Why Blue Bloods' Amy Carlson Was An Important Addition To FBI: Most Wanted, According To The Showrunner

fbi most wanted season 2 amy carlson jackie ward cbs
(Image credit: CBS)

FBI: Most Wanted returned to CBS in the 2020-2021 TV season with some brand new characters coming on board, played by some very familiar TV faces. Most Wanted Season 2 marked the return of former Blue Bloods actress Amy Carlson to the network that had been her home for many years, but her new character definitely wasn't Linda Reagan 2.0. In fact, her FBI: Most Wanted character was completely unlike any other character on the crime procedural, and showrunner David Hudgins has explained why her addition was important for Season 2.

Amy Carlson's Jackie Ward debuted on FBI: Most Wanted as somebody who also wanted to catch criminals, but definitely not in the same way as Jess and the rest of the FBI team. She entered the mix as a bounty hunter. Speaking with CinemaBlend, Most Wanted showrunner David Hudgins opened up about bringing in Carlson as a bounty hunter:

Amy was great. The idea of a bounty hunter character was one of the first things we talked about in the room in Season 2, partly because in speaking with our FBI consultants, they said one of the things that makes their job hard at times are these bounty hunters. And the reason is, they don't have to play by the rules, right? They can go around and bribe people and do things that are outside the law. So we wanted to have this character come in, that wasn't bound by the same rules as the team was, and frankly, somebody to kind of get under Jess' skin a little bit, in a fun way.

A bounty hunter getting in the way of FBI investigations isn't something that FBI: Most Wanted just invented to bring a new character into Season 2, but a real-life complication for the federal agency. Even if the bounty hunter and the agents share more or less the same goal, they can and do go about pursuing the criminals in different ways, and FBI: Most Wanted embraced that with Amy Carlson's Jackie Ward. As the showrunner previously stated, Jackie started out as more of a "nemesis" than anything else.

Of course, Jackie also came in with some history with Jess, which added a whole other layer to her arrival on the scene. And in fact, actress Amy Carlson had a history of working with Most Wanted leading man Julian McMahon as well. David Hudgins continued talking Carlson's arrival as Jackie Ward, saying:

And that's what Amy brought to it. I mean, it's funny, because she and Julian knew each other. And here they were working together again, on the show. So we brought her back after her first episode, because we loved that character. And we'd love to have her come back again, Jackie.

Fortunately for fans who really connected to Jackie Ward during her two episodes of Season 2, Jackie wasn't killed off or given any twist that would mean she could never return, and the showrunner commented that they'd "love to have her come back." I'm not sure Jess and the rest of the team would share the same sentiment, but she definitely mixed things up in an entertaining way for viewers! When I commented on FBI: Most Wanted not giving any reason why Jackie couldn't return, David Hudgins confirmed by saying "No doubt."

Plus, FBI: Most Wanted was renewed for Season 3 well before Season 2 ended on the wild cliffhanger, so there's no doubt that the show will be back to potentially bring Amy Carlson back. She almost certainly won't be returning to Blue Bloods, after all, and in fact the FBI corner of the Dick Wolf universe on CBS just keeps growing. Not only were FBI and Most Wanted renewed for the 2021-2022 TV season, but they'll be joined by a new spinoff called FBI: International.

Unfortunately, fans will have to wait until the fall for any more FBI franchise action on CBS, but the full second season of Most Wanted (complete with Amy Carlson's Jackie Ward) is available streaming on Paramount+ now, and the summer TV season offers plenty of more options on the small screen.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).