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Feature: Primetime

Army Wives

The cast

The problems of the women left behind as their men go to war…

Set on a military base in South Carolina, this ensemble drama spotlights the struggles, dreams and friendships of an eclectic group of women – and one man – who are left behind while their partners serve their country in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“My colleagues and I found a book called Under the Sabers: The Unwritten Code of Army Wives that was written by a journalist, Tanya Biank,” says Executive Producer Deb Spera. “She decided she wanted to explore the culture of women who are married to the military, and we thought it would make a great series.”

Spotlighting such an unpopular war, Executive Producer Mark Gordon is quick to stress that they want to “spend time dealing with the emotional ramifications of war, not the political ramifications. This show has enormous heart. These are great characters that are in a very dramatic situation. We are not preaching politics. We are not taking a point of view overall as a show.”

Catherine Bell, who stars as Denise Sherwood, a devoted homemaker to her Major husband and teenage son, admits even though she spent years working on a military series, “this really couldn’t be further from JAG. It explores the relationships of the people that are not going off to war, and what they have to deal with when their spouses do leave. I spent a lot of time on military bases on JAG, and the most touching experience was when I would meet the wives and their families. We were at Camp Pendleton one year, and these families came out to watch us film, women with three, four children. Their husbands had been away for nine months. I just remember being so moved by that, by their lives and their strength and what it must be like to live on that base and deal with that.”

by Judy Sloane

Read the full fetaure in
TV Zone #218

Photo © Touchstone Television
Feature © Visual Imagination 2007. Not for reproduction

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TV Zone #218
August 2007
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