‘NCIS’ Pilot Episodes to Air on WGN America

This is a television event you don’t want to miss. The JAG episodes that introduced NCIS will air on cable station WGN America. So, pop some popcorn and get ready to take a trip down memory lane. Showbiz Cheat Sheet will tell you all about when the two-part pilot airs and the plot that helped make Agent Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo, Abby Sciuto, and Ducky your favorite people to watch each week on Tuesday nights.

JAG's Patrick Labyorteaux and  NCIS star Mark Harmon | Eddy Chen/CBS via Getty Images
JAG’s Patrick Labyorteaux and NCIS star Mark Harmon | Eddy Chen/CBS via Getty Images

WGN America will air the 2003 NCIS pilot episodes on JAG

If you’re just becoming acquainted with the show, you might not know NCIS is a spinoff. JAG is responsible for bringing one of CBS’ hottest shows to life. The JAG episodes that helped introduce NCIS took place in two parts. These episodes are titled “Ice Queen” and “Meltdown.” This is known as a “backdoor pilot” since a new show is being introduced within an existing show.

JAG Season 8, Episode 20: ‘Ice Queen’

Season 8, Episode 20 of JAG, titled “Ice Queen” first aired April 22, 2003. This is when viewers first get to see Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs and his team in action. Here’s the show’s description on the WGN America website: “Members of the elite Naval Criminal Investigative Service are sent in to probe the murder of a JAG officer found in a park. Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, David McCallum and Robyn Lively guest star.” This episode has a lot of twists and turns after Harm becomes the prime suspect.  

JAG Season 8, Episode 21: ‘Meltdown’

Season 8, Episode 21 of JAG, titled “Meltdown,” first aired April 29, 2003. This is the show’s description on the WGN America website: “With Harm under arrest for the murder of a JAG officer, the naval criminal investigative service continues to examine evidence to build the case against him.”

There was supposed to be another NCIS spinoff

NCIS: Red never got picked up. |  Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images
‘NCIS: Red’ never got picked up. | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

After the success of NCIS, another spinoff, NCIS: Los Angeles, was produced. The NCIS Season 6 episodes titled “Legend Part 1” and “Legend Part 2” introduced the characters for the spinoff series, NCIS: Los Angeles. The NCIS Season 11 episode titled “Crescent City” introduced the characters for NCIS: New Orleans. There was supposed to be another NCIS spinoff called NCIS: Red, but it never got off the ground. Producers had plans to spin off the show from NCIS: Los Angeles.

Back in 2013 during Season 4, the episodes “Red: Part One” and “Red: Part Two” introduced a mobile anti-terrorist unit named Red Team. NCIS: Red was supposed to star 24‘s Kim Raver, Sex and the City‘s John Corbett and ER‘s Scott Grimes. However, CBS executives decided not to move forward. CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler felt it was more important to preserve the existing franchise, reports Digital Spy. “Sometimes [spinoffs] work and sometimes they don’t,” Tassler told the publication. “Protecting [the franchise] was really important,” she added.

The JAG episodes “Ice Queen” and “Meltdown” will air on WGN America on August 19 at 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern respectively.

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

Check out Showbiz Cheat Sheet on Facebook!