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<p>If NBC&nbsp;hadn't canceled &quot;JAG,&quot;&nbsp;would Catherine Bell have wound up on the show?&nbsp;And would &quot;NCIS&quot;&nbsp;exist at all?</p>

If NBC hadn't canceled "JAG," would Catherine Bell have wound up on the show? And would "NCIS" exist at all?

Credit: CBS

What if NBC didn't cancel 'JAG' after one season?

Would 'NCIS' exist? Would NBC be doing better than CBS at this point?

This week HitFix is revisiting some of the key turning points in recent entertainment history and considering what would have happened if history had turned a bit differently. What if...?

In the spring of 1996, NBC was at the peak of its Must-See TV period. "Seinfeld," "ER," "Friends," "Frasier" and "Law & Order" were  healthy and powerful, and there was a successful secondary tier of shows like "Wings," "Mad About You" and "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." The previous fall, the network had launched a new drama called "JAG," starring David James Elliott as a Naval officer and attorney who traveled the globe having adventures and defending sailors in court. By today's standards, "JAG" — which averaged 11.6 million viewers a week, despite airing on Saturday — would be a big hit, but that year it was the #79 show on TV overall, and its audience was on the old side, at a time when "Friends" and its imitators were pushing NBC ever-younger. The Peacock canceled "JAG," and CBS — which was in such dire straits that the network was happy to take any viewers, of any age — picked it up for the next spring. It would air 205 episodes over nine seasons for CBS, never a massive hit but a reliable performer and foundational piece as CBS dug itself out of a gaping hole. More importantly, when "JAG" was in its later years, the show's creator Don Bellisario pitched a spin-off to CBS about the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, aka "NCIS," which is entering its 11th season, is the most-watched drama on television and has spawned yet another successful spin-off in "NCIS: LA."

What if NBC didn't cancel 'JAG' after one season? 

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NBC joins CBS in making a 'Wizard of Oz'-inspired drama


NBC joins CBS in making a "Wizard of Oz"-inspired drama
Two weeks after CBS began developing an "Oz"-inspired medical pilot, NBC has bought the rights to "Emerald City," which will draw from L. Frank Baum's original books.


"True Blood's" Stephen Moyer to play Capt. Von Trapp on NBC's live "Sound of Music"
Moyer has experience working on stage, including in the London theater.


Jay Leno reruns beat fresh Jimmy Kimmel shows

The vacationing "Tonight Show" last week even beat "Jimmy Kimmel Live" in the key 18-49 demo.


Timothy Dalton joins Showtime's "Penny Dreadful"
Dalton shares a James Bond connection with the co-creators, Sam Mendes and John Logan, who worked together on "Skyfall."


Watch the trailer for the Indian version of "24"
The Jack Bauer role is played by Anil Kapoor, who played President Omar Hassan in Season 8 of the original "24."


"True Blood's" Amelia Rose Blaire gets a promotion
She'll become a series regular next season.


"Glee" sets a "Spring Awakening" reunion
Lea Michele's former Broadway colleague Phoebe Strole will join the Fox series next season as a love interest for Sam.


Michael Ian Black joins Fox's "Us and Them"
He'll play Alexis Bledel's uncle after guest-starring in the pilot.


CBS retaining Joey McIntyre and Jack McGee for "The McCarthys"
The New Kid on the Block star and the former "Rescue Me" regular are the only cast members to survive from the original "McCarthys" pilot that CBS is remaking.


Zendaya to star in Disney Channel movie "Zapped"
The "Dancing" alum will star in a movie in which her dog training smartphone app somehow is able to control the boys around her.


"Chicago PD" adds Sophia Bush and Patrick Flueger
They'll star in Dick Wolf's spinoff "Chicago Fire."

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<p>The ensemble of &quot;The World's End.&quot;</p>

The ensemble of "The World's End."

Credit: Focus Features

Tell us what you thought of 'The World's End'

Will you raise a glass to Edgar Wright's apocalyptic bar-crawl comedy?

Years from now, when the dust has settled on the multiplex offerings of summer 2013 -- and I have a feeling we're talking quite a lot of dust here -- people will still be confusing "The World's End" with "This is the End," and vice versa. (In fact, the passage of time will only render the distinction fuzzier.) Perhaps they'll be put together in a box-set, so people will have their bases covered. Anyway, both are casually structured apocalyptic comedies, both have boisterous, largely male ensembles, and both are reasonably amusing. It's the British one, however, that has won the critical war.

