The Fox network had big plans for its Wild Blue drama series, which aimed to describe life on a Navy aircraft carrier from an "upstairs/downstairs" perspective. The series, pitched as a mixture of ER, The West Wing and Top Gun, was developed by Taylor Elmore and Graham Yost, the guys who brought you Justified. Tim McGraw, the country singer and occasional actor, was said to be interested in taking a lead role.
After a series of production delays during 2013, the network formally cancelled the series last week before a single frame had been shot. The production had originally coordinated with the Navy to film on board a real aircraft carrier but they boat's availability clashed with McGraw's concert touring schedule. The original idea was to build sets to replace the ship but we can all imagine how that was never going to give the kind of visual bang everyone wants to see from a series set on an aircraft carrier.
Fox is giving military-themed shows a try next week with Enlisted, a workplace comedy set in an Army training camp. Faking an army base doesn't require the budget or effort required to coordinate with the Navy to use its locations for a production. Movies (Top Gun, Pearl Harbor, Battleship) can take a few weeks and get the hell out. The producers needed to arrange for the years-long production schedule that would be required if the series was successful and that scenario likely proved too much of a hassle for the studio.
The idea sounded great. Too bad we'll never see it.