Lifetime Television has ordered production of 13 episodes of "Army Wives" from The Mark Gordon Company and Touchstone Television. Premiering in March 2007, the new ensemble drama series about the struggles, dreams and friendships of a diverse group of women -- and one man -- living with their spouses and families on an active army post and the pressures and traditions of the military on those who are left behind while their partners serve their country was announced today by Susanne Daniels, President, Entertainment, Lifetime Networks.
Filmed on location in Charleston, South Carolina, the series stars Kim Delaney ("NYPD Blue"), Sally Pressman ("Shark"), Brigid Brannagh ("Over There"), Brian McNamara ("The O.C."), Sterling K. Brown ("Starved"), Wendy Davis ("Commander in Chief"), Drew Fuller ("Charmed") and Catherine Bell ("JAG"). Mark Gordon ("Grey's Anatomy," "Criminal Minds") and The Mark Gordon Company's President of Production, Deborah Spera ("Criminal Minds") serve as executive producers. The pilot, directed by Ben Younger (Prime), was written by Katherine Fugate ("The Prince & Me"), who created the series and also serves as executive producer. The series is based on the book Under the Sabers: The Unwritten Code of Army Wives by Tanya Biank, who serves as a consultant. "Army Wives" is produced by Touchstone Television.
"We're pleased to bring an entertaining and relevant drama series in 'Army Wives' to our viewers. This show will resonate strongly with our audience as Mark, Deb and Katherine have created authentic, relatable and powerful characters set in a highly charged and complex environment," said Daniels in making the announcement.
"Building on Touchstone Television's cable business model and growth strategy to produce on all platforms, this deal is a key opportunity to expose the studio's quality content to new audiences," said Mark Pedowitz, president, Touchstone Television. Adding, "Lifetime has proven a crucial partner in the expansion of Touchstone's hits 'Desperate Housewives' and 'Grey's Anatomy' into syndication and we plan to aggressively develop this engrossing original drama into a franchise success for the network."
In "Army Wives," an unlikely tribe is formed when four women and one man create a bond based on one common theme: they all love a soldier who could die at any moment. Yet, they are all isolated by secrets that buck the armed forces system. They include: Claudia Joy Holden (Delaney), strong and respected wife of Colonel Michael Holden (McNamara), who the other women admire; Denise Sherwood (Bell), a devoted homemaker to her Major husband and teenage son, who harbors a shocking secret; Pamela Moran (Brannagh), a former cop, now earning money as a surrogate, who must keep her secret or face blackballing by the other women in their tight knit community; Roxy LeBlanc (Pressman), a feisty woman from the wrong side of the tracks who marries a soldier, Trevor (Fuller), after only knowing him for a few days. Now instantly living with her children on the post, she quickly experiences the politics of being housed in an ultra competitive environment. The "wives" also includes one husband, Roland Burton (Brown), who is trying to adapt to his Lieutenant Colonel wife's (Davis) post-traumatic stress syndrome after her return from the war.
Executive Producer Mark Gordon stated, "All of our shows are driven by characters that audiences fall in love with and look forward to immersing themselves in every week. Katherine Fugate has created a show that moves you to laugh, cry, and thoroughly entertain the audience."
Said Creator/Executive Producer Katherine Fugate, "This entire experience has been magic-filled, starting with the opportunity to tell the often-untold and unseen stories of female (and male) empowerment from the 'Army Wives' point of view, rather than that of the soldiers at war. Then, working with Mark Gordon, Deb Spera and Marshall Persinger, as well as the executives at Touchstone Television and finally Lifetime Television, all of whom have been so nurturing and highly supportive in our shared vision to tell the best stories we can tell. Lastly, I cannot be more thrilled with the cast we've assembled, all unique in their voice and talent. This truly is an opportunity of a lifetime and I can't wait for it all to unfold."