Each of the five broadcast networks has a military pilot in the works: ABC comedy Charlie Foxtrot, CBS' untitled Navy SEAL drama, Fox's Behind Enemy Lines reboot, NBC's For God and Country and The CW's Valor. Meanwhile, History is readying the Will Smith-produced Harlem Hellfighters, about an African-American unit fighting in World War I; National Geographic just cast its eight-hour Iraq War miniseries The Long Road Home; and Hulu has One Million Steps, the Afghanistan Marine drama based on former Assistant Secretary of Defense Bing West's book. (And that's on top of USA Network's previously renewed Shooter.)
Tana Nugent Jamieson, senior vp scripted at A+E Studios, which is behind Harlem Hellfighters, One Million Stepsand History's Six, sees the trend as an attempt to reach underserved audiences. "There's probably too many right now," she concedes, "but look how many cop procedurals there are. People want to see all sides of heroes."
Few disagree that these programs reflect current events, but more intriguing is how they may influence the real world. Says McNutt, "It seems likely, in the years to come, that we will begin to categorize shows as either complicit or resistant to Trump's presidency."