FBI: MW showrunner David Hudgins spoke about the decision to cast Bloods star Amy Carlson as bounty hunter Jackie Ward and if fans can expect a return visit.
Carlson’s Blue Bloods exit
Carlson had come to fame on Blue Bloods playing Linda, Danny’s (Donnie Wahlberg) wife. A needed voice of reason for the family, Linda was always there to support her husband while also reining in his infamous temper.
Their dramas included a few close calls thanks to Linda’s job as a nurse and also her worries their sons may want to follow in their father’s footsteps. Yet her bond with Danny was one of the series’ best strengths.
Thus, fans were shocked when Carlson announced she was leaving the show after its seventh season. The shock grew when the eighth season premiere revealed Linda had died in a helicopter crash (although it was later hinted she’d been murdered).
Carlson has been mostly silent on why she left, simply indicating her contract was up and wanted to experience new opportunities. As it happens, a great one came along.
Season 2 of Most Wanted had the team hunting a fugitive only to run into Jackie. A proudly profane, self-proclaimed “lone wolf,” Jackie had clashed before with team leader Jess (Julian McMahon).
She was all about catching the bad guys for her own gain, and that caused problems with the team’s own chases. The entire character was completely different from Linda, with Carlson doing great in the role.
Speaking to CinemaBlend, showrunner David Hudgins shared how the addition of a bounty hunter character came from the show needing a realistic touch.
“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.”
Hudgins added how Carlson was needed for her energy and is hopeful for a return visit.
“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.”
Carlson shared with TV Insider how she still keeps in touch with Wahlberg and even open to a flashback return as Linda in an episode.
Yet this new role shows a much different side for the actress and fans hopeful Jackie returns to befuddle the team once more.
FBI Most Wanted season 1&2 streaming on Paramount Plus.