December 24, 2013 9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Fox Passes on Navy Drama Pilot 'Wild Blue'
Fox will not be setting sail with Wild Blue.
The Navy drama pilot from Justified's Taylor Elmore and Graham Yost was described as a mixture of ER, The West Wing and Top Gun and revolved around the men and women on board a U.S. aircraft carrier equipped with a 500-foot landing strip, a nuclear reactor and 6,000 souls. The drama was an upstairs/downstairs look at the pressure-cooker lives of the U.S. Navy.
The production was developed last pilot season and rolled off-cycle in March after talks with Tim McGraw to star in the drama fell through. The drama needed access to a specific type of filming location -- sources tell The Hollywood Reporter they had planned to film on an aircraft carrier -- which was not available during the March-May time frame.
McGraw was said to be highly interested in starring in Wild Blue but his tour schedule at the time did not work with the production cycle. Sources tell THR that Fox wanted a big name to front the expensive project and briefly mulled a straight-to-series order before casting became an issue.
The project was eyed for an off-cycle shoot as the network and studio are said to have originally planned. Without McGraw -- whose deal broke down in March after protracted negotiations -- Fox had eyed the project for June.
Sources told THR in March that the production was going to shift to building sets to replace the ones lost when plans for the aircraft carrier didn't work out. The Navy was said to be working with the production on the script, with an aircraft carrier expected to be available for a June shoot. That did not come to pass.
Elmore penned the script and co-executive produced the Sony Pictures Television drama alongside Yost, Mark Johnson and Michael Dinner. Melissa Bernstein was a co-EP, with Dinner on board to direct. Will Rotthaar (Battle: Los Angeles), Gina Rodriguez, Josh Salatin (The Carrie Diaries), Alano Miller (Damages) and Mykelti Williamson (Justified) were attached to co-star.