“Scoundrels” with David James Elliott

Scoundrels with David James Elliott
Former JAG star David James Elliott having fun with Scoundrels

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David James Elliott looked very proud wearing his Navy uniform when he portrayed Commander Harmon Rabb on JAG. But Elliott is now seen on the ABC summer series Scoundrels and he’s wearing a different outfit. It’s a prison uniform, in which he doesn’t look nearly as proud, but he’s having fun anyway.

Elliott says, “It’s a mix of drama and comedy, and for me it’s been rich, varied and fun.”

Scoundrels will conclude its summer run of eight shows on August 15, with an episode titled “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf.” So the fun is coming to an end for now, with hopes of bringing it back for another run.

On Scoundrels, Elliot plays Wolf West, a career criminal who just started his four year jail sentence. Playing his wife Cheryl is Virginia Madsen, trying get out of the family business and go straight. Unfortunately their children like the life of being scoundrels. And dad is still pulling the strings from behind steel doors.

Elliott explains that his character, Wolf, got everyone involved in the family business, hence the title Scoundrels. “It’s sort of a Robin Hood life of crime. We’re a tight-knit dysfunctional, typical American family. Every family is dysfunctional, and our level just happens to be a little left of center. Crime has been how we’ve made a living, but we only pick on the bad guys. The guys who steal from us.”

Elliot says that after JAG he was “looking for something that grabs you artistically, and this was a terrific opportunity. It looked like it would be a lot of fun and was well written.”

Playing a scoundrel really appealed to him, since the role was “a great departure from the really moralistic guy I played on JAG for 10 years. This guy is not a horrible, nasty criminal. He’s a loveable rogue, that’s how I see him. He’s a very driven personality. He tends to just go with what feels good.”

Prior to doing the show, Elliot and his family had a vacation trip to the Amazon that sounded like an adventure movie. He reveals, “We were living with an Amazon tribe and exploring the trials and tribulations of what those people are faced with, it was a great experience.”

That’s what Elliot did on his summer vacation.


Frank Barron is the former editor of The Hollywood Reporter, having served twice in that capacity. In between, he was West Coast news director for Billboard Publications, supervising their five magazines. Barron also created the western TV series “The Man From Blackhawk” for the ABC network. For more than three decades he and writer-wife Margie Barron have covered Hollywood for Production Update magazine, and they currently contribute to numerous publications. Frank started in showbiz as publicity director for the KHJ radio and television station. Before moving to California, he was a sports editor in New Jersey.

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