JAG (TV series)
The Promotional Logo used during Season 10
|Format||Adventure, legal drama, thriller|
|Created by||Donald P. Bellisario|
|Starring||David James Elliott |
John M. Jackson
|Theme music composer||Bruce Broughton|
|Opening theme||"Theme from JAG"|
|Composer(s)||Bruce Broughton |
(Pilot movie and theme)
Velton Ray Bunch
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||10|
|No. of episodes||227 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Donald P. Bellisario |
Chas. Floyd Johnson
(co-executive; seasons 2-10)
|Producer(s)||Howard Kazanjian (season 1) |
|Location(s)||Big Bear Lake, CA |
El Mirage Dry Lake, CA
Valencia, CA (studio set)
|Cinematography||Hugo Cortina (1995–2001) |
David J. Miller (2004)
Larry Lindsey (1995–1996)
|Running time||42–47 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Belisarius Productions |
Paramount Network Television
NBC Productions (1995–1996)
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution|
|Original channel||NBC (1995–1996) |
|Picture format||480i (SDTV) |
|Original run||September 23, 1995– April 29, 2005|
|Related shows||NCIS |
NCIS: Los Angeles
|JAG at CBS.com|
JAG (the American military acronym for Judge Advocate General) is an American adventure/legal drama television show that was produced by Belisarius Productions, in association with Paramount Network Television (now CBS Television Studios) and, for the first season only, NBC Productions. Originally conceived as Top Gun meets A Few Good Men, JAG was first aired on NBC on September 23, 1995, but was later canceled on May 22, 1996 after finishing 79th in the ratings, leaving one episode unaired. Rival network CBS picked up the series for a midseason replacement, beginning on January 3, 1997. CBS's decision to air JAG proved very profitable, as it was aired for nine additional seasons and spawned the hit spinoffs NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles. In total, 227 episodes were produced over 10 seasons and the show was seen in over 100 countries. JAG was so popular that it entered syndication early in 1999 and it is still regularly repeated.
It was one of the last Paramount-produced TV series to end under that name, prior to the firm becoming CBS Paramount Television.
 Character overview
 Starring roles
|Name||Service||Portrayed by||Occupational billet |
|Harmon "Harm" Rabb, Jr.||Navy |
|David James Elliott||Judge Advocate |
returned to serve as naval aviator in s.5
and as CIA officer in early s.9
|Meg Austin||Tracey Needham||Judge Advocate||Main|
|Sarah "Mac" MacKenzie||Marine Corps |
|Catherine Bell||Judge Advocate |
briefly as civilian lawyer in s.3
|Bud J. Roberts, Jr.||Navy |
|Patrick Labyorteaux||Public Affairs officer in s.1 |
transferred to OJAG in s.2
became Judge Advocate in s.4
|Albert Jethro "AJ" Chegwidden||John M. Jackson||Judge Advocate General of the Navy |
served as Navy SEAL during Vietnam war
|Peter Ulysses "Sturgis" Turner||Scott Lawrence||Judge Advocate |
with submariner background
|Jennifer Coates||Navy |
|Zoe McLellan||Legalman |
(paralegal & administrative assistant)
 Cast overview
David James Elliott stars as LT/LCDR/CDR/CAPT Harmon "Harm" Rabb, Jr., JAGC, USN, a judge advocate (military lawyer),
LTJG/CDR Caitlin Pike, JAGC, USN, played by Andrea Parker, who left the series following the two-part pilot where she was Rabb's partner, but later returned to guest star three more times (twice in Season 1 and once in Season 6).
John M. Jackson played RADM A.J. Chegwidden, Judge Advocate General of the US Navy, coming in as a mid-season replacement during season 1 and remaining until the end of season 9. Chegwidden is both a former SEAL and a former surface-warfare officer, having commanded a destroyer before becoming a Judge Advocate.
Other cast members included LCDR Bud Roberts (played by Patrick Labyorteaux), first a Public Affairs Officer (PAO) on the aircraft carrier USS Seahawk (CVN-65), then transferred to JAG studying law at night, and later after finishing his Bar examination he became a junior judge advocate at JAG. While on an assignment to the Seahawk, he met his future wife, LT Harriet Simms, played by Karri Turner, who would eventually come to be the administrative aide (TDY from the Naval Inspector General's Office) who held the office together. Bud's clumsiness, both physical and verbal, and geeky interests (he's a Trekkie, fascinated by the paranormal, and a computer expert), together with his wife's maternal nature, were a frequent source of comic relief. His clumsiness was played down as the series went on. Bud lost the lower half of his right leg in Afghanistan in the last episode of season 7, while attempting the heroic rescue of an Afghan boy playing in a mine field. For his actions, he received the Purple Heart and later was able to return to limited active duty with a prosthetic leg. For all he was comic relief much of the time, the esteem in which he is held is reflected in the fact that Admiral Chegwidden "went to the mat" with the Bureau of Personnel and the Secretary of the Navy to get Bud promoted and retained on active duty when BuPers wanted to medically discharge him after Bud lost his leg.
