract negotiations, CBS had Bellisario that if DJE didn’t resign for the 9th season, the show would be cancelled. In not signing DJE for season 11, Bellisario doomed the show — and to make things worse, he tried to blame it on DJE, who took the high road in the entire mess.

  18. Larc says:

    This is fantastic news! He was one of my favorite characters on JAG.

  19. sladewilson says:

    Very cool but please, stop the whole – “the team will never be the same again” crap – it’s getting old and we all know no way are you guys going to break something going so well. If it ain’t broke….

  20. Sara says:

    This is pretty awesome news!

  21. Jimmy says:

    I know NCIS has tried to distance itself from mothership JAG, but it would be even more fun if they could get David James Elliot and/or Catherine Bell to guest star.

  22. Tish says:

    I loved Chegwidden and will be glad to see him return. I love JAG so much and I started watching NCIS late in the game because I was mad that they made a spin-off and moved JAG to the time slot of doom (Fri nights) so I had refused to watch it lol. As for who else will show up I would like to see Harm.

  23. Sam says:

    Awesome news, I love JMJ. I’ll definitely be watching this now. I hope Alan Dale is back also. Looks to be some serious acting talent in this finale.

  24. The irony. He’s going to be in season 10 of NCIS, yet that was the same season number of JAG that he wasn’t in. And as to someone mentioning the coin toss, who’s to say he wouldn’t know how it landed? Wouldn’t he have been invited to the wedding?
    Seeing as to how, I absolutely loved him on JAG this has got me all uberly excited for finale time! Chegwidden! (Won’t even lie, liked him more than Harm)

  25. JC says:

    Wow. I loved JAG, so this is exciting. I quit watching NCIS this year (I only watched the season premiere and the Alex Kingston episode) but I might have to watch this episode.

  26. Rebeccat Lai says:

    JAG BACK !!!I want see more JAG in NCIS or NCISLA !!!!!!

  27. Doug says:

    Let us not forget that the actor who played Bud’s brother Michael Roberts (Michael Bellisario, who is Sean Murray’s (McGee on NCIS) step-bother and son of Donald P. Bellisario.) on JAG also played on NCIS, in a decidedly different role as Abby’s assistant and all around crazy-guy Chip.

    And don’t think that the Bellisario’s are not involved in NCIS anymore, as in addition to the patriarch, several of the siblings and their spouses have been producers. Tons of family connections there.

    Anyway, cool to see A.J. back, he was one of my favorites.

  28. indira says:

    is it just me or didn’t anyone notice that Gary Glasberg said that “Our NCIS team may never be the same again,” wonder what he meant. humm??????????????????

  29. Claire says:

    This. Is. FANTASTIC!!!! Snoopy Happy Dance! I was so VERY disappointed that they didn’t go with John M. Jackson to play the role of Admiral McGee. Nothing against Jamey Sheridan, as he did a brilliant job — I was just going for nostalgia. But this is EVEN BETTER and I will tell myself this is why they ignored my suggestion, they just found a better way to please me. ;) A girl can dream … But oh so happy. How can it be that here we are at year 10 and they are better than ever. Keep it up NCIS. NOW the only other news that can come out that will beat this is Cote de Pablo RENEWING her contract. Waiting …

    • Gerald says:

      Claire, there is no way J.M.J could play McGee’s father since in JAG he dated Sean Murray charcter’s mother. Yeah people seem to forget that Sean Mirray played a few episodes on JAG but not as McGee.
      I’d love to see more characters return as well as some more crossover between NCIS and NCIS LA.

      • Claire says:

        Correct, he did play the son of Chegwidden’s love interest, but not really sure why that would keep him from playing Admiral McGee — different show, different character. It was all about the nostalgia. It has been years since JAG gave birth to NCIS, and there has never been any reference to former JAG characters. Besides, looking at his previous relationship with Sean Murray’s JAG character (possible father figure), it would have been a nice wink and nod to the mothership. But it’s all moot! THIS is by far the better idea, and instead of a wink/nod, we get a direct ‘how are you doing old friend!’ Guess that’s why I’m the viewer and not the writer — their idea wins ;)

    • no_one's_business says:

      Cote sucked

  30. jj says:

    Was never a fan of JAG so lukewarm on the news. More eager to see the renewing of Cote de Pablo’s contract.

  31. Scotsrogue says:

    Bring back Mac Mckenzie as a marine four star general instead.

  32. Gillian says:

    Love him!!!

  33. anna says:

    iNTERESTING…Very much hoping this means that there will actually be some consequences for the actions in this season’s finale arc

  34. Would love to see John Jackson again, also the very beautiful Catherine Bell (who is still gorgeous today). Catherine has kept busy by staring in Army Wives the past 7 years, plus The very popular 6 Good Witch movies and other films as well. Can’t wait!!
    Sally Fohrman

  35. Iwa says:

    As a person who grew up watching JAG, I couldn’t be more excited :)

  36. Leeann... :) says:

    Any scoop on whether or not this is going to spill over to next season? Maybe finding some way to get David James Elliott back??!!??

  37. Vivien Armstrong says:

    Awesome news I thought Catherine Bell was also going to do a cameo with NCIS. JAG FAN forever my grandchildren who are teenagers are also avid fans. AJ great choice. We may get that JAG MOVIE YET.

  38. MrTemecula says:

    How can a mediocre show like JAG be revived, while the greatness of Fringe is allowed to go gently in the night?

