[04/04/05 - 12:00 AM]
Jag to End Its Tour of Duty on CBS on April 29

[via press release from CBS]


Series Will Conclude After 10 Years with 227 Missions in the Field

CBS and Paramount Network Television have jointly announced that the final episode of JAG, the longest running military drama on television with 10 seasons and 227 episodes to its credit, will be broadcast on Friday, April 29, 2005 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT).

"In my opening days at CBS, we needed to rebuild; we needed compelling, well-produced shows that would appeal to a wide audience," said Leslie Moonves, Co-President, Co-Chief Operating Officer of Viacom and Chairman, CBS. "JAG was one of the first series to fill that void, making an immediate impact on Friday nights. When we moved it to Tuesday nights in 1997, it played a key role in CBS's positive sea change in the ratings war. Since then, JAG has been one of the cornerstones of our schedule and a very influential part of the Network�s turnaround. CBS is proud to have been JAG's home for nine seasons and we salute the incredible talents and accomplishments of Don Bellisario, the cast and its crew."

David Stapf, President of Paramount Network Television, said: "For a decade, JAG has been an important part of the fabric of Paramount. Don Bellisario is a master storyteller and a producer with one of the most envied track records in television. He assembled an extremely talented cast and staff and, while we know we will be able to enjoy their work for years through syndication, we now bid 'good-bye' to this highly compelling series. We are grateful for everyone's contributions."

"We've had an amazing run, particularly for a series that was once cancelled,� said Donald P Bellisario, creator/executive producer. �Over the last 10 years we have had an opportunity to shine a spotlight on our armed forces and call attention to issues of significant importance to our country as well as the men and women who serve it. I want to acknowledge the amazing team responsible for JAG, most of whom have been with us for the entire run. The cast, writers, producers, directors, editors and crew have earned, as it is signaled in the Navy, a 'Bravo Zulu' for their outstanding work. We owe a special thanks to the United States Navy and Marine Corps for their cooperation, to CBS and Paramount for being great partners and to our fans who have been waiting for nearly a decade to see if Harm and Mac get together. To them I say 'fair winds and following seas."

JAG is military-speak for Judge Advocate General corps, the elite legal wing of officers trained as lawyers who investigate, prosecute and defend those accused of crimes in the military, including murder, treason and terrorism. Over the past nine seasons, Navy Cmdr. Harmon "Harm" Rabb, an ace pilot turned lawyer, and Marine Lt. Col. Sarah "Mac" MacKenzie, a beautiful by-the-book officer, have been colleagues with the same high standards who would clash when they chose different routes to get the job done. The unmistakable chemistry between them has been held at bay for professional reasons, but in the final episode, due to a bombshell dropped by General Cresswell, they are forced to face those feelings once and for all.

After one season on NBC, JAG premiered on CBS on January 3, 1997, airing on Fridays (9:00-10:00PM, ET/PT), then moved to Tuesdays (8:00-9:00PM, ET/PT) in the second season on the Network. It moved to its current timeslot, Fridays (9:00-10:00PM, ET/PT) last season.

Over the years, Bellisario, who is a former Marine, has arranged for the production to film on many locations, lending authenticity to the series, including Australia, where they filmed the 100th episode, Washington, D.C., Camp Pendleton, Pt. Mugu and North Island Naval Air Station military bases in California, and on active aircraft carriers at sea. Bellisario also strives for military accuracy in the actors' portrayals. From the haircuts and the snappy salutes to the way the uniforms are worn and the way the actors behave while in uniform, attention is paid to every detail.

Syndicated episodes of JAG can be seen on the Hallmark Channel and USA Network.

The series stars David James Elliott as Cmdr. Harmon Rabb Jr., Catherine Bell as Lt. Col. Sarah MacKenzie, Patrick Labyorteaux as Lt. Cmdr. Bud Roberts, Scott Lawrence as Cmdr. Sturgis Turner, David Andrews as Major General Gordon "Biff" Cresswell, Zoe McLellan as P.O. 1st Class Jennifer Coates and Chris Beetem as Lt. Gregory Vukovic. Past regular cast members include John M. Jackson as Adm. A.J. Chegwidden, Karri Turner as Lt. Harriet Sims, Chuck Carrington as P.O. Tiner and Randy Vasquez as Gunnery Sgt. Victor 'Gunny' Galindez.

Recurring cast members included Stephen Culp as Special Agent Clayton Webb, Trevor Goddard as Lt. Cmdr. Michael �Mic� Brumby, Michael Bellisario as Midshipman Mike �Mikey� Roberts, Paul Collins as Secretary of the Navy Nelson and Nanci Chambers, Elliott's wife, as Lt. Loren Singer.

Guest stars on the series included: Gloria Allred, Corbin Bernsen, Rudy Boesch, Ernest Borgnine, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Johnnie Cochran, Ossie Davis, Dale Dye, Gladys Knight, Mary Hart, Isabella Hoffmann, Joe Lando, Gavin McLeod, Gerald McRaney, Oliver North, Terry O'Quinn, Bill O'Reilly, Christina Pickles, Francesco Quinn, Doug Savant, John Schneider, Robert Stack, Dean Stockwell, Dee Wallace Stone, Lyman Ward, Bruce Weitz, Mae Whitman, Montel Williams, Trisha Yearwood, Ian Ziering and Barry Zito.

JAG has received three ASCAP awards for music, and has received Emmy Awards for costuming and editing as well as multiple Emmy Award nominations for musical score, costuming and cinematography. JAG has received the Jewish Image Award, a PRISM Award and the Red Cross Spirit Award. David James Elliott won a TV Guide Award for Favorite Actor in a Drama for the 1999-2000 season. That same year, Catherine Bell was honored with the Spirit of Hollywood Award for Television.

Donald P. Bellisario is the creator and executive producer of the series. Charles Floyd Johnson, Steven Zito and Dana Coen are co-executive producers. JAG is produced by Belisarius Productions, in association with Paramount Network Television.

  [april 2005]  


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