Why Was ‘JAG’ Cancelled?

If you’re a big fan of JAG, one thing you might wonder is why the series ended. All is not lost, because we eventually got a spin-off in the form of NCIS out of it. However, you still might be curious about the cancellation of JAG. What happened? Here’s what Showbiz Cheat Sheet knows about why the television series JAG was cancelled.

When was ‘JAG’ on TV?

JAG first aired September 23, 1995. The first episode is titled “A New Life.” The final episode of JAG, titled “Fair Winds and Flowing Seas,” aired April 29, 2005. The show’s two main characters are Harmon “Harm” Rabb Jr. (David James Elliott) and Sarah “Mack” MacKenzie (Catherine Bell).

What are the stars of ‘JAG’ up to now?

After JAG ended, Elliott appeared in a 2005 TV movietitled The Stranger I Married. He played the role of Terry Evanshen. Hethen appeared in an episode of Medium titled “Twice Upon a Time.” In2006, Elliott landed a role as a series regular on the television show Closeto Home, in which he played the character James Conlon until 2007. In 2008,he had a recurring role as David Renwald in the series The Guard. Elliottcurrently appears in the Netflix drama Spinning Out.

Bell starred in the 2005 TV movie Sci Fi Inside: TheTriangle. This led to her appearance in a related mini-series titled TheTriangle. After a few television movies and small TV roles, Bell starred inthe television series Army Wives. She played the role of Denise Sherwoodfrom 2007 to 2013. Her next recurring role was in The Good Witch, playingthe character Cassie Nightingale from 2015 to 2019.

Why was ‘JAG’ cancelled?

During interviews with the Seattle Times and ChicagoTribune, JAG creator Donald P. Bellisario says the viewers were simplytoo old. According to him, the older demographic is what caused the show tofizzle out. “The reason JAG is not coming back is purely demographic.Nothing more,” saidBellisario in a 2005 interview with the Seattle Times. “Our 18- to34-year-old audience is almost nonexistent. Almost all of our viewers are over50. Why don’t advertisers go for that group? My God, we have a lot more moneythan any of these kids,” Bellisario added.

In his interview with the Chicago Tribune, Bellisarioechoed what he told the Seattle Times. Although he says JAG was agreat show, he was happy to be working on NCIS because the show appealedto a younger audience. “While JAG was terrific and had a lot of fans,they were older fans, and that’s one reason it was canceled,” Bellisario toldthe Chicago Tribune in 2005. “With NCIS, I wanted a youngeraudience. I write this differently, and it’s shot and edited differently.”

Did David James Elliott’s departure play a role in ‘JAG’ ending?

Although some fans think Elliott’s departure is another reasonJAG ended, TV Guide reportsthis is not true. According to the publication, Elliott’s contract was notrenewed, so he had no choice but to leave the show. Bellisario told TV Guidehe was looking to hire someone younger and reduce costs. At the time, the show’sfate was unclear, so the TV executive was focused on building a younger cast.Here’s what Bellisario said about Elliott leaving JAG:

David left, and we wish him well. His contract was up, and we never expected it to go on. We had to cut costs. We started doing episodes with less of David, and it became obvious to him that we were not going to renegotiate [his contract]. We want a younger, hipper JAG. It was always intended that Catherine would be [on] the show next season but [Elliott] would not.

Read more: ‘NCIS’:Who Knew? Sean Murray Was in ‘JAG’

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