The Scoop Deck

Reports: Fox passes on carrier-based ‘Wild Blue’ drama

Producers of "Wild Blue" hoped setting the drama on a real aircraft carrier would help launch the series, but they couldn't find a ship to fit their schedule. (Navy photo by MCSN Brian Stephens)

Producers of “Wild Blue” hoped setting the drama on a real aircraft carrier would help launch the series, but they couldn’t find a ship to fit their schedule. (Navy photo by MCSN Brian Stephens)

What started as a Navy-themed TV drama with an impressive Hollywood pedigree slowly became a show without a ship, without a star — and, eventually, without a chance.

“Wild Blue,” an aircraft carrier-based pilot pitched to Fox but delayed when producers couldn’t land a flattop to film on, won’t be shot after all, according to multiple reports.

Both The Hollywood Reporter and said the show’s stumbles weren’t limited to finding a carrier; in fact, plans called for filming to commence without a flattop to accommodate the schedule of potential leading man Tim McGraw — country music superstar, “Friday Night Lights” co-star and famous enough already by relation.

McGraw ended up passing, according to reports, so the producers ended up waiting, assembling a cast led by Mykelti Williamson, probably best known for his role as as Benjamin Buford “Bubba” Blue, as the warship’s command master chief.

With Williamson on board and with members of the team behind the FX hit “Justified” at the helm, the show — pitched as “West Wing” meets “ER” meets “Top Gun,” with a bit of “Upstairs, Downstairs” thrown in for good measure — appeared on track. Instead, its rejection ends a year of  bad news for the Navy on TV, outside of the ratings monster that is the “NCIS” franchise:

  • The last episode of the canceled ABC drama “Last Resort” aired in January.
  • Producers behind the “Act of Valor” franchise, which starred real Navy SEALs on the big screen in 2012, announced a deal for a follow-up series on the National Geographic Channel … starring Air Force pararescuemen.
  • The CW network passed on “Company Town,” a Navy-themed drama targeting twentysomethings and set in Norfolk, Va.

One bright spot for 2014 on the small screen: “The Last Ship” — which shares a title with William Brinkley’s 1989 novel of nuclear Armageddon, but won’t mirror his story — will debut on TNT this summer. Watch the trailer here.

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  1. Anonymous Says:
    January 3rd, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    The best thing should be on TV besides NCIS is Victory at Sea. You can never go wrong with that.

  2. Bruce Parker Says:
    January 10th, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Why didn’t they try to use the USS INDEPENDANCE in New York Harbor? At least for close up scenes.

  3. Javid Benson Says:
    January 13th, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    The last thing the world want to see is a movie about who fictional the Navy is by putting a camera on the ship that is not out to sea and to have actors who have never served star in it. If you want something good why you to make a reality t.v. show of how the Navy really is, I do see some shows like that already but when i we sailors and troops always smiling and always getting along that only means that the COC already told them not to act up. I served 14 years almost 15 and i can tell you we doing always get along 90 percent on the time out to sea.