Nanci Chambers, real-life spouse of David James Elliott, played LT Loren Singer. Singer was consumed by her continual want to further her career at the expense of those around her. She often clashed with the other characters. In Season 7's "Guilt," Singer hurt Harriet by using the death of her baby Sarah to discredit her testimony in court. In a later episode, however, Harriet got a measure of revenge by punching out Singer. Singer was murdered, with suspicion falling on Harm, who was eventually cleared (the two-part story detailing the investigation into Singer's murder was used as the back-door pilot for the spin-off NCIS).
Trevor Goddard played Royal Australian Navy Lieutenant Commander Mic Brumby from 1998–2001, originally an exchange officer during season 4; Brumby was at one point engaged to Sarah MacKenzie. After Goddard's death in 2003, the series paid tribute to him by reshowing a scene from an episode where the cast and crew sang Waltzing Matilda, an Australian folk song, as Brumby was leaving a bar where a going away party for him was taking place.
Scott Lawrence played CMDR Sturgis Turner from 2001–2005, an academy classmate of Harm's originally assigned to the submarine service before becoming a JAG lawyer. Initially Turner and Rabb are shown as friends, although Turner does seem to have difficulty fitting in to the JAG culture. In the final season, Turner and Rabb have a falling out, occasionally exchanging heated words.
Almost all episodes of the series feature scenes filmed aboard real United States Navy ships. The ship most widely used was the USS Forrestal (CV-59), in commission as a training carrier at the time. Most of the Nimitz class carriers also appear in one or several episodes. The USS Saratoga (CV-60), USS Enterprise (CVN-65) and USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) were also used in the series.
USS Enterprise was used as the fictional USS Seahawk in many episodes. USS Forrestal and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) were also used as the fictional Seahawk, both in Season Four and for one episode each. For scenes filmed aboard Enterprise, the whole crew wore caps reading USS Seahawk – CVN 65 so they matched the ship's real Hull number.
USS Forrestal was featured in many episodes, most prominently two in which she portrayed the fictional USS Reprisal. In these episodes, all crew members wore caps with the CV 35 pennant number. This number was intentionally out of sequence with the pennant numbers of active USN carriers at the time the series was filmed. CV 35 would have been the real pennant number of an Essex-class carrier actually called Reprisal, which was canceled during construction in 1945 when WW2 ended and broken up in 1949 after consideration had been given to completing her to a revised design roughly similar to that of USS Oriskany (CV-34).
Only six USN ships featured in the series were called by their real name: USS Hornet (CV-12), USS Coral Sea (CV-43), USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), USS America (CV-66), USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), and USS Belknap (CG-26). The Kitty Hawk is mentioned in one of the Season Three episodes, but never seen on screen. The America is the murder scene in a Season Three episodes, but shots supposedly depicting her are in fact shots of the Forrestal. Real shots of the Roosevelt in harbor are used in one episode of Season One.
Season Three opener "Ghost Ship" was filmed entirely aboard the Hornet while she was laid up at Alameda Naval Air Station before being preserved as a museum ship. Part of the storyline in "Ghost Ship" deals with the final fate of Hornet. It implies (though not explicitly stating it) that she was eventually scrapped due to severe fire damage sustained during the course of the episode, contrary to her real-life fate as a National Landmark. The sub-plot in "Ghost Ship" indicating that the ship's double hull had to be cut open from the inside to repair supposed damage to her bow during Vietnam was not at all correct with her service record.
Coral Sea is also featured in the Season Three episode "Vanished" and Season Four episode "Angels 30". As she had already been scrapped at the time the episodes supposedly took place, archival footage of Coral Sea was used, with other footage shot aboard Forrestal. The majority of the exterior scenes from "Angels 30" were filmed aboard Forrestal and a few aboard Enterprise.
Belknap is mentioned in the Season Four episode "Going after Francesca" as the Sixth Fleet flagship, a role she actually fulfilled in real life from 1986 until her decommissioning in 1994. Belknap had already been decommissioned and was laid up awaiting scrapping when the episode was filmed, allowing for actual exterior shots of the ship to be featured in the episode.
