NCIS: LA‘s forthcoming JAG-centric arc may be more than just a nostalgia-fueled sweeps stunt. There’s buzz that the May two-parter — which will find David James Elliott and Catherine Bell reprising their roles as Navy Captain “Harm” Rabb Jr.and Lieutenant Colonel Sarah “Mac” MacKenzie, respectively — is serving as an unofficial backdoor pilot for a JAG revival.
CBS declined to comment for this story, but TVLine has learned that the network is indeed testing the waters for a new edition of JAG that would star Elliott and Bell.
In a recent interview with TVLine, NCIS: LA showrunner R. Scott Gemmill — who cut his teeth as a writer/producer on the original JAG — did not rule out the possibility of a full-fledged revival. “I never say never to anything,” noted the exec, before adding that the ball will ultimately be in CBS’ court. “It’s really up to them. That’s not my call to make.”
Gemmill did point out that the NCIS: LA arc introduces “a really cool [new] permutation” of JAG, adding, “It’s more exciting than just going back with a case where they’re JAG officers still and we get pulled into it. Instead we took a whole different direction.”
Should a fresh JAG series come to fruition, it would bring the franchise full circle seeing as how NCIS original flavor was itself spun off of JAG, starting with a two-part, April 2003 “backdoor pilot” that introduced Mark Harmon’s Gibbs, Michael Weatherly’s DiNozzo, Pauley Perrette’s Abby and David McCallum’s Ducky.
The JAG-themed NCIS: LA arc kicks off Sunday, May 12 and concludes with the procedural’s season finale on Sunday, May 19. (With reporting by Matt Mitovich)