    • Vivien Armstrong says:

      JAG gave me greater appreciation, and understanding, of the USA Military. In whatever position they serve. Their commitment, loyalty, and honour to serve their country. Thank you to the USA Military personal and their families. From someone who lives in Australia down under.

    • Keith says:

      JAG isn’t being revived,one character is on NCIS.I liked Fringe to but this has nothing to with it

    • jj says:

      Fringe is the worst show that ever got renewed on TV.

    • Kathy Agel says:

      You’re comparing apples to roast beef. A, JAG isn’t being revived. B, Fringe was cancelled because the programmers on Fox are idiots.

  39. TiredofZiva says:

    Love Chegwidden! Love to see him go up against Gibbs. Also great to see that there may be some repercussions to some questionable decisions by Vance and Co. Offsets the horrible TIVA implications. Now I can honestly say I’m looking forward to the finale.

    • JC says:

      I read it that he would be defending Gibbs, not going against him.

      • TiredofZiva says:

        Doh! You’re absolutely right which kind of blows the image of two incredibly sexy mature men in a face-down over a table, but I can work with this… ;-)

  40. Dee says:

    Great, so the team is in danger of being split up.

    Ziva’s ridiculous, vengeful, retaliatory actions will cost the team to the point that they need lawyers?

    Another reason to hate this angry, bitter bitch.

  41. Alia says:

    I would like to watch a new JAG Series with Harmon Rabb as their boss.

  42. L. Kenney says:

    I do not like cliffhangers, either show the story or not. I’ll wait to see the second part. Also, what happened to the father character of Gibbs, and isn’t there a brother?

  43. Pete VE says:

    Bring back Sarah McKenzie as a Brigadier General instead. No one ever made the U.S. Marine Corps look so good. Catherine Bell in that uniform, as that charactor – Iconic TV role.

  44. magickster says:

    The one thing that always annoyed me about this show is to do with the Gibbs character. He arrests criminals especially murderers, yet he did the exact same thing. He may think he had a good excuse (the victim killed his family), but all criminals do. It makes no difference. The fact that Gibbs can look a suspect in the eye and say what they did was wrong, makes the character a hypocrite! Gibbs needs to be held accountable, otherwise arresting people for the crime that he himself committed, in simply a joke. Maybe in the finale his character should be convicted of murder and get several years in jail or the like. He can be released in the new season after a jump in time. This could also happen in the last episode if it’s cancelled etc. I just can’t take the Gibbs character seriously.

    • Mark Sevier says:

      Excuse,Schmexcuse ! Gibbs was eminently justified in blowing away the criminal who murdered his family. He had every right to do it. In his shoes I would have done the same, without a qualm.

    • Pete VE says:

      You deal in the black and white, the world is much more gray than that. Our military kills at will when our Gov’t gives them the thumbs up, our law enforcement shoot and kill from time to time – exonerated from punishment. We all know our system of justice lacks a certain “something”. The guilty walk, innocent suffer, punishment goes undone. Gibbs in his frustration and desire for revenge for someone outside the reachable laws became his own Judge, Jury & Executioner – something we’d all like to be at times. There was no question as to the guilt of the guy he killed – we knew this as an audience. If a sniper in the USMC is ordered to “take out” a target is he guilty if he pops the dude next to his target? NO! Opps, just squeeze off another round and finish the job. I have no problem with Gibbs’ action, that plot line was meant to personify all of us and our need/desire to bring people to justice swiftly and decisively. How bad do you want these $%$#^ responsible for Boston’s bombing to get caught? What do you want them to receive as punishment? Will you be satisfied with our justice system’s process? Technically Gibbs killed this guy in another country – what are/were their laws there? If their laws say no big deal, he is not guilty of anything here in the U.S. If the foreign gov’t does nothing, then to them {not us} nothing happened. The U.S. doesn’t own the rest of the world so don’t try to apply our laws to other countries. When John Wayne killed “bad guys” did you protest the action?
      Claim John should pay for his crimes? No! Because we knew John could do no such thing, those people deserved it! When the U.S. muscles it’s way into other countrie’s business does it give us the right to kill members of it’s population? It’s citizens? Is the President guilty of murder if he orders the military into action and there are casualties? I applaud Gibbs and his action. If you want perfect move to Iraq or Iran or North Korea – perhaps you’ll find your perfect system of justice there?

      • Pennagirl says:

        IT IS A TV SHOW, SCRIPTED DRAMA….not real life. Calm DOWN!

      • magickster says:

        Reading the aforementioned and other drivel , I can thankfully say this. I AM AUSTRALIAN! You Americans have no idea how ridiculous you sound. Take a breath and get a life.

  45. Mark Sevier says:

    Chegwidden was my hands-down favourite on JAG. I abandoned the show when he retired. I came near abandoning NCIS when Mike Franks was killed. I’ve found it a bit distressing that NCIS has steered itself away from its JAG roots. Can hardly wait to see AJ again, hope he’s in uniform. As a side note, I noticed several times that both Harm and Sturgis called the admiral “Chedwiggen.” Did anyone else catch that?

  46. JoyAnne says:

    I’ve often wondered why Harm has never made a guest appearance. Loved David James Elliot in Jag.

  47. sedHar says:

    Big fan of both shows so im very happy to see NCIS pay due homage to the mothership JAG. hopefully it doesn’t stop here and we get to see more characters and not just Jackson make appearances…

  48. Jiesheng says:

    I wish they get Sibel Galindez to act again and appear on NCIS