Josh Salatin, Will Rothhaar and Alano Miller have been cast in Fox’s drama pilot Wild Blue, written by Taylor Elmore and directed by Michael Dinner. The Sony Pictures TV-produced project is described as an upstairs/downstairs look at pressure-cooker lives in the U.S. Navy. It’s a young ensemble about the working men and women on board an aircraft carrier equipped with a 500-foot landing strip, a nuclear reactor and 6000 souls on board. Salatin, repped by UTA and The Group, will play Vandal, a charming and arrogant aviator. Rothhaar, repped by Innovative and Sanders Armstrong Casterta, will play James, who lives below deck in tough conditions. Miller, repped by Abrams Artists, will play Joaquin, a recently promoted Non Commissioned Officer.
EXCLUSIVE: It looks like Fox brass are determined to get an aircraft carrier drama on the air. Last season, the network put in development The Bridge, from writer Taylor Elmore (Justified), producer Mark Johnson and Sony Pictures TV. The project, described as a high-octane soap with a touch of Upstairs, Downstairs set on a Navy aircraft carrier, didn’t go to pilot but the network kept it in contention, rolling in to this season. Now Justified executive producers Graham Yost and Michael Dinner have boarded the drama to help with the rewrite, giving it additional clout. Both will executive produce, with Dinner also attached to direct. Elmore is still the writer, with Johnson and his Gran Via still attached, along with Sony TV.
Meanwhile, in August, Fox bought another drama from high-profile auspices with a similar setting, giving a script commitment with penalty to a project from House executive producers Russel Friend & Garrett Lerner and 20th Century Fox TV. Set on a naval aircraft carrier, the untitled show also has an upstairs/downstairs dynamic: the “downstairs” is filled with 18- to 20-year-olds, their coming-of-age stories heightened by the life-and-death nature of their everyday jobs; the “upstairs” is anchored by a female fighter pilot and her season-long quest to solve a murder that occurs onboard.
Writer Jason Smilovic has set up a drama project at Fox. The project, titled The Detail, landed a script commitment with penalty after interest from multiple networks. It is executive produced by Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, with Michael Dinner on board to direct. Produced by Sony TV, it is described as Ocean’s Eleven meets Revenge of the Nerds. It centers on a private detective, who, after being released from jail for a crime he didn’t commit, assembles a group of rejects, each with a unique talent, to form a detective agency and bring down his old business partner who framed him.