'JAG' Returns for Its 10th Season
Entertainment Tonight- 08/20/04

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The interview as printed at the ET website:

When "JAG" returns to CBS with new episodes on Friday, Sept. 24, at 9 p.m., it will be launching its 10th season. Quite a feat in this day and age when most TV shows don't even make 13 episodes.

"It is a little unreal that we're here for 10 years," says Catherine Bell , who joined the show in its second season, so has only been there nine years. "Les Moonves at CBS was smart enough to give it a chance because we didn't do that good the first year on CBS, even the second year we did okay, but he gave people a chance to get used to us and then we caught on."

On tonight's ET, we're on the set with Catherine and her co-star David James Elliott to get the 411 on the season opener.

"I would probably have to kill you if I told you that," David kids around. "There's some resolution and some interesting changes, but if I told you, it wouldn't be good. You will have to tune in Sept. 24 and you will find out."

Catherine was a tiny bit more forthcoming. She admits, "Mac (Bell) is a wreck in the first episode. She is just falling apart. She has a lot going on. She has a boyfriend who died and a physical thing going on that she is going to be telling Harm (Elliott) about. Of course, Mac is strong, so I have a feeling she will survive. It is nice after nine years of doing all the military and action stuff to get in there and deal with the things we all deal with."

The day ET was on the set, Catherine also had her 16-month-old daughter Gemma there, who was being looked after by Catherine's mother. Being able to have her daughter there makes all the difference in the world for the new mom.

"When I get a break, I run back and I see her and I get to play with her," she relates.

David also has a young son, 17 months old. "He went with his mom to see his grandparents and he came back after three weeks and I went to pick them up at the airport," says the "JAG" star, who is also training to participate in the Florida Ironman competition. "He looked at me like he knew who I was but he wasn't sure. After we picked up the luggage and we loaded it in the trunk, he said, 'Dada,' like it just occurred to him 45 minutes later. I went, 'Wow, okay.' That is how quickly it happens. When you are working these long hours, it is tough on the young ones. My daughter is a little more forgiving because she has lived it all of her life."

David quotes from the video clip at the ET site:

"You know what...there was about four cliff hangars in that final episode and we address all four...so, if you were there for the last one I would be there for the first one."

"I'm training for the Florida Iron Man and the other day we were shooting out at Malibu so at lunch we swam in the ocean - its difficult (with emphasis) to do this, be a father and a husband and train for the iron man but it can be done and I am doing it."

"It is a major milestone - 10 years -this show had such a twisted history, we clawed our way here to 10 years really, they moved us..."