The series also includes appearances by Tarawa class amphibious assault ships, Ticonderoga class cruisers, Arleigh Burke class destroyers (in particular the USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) itself during the opening credit montage), and Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates. In one of the episodes, the Spanish frigate SPS Santa María (F81) is used to depict a fictional USN Perry class ship (denoted by her NATO pennant number "F 81" painted under the bridge, instead of the U.S. practice of having a "number only" ID painted on the bow).
While most sea episodes are focused on aviation missions, several are based around submarine warfare: namely episodes 1:3, 2:6, 4:16, 5:22, 6:15, 7:14, 7:24, 8:7, 8:17, & 9:7.
 Series end
In 2005, David James Elliott announced he would leave the show to pursue other projects after not being offered a renewal from the producers. The show introduced new younger characters (including former As the World Turns star Chris Beetem). Producers also thought about relocating the setting of the show to Naval Base San Diego, and even set an episode in season ten there. Nevertheless, CBS announced the cancellation of the show on April 4, 2005, after ten seasons. The final episode, "Fair Winds and Following Seas", which aired April 29, 2005, saw Harm and Mac assigned different stations: Harm in London, Mac in San Diego. They finally confront their feelings and decide to get married. The episode ends with Bud tossing ADM Chegwidden's JAG challenge coin to decide who will give up their career to be with the other. However, in keeping with JAG tradition, the outcome of the toss is never seen, as the screen fades to black.
 NCIS spin-off
In 2003, during season 8, the series spawned the spin-off NCIS in a two-part episode in which Rabb is accused of the murder of Lieutenant Singer. The two episodes, titled "Ice Queen" and "Meltdown", focused on the NCIS team, with the JAG regulars as supporting characters. Whereas the JAG episodes were primarily oriented on courtroom drama, NCIS is more focused on the field criminal investigations. NCIS also follows a different storytelling format from JAG, emphasizing character humor more than its parent program. NCIS later produced its own spin-off, NCIS: Los Angeles, which shows a further departure from the styles and themes of JAG. NCIS: Los Angeles would later do a crossover with Hawaii Five-0.
Many actors who played characters from JAG have appeared on NCIS, although Patrick Labyorteaux, reprising his role of Bud Roberts in the episode "Hung Out to Dry", and Scott Lawrence, appearing as Captain Thomas Lind in the episode "A Man Walks Into a Bar...", are the only major JAG cast members to do so. Recurring guest star Alicia Coppola appeared in her JAG role of Lieutenant Commander Faith Coleman in several episodes, and Adam Baldwin appeared on both programs as Commander Michael Rainer. Also, Sean Murray, Special Agent Timothy McGee in NCIS, played two characters – Ensign Guitry, an ensign on trial from Season 4 Episode "Innocence", and "Danny Walden", the son of one of Admiral Chegwidden's many girlfriends. Aside from Murray, Michael Bellisario, who played Mike Roberts on JAG, appeared as Assistant Forensic Technician Charles "Chip" Sterling, and Steven Culp, who played CIA operative Clayton Webb, appeared on NCIS as a Navy commander. Muse Watson ("Mike Franks" in NCIS) plays Admiral Arthur Fessenden in JAG Season 4, Episode 3. Joe Spano ("Tobias Fornell" in NCIS) plays Capt. Jack Murphy in JAG Season 3, Episode 3.
The two episodes "Ice Queen" and "Meltdown" were edited down to a one-hour pilot film, which was then used to sell the idea of NCIS as a new series to CBS; the pilot used the title, "NCIS – The Beginning". It was later also used to introduce the show to CBS affiliates and advertisers. It was only broadcast once and is not available on home video.
An episode of the final season, "JAG: San Diego" had the cast going to the San Diego naval base and working with the JAG office there. Though it was reportedly considered as a back-door pilot to a possible spin-off, CBS ultimately decided not to pursue a new series.
 First Monday cross-over
First Monday was a short-lived series developed by Bellisario that aired in 2002. This series' character U.S. Senator Edward Sheffield (Dean Stockwell) became a recurring character on JAG as the new Secretary of the Navy, starting in season 8.
 Yes, Dear tribute
The sitcom Yes, Dear did an episode called "Let's Get Jaggy With It" where Greg's father Tom (Tim Conway) wins a walk-on role on JAG. Catherine Bell guest-starred as herself while David James Elliott, Patrick Labyorteaux and Scott Lawrence guest-starred as their respective JAG characters.
 American television ratings
Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of JAG.
