‘NCIS’ Led to a Hallmark Christmas Reunion: Here’s How

by John Jamison

The season of made-for-TV Christmas movies from the likes of Hallmark and Lifetime is upon us. And what better way to celebrate than by looking at the cast of NCIS? Sounds crazy on the surface, we know. You can’t get much further from the warm and comforting embrace of movies like Snow Bride than the crime drama that is NCIS.

But little did Patricia Richardson know when she guest-starred on a recent episode that she’d be reuniting with one of her former Hallmark co-stars.

The most recent episode of NCIS, titled “Docked,” saw the team looking into the mysterious death of a man on a cruise ship. As fate would have it, none other than McGee’s mother-in-law discovered the body in the sauna.

Enter Patricia Richardson. You may recognize the veteran actor as Jill Taylor from Home Improvement. She’s no stranger to a few of our favorite Outsider favorites, either. She appeared in an episode of Law & Order: SVU during the long-running show’s first season and, more recently, popped up on Last Man Standing.

However, in 2013 she starred in the Hallmark Christmas classic “Snow Bride” alongside new NCIS cast addition Katrina Law. The best part is that she had no idea Katrina was on the show.

“When I got there, I hadn’t watched this season, and I didn’t know that Katrina Law had joined, and Katrina and I — one of the best I ever did was with Katrina, and it was called Snow Bride,” Richardson told TV Insider. “And so when I saw her, I was like, ‘Katrina!’ I’ve been following her on Instagram ever since. So I’ve watched her have her baby, and I had no idea she’d be there. So that was really cool, that I got to see her, and she’s so gorgeous.”

Patricia Richardson Gives ‘NCIS’ Rave Reviews, 10/10 Would Love to Reprise

Unfortunately, the course of the recent episode didn’t see Katrina Law’s Jessica Knight mixing it up with Patricia Richardson’s Judy Price Fielding. But it wasn’t all bad. As McGee’s mother-in-law, Richardson got to act everywhere, from the ships to her son-in-law’s apartment, and of course, to the NCIS office itself.

She had nothing but kind words to share regarding her experience as a guest star on the show.

“This whole job has been a blast. What a great show to work on. I don’t know if an actor could ask for a better working environment. It’s a fun part except for the part where I have to see a dead body… I just would love to play the character again because she’s so fun,” Richardson told TV Insider.

Yeah, the dead body part can understandably be a bit jarring coming off Christmas movies.