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How NCIS: LA Could Bring Back JAG

In the pantheon of network crime procedurals, few franchises have had as much staying power as CBS' NCIS. Not only did season 18 of vanilla NCIS premiere in the fall of 2020, but so did season 12 of NCIS: Los Angeles and season 7 of NCIS: New Orleans. That's a whole lot of Navy-related crimes being investigated over the years, especially when you consider that NCIS isn't even the beginning of its own TV universe.

Back before we'd been introduced to Gibbs (Mark Harmon), Hetty (Linda Hunt), or King (Scott Bakula), the Naval legal drama JAG (Judge Advocate General) introduced us to the world of intra-Navy legal affairs. The series ended in 2005, but thanks to the larger franchise it birthed when the spin-off NCIS was introduced via a backdoor pilot in JAG's season 8, some of its characters are still kicking around today.

Recent seasons of NCIS: Los Angeles have featured guest appearances from the JAG characters Sarah "Mac" MacKenzie (Catherine Bell) and Harmon "Harm" Rabb Jr. (David James Elliott). While the reappearance of these characters so many years later might seem like just a fun gimme for longtime fans of the franchise, the history they share has some viewers hopeful that the powers that be might be setting us up for a JAG reboot.

The JAG reunion that could hint at a reboot

Before NCIS viewers were embroiled in the will-they-or-won't-they relationship arc of Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) and Ziva David (Cote de Pablo), they were wrapped up with Mac and Harm.

Similar to Tiva (the 'ship name for Tony and Ziva), Marm (or maybe Hac?) spent almost the entirety of JAG stuck in romantic limbo. The characters obviously had an attraction to one another, but didn't act on it until the show was nearing its end. In the finale, they were finally ready to start their lives together, but had to first resolve the issue of them each being assigned to a post on the opposite side of the globe from one another. Mac and Harm decided they would flip a coin to see who was going to keep their assignment and who would quit for the sake of the relationship.

Though JAG never revealed the results of that coin toss, when the characters re-appeared on NCIS: LA almost 15 years later, longtime fans of the franchise finally got the answer. Mac won the toss ... but her relationship with Harm didn't last. The couple split up shortly after the events of the JAG finale, and when they reunited on NCIS: LA, they revealed that they hadn't even spoken to each other in almost a decade.

While their appearance on NCIS: LA didn't see the couple get back together, it gave some fans hope that their relationship might be rekindled — along with JAG itself.

Fans have a lot of ideas about the possibility of a JAG reboot

When Mac and Harm began appearing on NCIS: LA, fans of the franchise took to Reddit to discuss the possibility that the resurgence of the characters might lead to a JAG reboot. While some were hopeful that the mothership series could refresh itself and find a new audience, others were less optimistic.

In a thread about the mini-JAG reunion, user u/RogueViator had a pretty clear idea of what they imagined a contemporary reboot of the legal drama would look like. They wrote, "As a reboot, the idea is solid. Make either Harm or Mac a flag officer and in charge of JAG. That way you can bring them in to tie the series but have totally new lawyers. Also, they can make it like Law & Order where the first half is the NCIS investigation and the second half is the JAG trial."

However, u/joeclark5 didn't see it happening. They said, "Not sure if a JAG reboot would work...even during [its] original run, it wasn't a huge hit like NCIS and ratings dropped a lot near the end. The movie Man of the Year and Family Guy made jokes about how hardly anyone and just older people watch it."

That certainly is a tough — but fair — assessment. But ultimately, whether or not there is a JAG reboot will come down to the creative powers at be. So, what do they have to say about the idea?

A reboot of JAG isn't officially happening ... as of now

Whether they were testing the waters for a JAG reboot, or just giving longtime NCIS universe fans a treat, those involved in bringing Mac and Harm back to NCIS: LA were aware that the reunion caused speculation to run wild. When TVLine asked her about the possibility of a JAG revival, Mac actress Catherine Bell revealed, "There have always been 'talks.' I can't say there is anything specific in the works, but there have just always been talks about it. [...] I think that there's always that possibility."

However, she did also make sure to clarify that nothing was certain, adding, "There's been talk of a JAG reboot, but for now, I'm on Good Witch, and I have been for a while now."

NCIS: LA executive producer R. Scott Gemmill was similarly fond of the idea, but not ready to say it's definitely on the horizon. He told Parade, "I think that may be wishful thinking. [...] I think we would all love to work together again, but trying to get everyone's schedule to line up, it's a big ask to do that again, but it's not something we've dismissed outright. It's just a challenge, and we're taking things step by step."

So, it looks like even though a JAG reboot is still nothing more than a twinkle in the eye of those fans who have been with the NCIS franchise since the beginning, we shouldn't count it out quite yet.