- Note: U.S. network television seasons generally start in late September and end in late May, which coincides with the completion of the May sweeps.
|Season||Season premiere||Season finale||TV Season||Rank||Viewers |
|1||September 23, 1995||May 22, 1996||1995–1996||#79||11.56|
|2||January 3, 1997||April 18, 1997||1996–1997||#68||11.80|
|3||September 23, 1997||May 19, 1998||1997–1998||#36||12.90|
|4||September 22, 1998||May 25, 1999||1998–1999||#17||14.20|
|5||September 21, 1999||May 23, 2000||1999–2000||#25||14.07|
|6||October 3, 2000||May 22, 2001||2000–2001||#26||14.60|
|7||September 25, 2001||May 21, 2002||2001–2002||#15||14.80|
|8||September 24, 2002||May 20, 2003||2002–2003||#26||12.97|
|9||September 26, 2003||May 21, 2004||2003–2004||#37||10.80|
|10||September 24, 2004||April 29, 2005||2004–2005||#50||9.66|
 Awards and nominations
 Emmy Awards
|1996||Outstanding Individual Achievement in Editing for a Series – Single Camera Production||Jon Koslowsky||"Pilot Episode"||Won|
|1996||Outstanding Individual Achievement in Costuming for a Series||L. Paul Dafelmair||"Smoked"||Nominated|
|1996||Outstanding Individual Achievement in Main Title Theme Music||Bruce Broughton||N/A||Nominated|
|1997||Outstanding Individual Achievement in Costuming for a Series||L. Paul Dafelmair||"Cowboys and Cossacks"||Won|
|1998||Outstanding Cinematography for a Series||Hugo Cortina||"The Good Of The Service"||Nominated|
|1999||Outstanding Costuming for a Series||L. Paul Dafelmair||"Gypsy Eyes"||Won|
|1999||Outstanding Cinematography for a Series||Hugo Cortina||"Gypsy Eyes"||Nominated|
|2000||Outstanding Cinematography for a Single Camera Series||Hugo Cortina||"Boomerang, part II"||Nominated|
|2001||Outstanding Cinematography for a Single Camera Series||Hugo Cortina||"Adrift, part I"||Nominated|
|2002||Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore)||Steven Bramson||"Adrift, part 2"||Nominated|
|2003||Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore)||Steven Bramson||"Need To Know"||Nominated|
 Additional Awards
- Top TV Series (x2) – 2004
- Top TV Series – 2003
- Top TV Series (x2) – 2000
- Primetime Television Series (episode "Retreat Hell") – 2001
TV Guide Awards:
- Favorite Actor in a Drama (David James Elliott) – 2000
American Cinema Editors, USA:
- Best Edited Motion Picture for Commercial Television (the pilot film) – 1996
American Cinema Foundation, USA:
- Television Series – Drama – 2000
- Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Regular Series' (Hugo Cortina) (episode "Gypsy Eyes") – 1999
Cinema Audio Society, USA
- Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Television Series (episode "Gypsy Eyes") – 1999
Tim Philben (re-recording mixer)
Ross Davis (re-recording mixer)
Grover B. Helsley (re-recording mixer)
Sean Rush (production mixer)
- 60 Minute Category (episode "Angels 30") – 1999
- Best Sound Editing – Television Episodic – Sound Effects & Foley – 1999
TV Guide Awards:
- Actor of the Year in a Drama Series (David James Elliott) – 2001
- Best Performance in a TV Series – Recurring Young Actress (Hallee Hirsh) – 2004
- Best Performance in a TV Drama Series – Guest Starring Young Actress (Aysia Polk) – 2000
For a full list of JAG episodes, see list of JAG episodes.
 DVD and VHS releases
On September 1, 1998, the pilot episode of JAG was released on VHS in the U.S. by Paramount Home Entertainment.
In Regions 2 and 4, seasons 1–9 have been released. With Season 10 being released in 2011.
On December 11, 2012, Paramount will release JAG: The Complete Series – Collector's Edition on DVD in Region 1. This special collection will feature all 227 episodes of the series as well as bonus features.
