With the arrival of President Trump into the White House this winter, Hollywood is responding by kicking out three new military themed shows for its September lineup. Coincidence? Some critics are crying foul, saying that the shows are more flag-waving patriotic, conservative propaganda.
But the producers of one of these new shows, SEAL Team claim that isn’t true. They claim that there is nothing overtly political about their show and that the SEALs depicted, serve regardless of who is in power in the White House.
“Their sense of duty and honor transcends partisan politics,” executive producer Sarah Timberman told reporters Tuesday at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour.
Added exec producer and series creator Benjamin Cavell: “They do that work no matter who’s in the White House and whether they voted for them or not.”
SEAL Team, set to premiere Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 9 p.m ET/PT, follows the professional and personal lives of the most elite unit of Navy SEALs as they train for, plan and execute the most dangerous, high-stakes missions our country can ask of them.
While several military shows were already in the mix before Trump’s surprising presidential victory (see: USA Network’s Shooter and History’s Six), several were put into development on the broadcast networks after he was sworn in as the Big Four networks attempted to reach the middle of the country that may have otherwise been ignored previously.
“When we were developing this, it was anyone’s guess where we were going to be politically,” Timberman said. “I don’t think the show is about this current moment in politics.”
If anything, she pointed to real-life armed service members whom she met while working on SEAL Team who hadn’t supported the war in Iraq, but helped fight it in various ways nonetheless. “People who put their lives on the line and fulfill the duty when they may not even agree with a goal — there’s an opportunity to look at all that,” Timberman said. “We’re going to reflect the geo-political reality of the world we live in.”
Regarding the creative team behind SEAL Team, “We come from different parts of the political spectrum, but what we are united in is our deep regard for the people we’ve met from the seal community,” she continued. “I think we’ve learned a lot from them.”
The drama boasts several technical advisors who formerly served in Tier 1, just like the main characters on the show. In addition to keeping the details authentic and true, the advisors told the producers just how much (or in this case, how little) of a role politics should play in the series at large.
“Their main concern was [that] we be doing the thing that we feel such responsibility to do, which is tell their stories honestly and to not make it about politics, but to make it about the lives of these guys,” Cavell said. “What it’s like to try hold to a family together and try maintain a personal life.”
Ultimately, the American public will be the final judge on whether any of these shows survive long enough to be popular. It wouldn’t be surprising if “SEAL Team” gets big ratings in its first weeks. People are enthralled with and get enough of the exploits of their Special Operations commandos. If the story lines can stay interesting, then the show could be a hit.
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Photo courtesy CBS
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