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Watch: Pearl Jam's striking new video for 'Mind Your Manners'

Watch: Pearl Jam's striking new video for 'Mind Your Manners'

The Seattle band snarls through taut, cinematic clip

Pearl Jam captures man’s inhumanity to man and other living things in the video for “Mind Your Manners.” Directed by noted rock photographer Danny Clinch, the video opens with a quaint '50s film about the importance of manners before crashing into a Pearl Jam performance in front of a screen quickly cutting to different disturbing images.

[More after the jump...]

 

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"Grey's Anatomy"

 "Grey's Anatomy"

Credit: ABC

Exclusive: Watch this deleted 'Grey's Anatomy' scene

Maybe Meredith is more upset than anyone suspects

Felt something was missing from season nine of "Grey's Anatomy"? Never fear, for there is a mess of deleted scenes coming your way. "'Grey's Anatomy': The Complete Ninth Season" hits stores on Aug. 27, but before then, we have an exclusive sample of what's in store. 

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Report: NFL pressured ESPN to pull out of PBS 'Frontline' documentary on concussions


Report: NFL pressured ESPN to pull out of PBS "Frontline" documentary on concussions
According to the co-author of the oral history of ESPN, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell personally expressed displeasure with the direction of the film after a trailer was released at the recent TV Critics Association, though the NFL denies asking ESPN to pull out of the project.


Julie Bowen: "Modern Family" is 10 steps behind "Glee," but we finally address gay marriage
"We address gay marriage" in the season premiere," Bowen tells E! "We address it. I so admire Ryan Murphy and 'Glee' and how they've taken a musical and a comedy, but they also really deliver very serious messages. We're still like 10 steps behind that. I don' t know if we'll ever be there." PLUS: "Modern Family" has its 100th table read.


Are these the new "SNL" featured players?

Comedian John Milhiser, actress Noël Wells and performers Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett have emerged as the favorites to join next season's cast. PLUS: Watch them in action.


Jimmy Fallon to present Justin Timberlake with the Vanguard Award at VMAs
Fallon on Sunday will present Timberlake with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.


Here's your 1st look at Kim Kardashian's baby
North West was revealed on Kris Jenner's talk show.


"The X Files" creator is developing a new show for AMC
Chris Carter says of his project, "I think that I am treading on some of this interesting ground that Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, and Julian Assange have uncovered for us."


Dustin Hoffman and Judi Dench sign on for BBC movie
He'll romance her in "Esio Trot."


Lea Thompson to star in TV movie "My Mother's Future Husband"
She'll play a widowed mother in the UP Television film.


Alexis Denisof joins "Grimm"

The guest casting will reunite Denisof with "Grimm" co-creator David Greenwalt, who also co-created "Angel."

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<p>Let's hug it out, folks, before we say goodbye to &quot;Deadwood&quot;&nbsp;next week.</p>

Let's hug it out, folks, before we say goodbye to "Deadwood" next week.

Credit: HBO

Programming note: 'Deadwood' review delayed one last time

Just trying to hold off on saying goodbye to Swidgin, Wu and the rest

Hey all you hoopleheads, in what may be a familiar refrain at this point in the summer, this week's "Deadwoodreview has been delayed until next week at this time. The way I figure it, it just delays the amount of time until we're done discussing the show forever. Sigh...

While I'm otherwise occupied, I highly recommend going back to last week's review — specifically, to the run of comments by Jim Beaver and Keone Young that start right here. Each man contributes a long and extremely poignant memory about their time on the show, and both then follow that up with something more light-hearted. As always, I view whatever I'm writing as a "Deadwood" actor comment delivery system.

Sorry for one last delay, but we'll have much to talk about, vis a vis "Tell Him Something Pretty," in a week.

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<p>&quot;Mr. Affleck, I'm sorry, but Mr. Cavill would like for you to take his costume off and, if possible, get it steam-cleaned. Yes, especially that part.&quot;</p>

"Mr. Affleck, I'm sorry, but Mr. Cavill would like for you to take his costume off and, if possible, get it steam-cleaned. Yes, especially that part."

Credit: Focus Features

3 On 3: We break down the pros and cons of casting Ben Affleck as the new Batman

In the meantime, Twitter's killing it with #Batfleck

They must have sent out the press release tonight about Ben Affleck being cast as Batman for Warner's upcoming "Superman Vs. Batman" about three minutes after I walked out the door of the HitFix office this evening.

