Harm’s isn’t the only familiar face JAG fans can expect to see on NCIS: Los Angeles in the coming weeks. Catherine Bell has also RSVP’d for the reunion, reprising the role of Lieutenant Colonel Sarah “Mac” MacKenzie.
Bell enters the fold during NCIS: LA‘s Season 10 finale — airing Sunday, May 19 at 10/9c on CBS — when Hetty reaches out for assistance in preventing an attack on US aircraft carriers, TVLine has learned. David James Elliot will reprise his role as Navy Captain Harmon Rabb Jr. the week prior, and also appear in the finale.
“Catherine’s ‘Mac’ was a strong, smart woman who held her own, and then some, in a male dominated world,” says NCIS: LA showrunner R. Scott Gemmill, who served as a writer/producer on NCIS sire JAG. “Her character paved the way for other strong female leads. Not only is it great to be working together again as friends, but to be able to write for Catherine and have her same character interact with our NCIS: Los Angeles characters now, that’s wonderfully surreal. It feels like everything has come full circle.”
The NCIS mothership of course was spun off of JAG, starting with a two-part, April 2003 “backdoor pilot” that introduced Gibbs, DiNozzo, Abby and Ducky (played by Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette and David McCallum). As recently as March 2018, JAG vet John M. Jackson reprised his role as Rear Admiral “A.J.” Chegwidden on NCIS: LA (in what has been a bit of a recurring gig). Jackson also appeared in a 2013 episode of NCIS, while Patrick Labyorteaux has popped up on NCIS three times as JAG‘s Captain Bud Roberts.
But to date — across 31 total seasons of NCISes (NCISeese?) — neither Bell nor Elliott had slipped back into their uniforms. Until now.
“[In 2017] there was a point where Catherine and David were both available, and I was trying to make that work,” Gemmill previously told 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 an NCIS offshoot) did not come together, “That still is a goal of mine,” Gemmill said at the time. “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 …. That would be really fun.”