How NCIS' Latest Cast Addition Led To A Hallmark Christmas Movie Reunion

TV universes collided (non-canonically) this week when Home Improvement vet Patricia Richardson took a trip to Washington D.C. for a guest-starring spot in CBS’ NCIS. Understandably, the actress was also playing a mom during this latest episodic venture, with Richardson taking on the role of Judy Price Fielding, mother of Margo Harshman’s Delilah McGee, and thus the mother-in-law of Sean Murray’s Tim McGee. Alongside that corpse-finding fun, viewers might not have realized that “Docked” also served as a Hallmark Christmas Movie mini-reunion for Richardson. 

As it happens, Patricia Richardson was in a 2013 Hallmark Channel holiday feature called Snow Bride, which also happened to co-star current NCIS regular (and Arrow vet) Katrina Law. In that film, Richardson portrayed a well-to-do mother with marriage-ready sons, with Law serving as one of the sons’ future brides. I think we can all agree Richardson would make for a fun, if severely intimidating, mother-in-law. 

It turns out that Hallmark reunion was a complete surprise to Patricia Richardson, who didn’t realize her former co-star was currently a special agent within NCIS’ ranks. Here’s how she put it to TV Insider

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 [Hallmark or Lifetime Christmas movies] I ever did was with Katrina and it was called Snow Bride. She was so funny in that, wasn’t she great? 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.

Judy’s storyline involved the discovery of a dead body while she was on a cruise, and it turned out she actually knew the victim. The way things played out unfortunately didn’t give Patricia Richardson and Katrina Law a whole lot to do together, since McGee was a more obvious choice to take this case on. And even though the episode ended with Judy going off to Africa with her ex-fiancé Harold, played by Tom Yi, there’s the hope that Richardson will return in the near future, possibly to share some embarrassing personal stories about McGee.

Patricia Richardson also revealed another reunion aspect that went along with her NCIS debut, saying:

And also I had a director who I’d worked with before. Michael Zinberg directed me in the episode that I did of Quantum Leap with Scott Bakula years ago.

Quite the timely memory to reflect on, though she talked about it before the recent death of Quantum Leap star Dean Stockwell. In any case, take a look at the cast of Snow Bride below!

While TV reunions tend to happen on Hallmark Channel, rather than the other way around — just look at Candace Cameron Bure’s Fuller House reunion and that Desperate Housewives reconnect — things obviously don't always happen that way. More reunions are bound to happen in the massive list of upcoming Hallmark Christmas movies, too.

NCIS airs Monday nights on CBS at 9:00 p.m. ET. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.