|DVD Name||Ep#||Release Dates||Extra features|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|The Complete First Season||22||July 25, 2006||October 16, 2006||October 16, 2006||Behind the Scenes Footage |
Making Of Featurette
Rare Un-aired episode Skeleton Crew
|The Complete Second Season||15||November 7, 2006||September 10, 2007||August 16, 2007||Behind the Scenes Footage |
Making Of Featurette
|The Third Season||24||March 20, 2007||June 24, 2008||June 5, 2008||N/A|
|The Fourth Season||24||August 21, 2007||October 22, 2008||October 2, 2008||Gag reel|
|The Fifth Season||25||January 29, 2008||May 7, 2009||May 7, 2009||Gag reel|
|The Sixth Season||24||May 20, 2008||September 14, 2009||September 3, 2009||N/A|
|The Seventh Season||24||November 4, 2008||March 22, 2010||March 4, 2010||N/A|
|The Eighth Season||24||March 17, 2009||June 21, 2010||August 5, 2010||Gag Reel |
NCIS Pilot episodes Ice Queen & Meltdown
|The Ninth Season||24||November 10, 2009||September 20, 2010||November 4, 2010||N/A|
|The Final Season||22||February 9, 2010||June 29, 2011||July 6, 2011||JAG: The Final Goodbye|
|The Complete Series||227||December 11, 2012||N/A||N/A|
On April 26, 2010, Intrada released an album of music from the series, featuring Bruce Broughton's theme and his pilot score (tracks 1–15) and weekly composer Steven Bramson's score, including Broughton's format music (the main and end title theme and commercial bumper), for the season two episode "Cowboys and Cossacks" (tracks 16–28).
- Engage and Destroy; Main Title 4:42
- Getting Some Air; Angela Overboard 2:39
- Harm and Kate Arrive 2:21
- Harm’s Past; Over Bosnia 1:55
- Gold Wings & Dress Whites; Wave Off 1:31
- Contemplation 0:27
- Joyride 1:49
- Angela on a Slab 1:34
- Playout 0:15
- Scuttlebutt’s True 4:27
- To Hell and Back, Sir; Let’m Trap! 6:05
- Harm Does It 3:25
- Judgement Call 2:09
- Gold Wings, White Uniform 1:56
- End Credits 0:57
- Format Bumper 0:07
- Teaser 1:43
- Format Main Title 0:47
- Act One Playon; Exchange 1:20
- Fire!; Grinkov 4:29
- One Rule of War 1:16
- Jumping Ship; Convincing Yuri 2:12
- Yuri Turns 1:57
- To the Brig; Boxing Petavitch 1:41
- Live Missile 0:42
- This Is War 3:05
- Grinkov Relents 4:26
- A Sailor’s Death; Format End Credits 1:44
 See also
- Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy
- Uniform Code of Military Justice
- United States Navy Regulations
- http://www.halleonard.com/product/viewproduct.do?itemid=8724814. Retrieved 2012-11-10.
- "In Country". JAG. Season 7. Episode 23. 2002-05-14.
- The Final Countdown | News. EW.com. Retrieved on 2010-11-26.
- Final ratings for the 1998–1999 TV season. Reocities. Retrieved on 2011-05-14.
- US-Jahrescharts 1999/2000. Quotenmeter.de (2002-05-30). Retrieved on 2010-11-26.
- TV Ratings 2000–2001. Fbibler.chez.com (2002-07-26). Retrieved on 2010-11-26.
- "How did your favorite show rate?". USA Today. May 28, 2002. http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/2002/2002-05-28-year-end-chart.htm. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
- Nielsen's TOP 156 Shows for 2002–03 – rec.arts.tv | Google Groups. Groups.google.com. Retrieved on 2010-11-26.
- ABC Medianet. Web.archive.org. Retrieved on 2010-11-26.
- ABC Medianet. Internet Archive (2005-06-01). Retrieved on 2010-11-26.
- "MacGyver" (1985) – Awards
- JAG – Season 6 [DVD]: Amazon.co.uk: DVD. Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved on 2010-11-26.
- JAG: Judge Advocate General – The 6th Season (6 Disc Set) @ EzyDVD. Ezydvd.com.au (2009-09-02). Retrieved on 2010-11-26.
- JAG – Season 7 [DVD] : Amazon.co.uk: DVD. Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved on 2010-11-26.
- JAG – Season 8 [DVD] : Amazon.co.uk: DVD. Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved on 2010-11-26.
- JAG: Judge Advocate General – The 9th Season (5 Disc Set) @ EzyDVD. Ezydvd.com.au (2010-11-04). Retrieved on 2010-11-26.
- JAG: Judge Advocate General – The Final 10 Season (5 Disc Set)
- JAG Soundtrack
- Geier, Thomas; Weiner, Allison H (September 11, 2001). "Naval Gazing". Entertainment Weekly: 10–11. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,253598,00.html.
- Poniewozik, James; McDowell, Jeanne (December 10, 2001). "Battlefield Promotion". Time: 95–96. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,186616,00.html.
- Robb, David L (2004). Operation Hollywood: How the Pentagon Shapes and Censors the Movies (1st ed.). Amherst, NY: Prometheus.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: JAG|
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: JAG|
- Official website
- JAG at the Internet Movie Database
- JAG at TV.com
- JAG Database, an external wiki
- JAG @ tvtropes