Fans of the JTU (JAG Television Universe) recently came closer than they know to having Harm and Mack back on their screens. The faithful should not, however, give up hope of seeing the JAG leads resurface on one of CBS’ NCIS series.
NCIS of course was spun off of JAG, in a two-part “backdoor pilot” that introduced Gibbs, DiNozzo, Abby and Ducky (played by Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette and David McCallum); watch a scene below. As recently as March, JAG vet John M. Jackson reprised his role as Rear Admiral “A.J.” Chegwidden on NCIS: Los Angeles (in what has turned out to be a bit of a recurring gig). Jackson also appeared in a 2013 episode of NCIS, while Patrick Labyorteaux has popped up on the mothership three times, as JAG‘s Captain Bud Roberts.
But to date — across 28 total seasons of NCISes (NCISeese?) — neither Catherine Bell nor David James Elliott have slipped back into their uniforms. Yet.
“Last year there was a point where Catherine and David were both available, and I was trying to make that work,” NCIS: Los Angeles showrunner R. Scott Gemmill tells TVLine. “I forget what episode it was, but I had a little opening, so I had casting check and she was available, and David was available….”
Though that “reunion” (albeit on one of NCIS‘ own offshoots) did not come together, “That still is a goal of mine, to get as many of the original JAG players back in an episode,” Gemmill says. “I have such fun when John’s here, it’d be great to put them all together again. I think the fans would really dig that.”
Bell herself very recently told TVLine that she is holding out hope for what we will call a cross-back-over, as Lieutenant Colonel Sarah MacKenzie, JAGC, USMC.
“We’ve talked about it forever,” said the actress, who now headlines Hallmark’s Good Witch. “I would love to put on my old uniform and show up on NCIS. That would be really fun.”
Echoing the aforementioned logistical/scheduling challenges — “It’s always been like, ‘Let’s do it…,’ ‘No, not now'” — Bell nonetheless has faith that the NCIS franchise that JAG (which ran for 10 seasons) begot will be around long enough to make it happen.
“Maybe one of these days…,” she said. “They’re still going, aren’t they!” (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)