As a result, I didn't know about it at all during my screening tonight. I slipped in just as the lights went down, and as soon as it was over, I was up and on my way to the car. It wasn't until I walked into the house and booted up the computer that I saw the chatter on Twitter, on Facebook, in my e-mail box. I saw Affleck's name first, over and over, and I had that horrible "Oh, god, I hope he's not dead" moment that comes anytime I see a celebrity's name explode over social media.

As we do with many big stories, we gathered three HitFix contributors to spitball some quick responses to questions that the casting of Affleck raised for us.

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"Big Brother"

 "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

'Big Brother' recap: A hamster is cut but has a shot to return

We find out what they're really saying in the jury house

Well, we can pretty much check out for at least half of this episode, as we all know what's going to happen, don't we? Helen is the target, and no amount of wheedling or crying is likely to save her. Well, unless another hamster throws his or her sound pack or tries to drown McCranda in the bathtub. That sounds tempting, but alas, unlikely.

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<p>Time to trade those in for the cape and cowl, sir.</p>

Time to trade those in for the cape and cowl, sir.

Credit: Focus Features

Ben Affleck goes from Best Picture-winning 'Argo' to... Batman?

An interesting and seemingly counter-intuitive choice from the actor/director

I think I'm in, like, Russellville, Arkansas or something like that. Mid-trek cross-country. Checked into the hotel, grabbed a shower, settled in and…Holy Argo, Batman -- Ben Affleck has been cast as the new Dark Knight in Zack Snyder's still untitled "Man of Steel" sequel (tentatively being called "Batman vs. Superman").

So if you're keeping score at home, that puts last year's Best Picture winner in the weirdly rare air of having played Superman (2006's "Hollywoodland") AND Batman in his career. Oh, and Daredevil, too. But let's break this down...

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<p>Oscar Isaac in &quot;Inside Llewyn Davis.&quot;</p>

Oscar Isaac in "Inside Llewyn Davis."

Credit: CBS Films

New trailer for 'Inside Llewyn Davis' further showcases Oscar Isaac's charisma

But you've still got to wait over three months to see the Coens' latest

The further I get away from the Joel and Ethan Coen's "Inside Llewyn Davis" -- which won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes, along with adulation of critics -- the more I find myself thinking of Oscar Isaac's performance before I do the film surrounding him. That's no slight on "Davis," which is every bit as cool and acute and exquisitely crafted as the brothers' top-tier work, but it's Isaac who carries its soul, warming and roughing up its wintery reserve. I still have no idea what the film's profile will be this awards season -- it could as easily be the critics' cause as the distantly admired outsider -- but if it lands right with Academy voters, I hope Isaac lands with it.

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'Breaking Bad' cuts ties with a cancer charity labeled one of 'America's worst charities'


"Breaking Bad" cuts ties with a cancer charity labeled one of "America's worst charities"
Until recently, the SaveWalterWhite.com website led to the National Cancer Coalition, which ranked No. 21 in the list of the worst charities.


Watch Screech enter the "Celebrity Big Brother" house
"Saved by the Bell" star Dustin Diamond, now 36, is one of two Americans on this season of the UK reality show. The other being teen bride Courtney Stodden.


MTV's VMAs will seat Lady Gaga next to Katy Perry
Perry won't be seated next to boyfriend John Mayer.


Dear "Idol" bosses: You can fix the show without Randy Jackson

Viewers aren't clamoring for more "Yo, yo, yo's."


Apple is planning to release its own TV set, with content directly from networks and studios

That's right: Apple wants to release a full-fledged TV set and become something of a cable company itself, according to a report in the publication Quartz.


Could binge-viewing end up hurting Netflix?
According to Variety, "binge-viewing may lead to binge-spending at Netflix, which could eventually see the impact in its stock price.


"Cake Boss" joins New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's campaign

Christie, at an event at the reality TV bakery, tapped Buddy Valastro to lead his "Small Business for Christie Coalition."


ESPN pulls out of joint NFL concussion investigation with PBS' "Frontline"
The sports network cited its lack of editorial control in deciding to end a 15-month relationship with the PBS show.


Check out the interior of the new "Real World: San Francisco" house
Here' a sneak peek at the Nob Hill home.


TCM is evolving into a "lifestyle brand"
The Turner Classic Movies cruise and TCM tour are part of an effort to "evolve from a linear network" into turning TCM fans into a community.


