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JAG (the American Military acronym for Judge Advocate General) is an American adventure/legal drama television show that was produced by Belisarius Productions, in association with Paramount Network Television and, for the first season only, NBC Productions. Originally conceived as Top Gun meets A Few Good Men, JAG was first aired on NBC on September 23, 1995, but was later cancelled on May 22, 1996 after finishing 77th in the ratings. With a network change, rival network CBS picked up the series for a midseason replacement, beginning on January 3, 1997. CBS's decision to give JAG another chance would prove very profitable, as they aired it for nine additional seasons until April 29, 2005, for a total of ten seasons. In total, 227 episodes were produced and the show was also seen in over 100 countries. Due to the show's popularity, the show entered syndication early in 1999 and it is still regularly repeated around the world, mostly on the USA Network.
The series depicts JAG officers, though heavily romanticized, applying the stipulations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and international law as well as providing conventional television melodrama. In its initial phase, the show relied much on Hollywood military-prop suppliers and existing stock footage from other well-known naval and military films, including Top Gun, The Hunt for Red October and Clear and Present Danger. The Department of Defense later recognized the series as positive for its public image and therefore granted official support, providing the producers access to military installations and equipment. It is so far the only television show to have been officially endorsed by both the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps. From the beginning, the show regularly incorporated elements of real-life military actions into its storylines, e.g. the aftermath of the Bosnian War, the attack on the USS Cole, the events of the September 11, 2001 attacks and the subsequent War on Terrorism. In the wake of the above attacks the show experienced a boost in ratings and became a fixture on Nielsen's top 10.