Kevin Spacey: Let TV viewers binge
Speaking at a lecture at the Edinburgh TV festival, Spacey said, "The audience wants control. They want freedom... If they want to binge then we should let them binge."


Why John Oliver is better at hosting "The Daily Show" than Jon Stewart
Oliver is the better actor, the better interviewer, plus he doesn't mutter like Stewart.


"Moesha's" little brother arrested for allegedly kicking his girlfriend in the stomach

Marcus T. Paulk turned himself into po this morning.


"Downton Abbey's" biggest challenge: Its popularity

To combat the growing paparazzi interest in the show, producers constructed fake storylines and photos.


"Game of Thrones" siblings Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey like to hula-hoop together
Check out images of them hula hooping in a bar.


"Community" stars play "Dick Hits!"

Watch Gillian Jacobs throw a water bottle at Donald Glover.


Kim Cattrall gave her blessing to the new Samantha Jones

"The key 2 her is her heart. She never judges those she loves. Have a blast!" Kattrall tweeted at new "Carrie Diaries" star Lindsey Gort.


Paramount Studios will hold a funeral service Friday for Lee Thompson Young

Paramount is where the late actor worked on "Rizzoli & Isles."


A "Modern Family" wedding?

Watch the first Season 5 promo.


Anthony Bourdain on Paula Deen: "It gives me no pleasure to see her torn apart..."

"It ain't pretty, either the charges or the reaction," he says of the Deen controversy. "I may have been an adversary or a critic of Miss Deen. It gives me no pleasure to see her torn apart by the people who were kissing her ass a week before."


13-year-old Nickelodeon star given 2 DisneyXD pilots

Will Jacob Bertrand become the next Disney sensation?


Jeff Probst jokes Rupert Boneham got a Groupon for a 4th "Survivor" appearance
"Rupert Again? isn't his 15 minutes up already?"


What TV homes would cost in real life

"The Big Bang Theory" apartment would likely rent for $1800 to $2200 a month.


Vince Gilligan addresses the "Breaking Bad" color theory
Says Gilligan says of the "Bad" color palette: "At the beginning of every series we would have a meeting in which I would discuss with the production designer and the costume designer about the specific palettes we would use for any given character throughout the course of the year." PLUS: Gilligan has a good feeling about the Saul Goodman spinoff, Mike  Ehrmantraut was a "happy accident," why Mike's death was lame, Betsy Brandt's heart started beating really fast watching this week's episode, and Aaron Paul reacts to Belize's offer: "Ummmm...let's do this! #Bitch"


"HIMYM" will try to show a glimpse of the last 8 years from The Mother's perspective
Co-creator Carter Bays says don't rule out flash-forwards with the whole Mosby clan.


Linda Cardellini feared being hated on "Mad Men" like she was on "Boy Meets World"

Cardellini was the girl who came between Cory and Topanga.


How to fix April from "Grey's Anatomy"
April Kepner needs to go to "character rehab."


Peter Jackson offers to direct a "Doctor Who" episode -- in exchange for a Dalek
"That’s what he wants," says Steven Moffat. "We give him a Dalek and then he’ll direct an episode."
 


"The Practice's" LisaGay Hamilton joins AMC's "Line of Sight"

She'll play an NTSB investigator in the plane crash drama.


"Ghost Shark" is no "Sharknado"

Syfy's movie about a shark that's a ghost, premiering tonight, lacks the execution of "Sharknado."


Watch "The Vampire Diaries" Season 4 blooper reel
Here's footage of Ian Somerhalder forgetting his lines.


Aidy Bryant talks about how her life has changed since joining "SNL" last year

She never imagined she'd be singing karaoke with Mumford & Sons at an after-after party.


Happy 40th birthday, Kristen Wiig!
Here's ranking the former "SNL" star's 19 characters.


"Hollywood Game Night" pits "The Office" stars against each other
Watch Angela Kinsey battle Ellie Kemper. PLUS: Kinsey & Jenna Fischer try exercising together, and Brian Baumgartner to guest on "Mike & Molly."


"Treme's" cookbook is divided into the show's characters
Each section is told in the voice of one of the HBO show's characters.


How 1970s sitcom opening credits gave a skewed look at NYC

From "Diff'rent Strokes" to "All in the Family."


"One Tree Hill's" Robert Buckley heads to "Hart of Dixie"

He'll have a "chance encounter" with Jaime King.

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