The Brave (set decoration, 5 episodes: Wendy Ozols-Barnes) was an intriguing idea from its debut episode. Undercover operations helmed by badass military professionals, who are all the while handling personal issues of their own? Sign me up. The Brave Season 1 finale airs Jan. 29, and in doing so, will leave plenty of fans wanting more. So, will The Brave return for Season 2?
It seems, for now, like viewers might want to find another way to get their military drama fix — the future of The Brave (series writing: Denise Harkavy) is not looking good. According to a November Hollywood Reporter piece, NBC chose not to extend the drama beyond its original 13-episode order. It's not exactly a death sentence, but a more successful show with a more promising future likely would have been extended beyond the original batch of episodes. "[The Brave creator-executive producer] Dean Georgaris and our executive producers and cast have created a compelling drama, with top-notch production values, that have captured the intense pressure facing our military personnel in the field and the analysts back home in their unrelenting fight to protect our freedom,” Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment, said in response to the lack of extension, according to THR. “We couldn’t be prouder of the work they all do.”
Despite NBC's choice not to order more episodes, The Hollywood Reporter also reported that the network will make a definite decision on a potential Season 2 sometime in the coming weeks or months. It does not appear as though any additional information has been made public regarding The Brave's future since late last year.
Ratings just didn't shake out the way those behind The Brave were hoping. TVLine reported that for its first episode back from the holiday break this month, it garnered a mere 3 million viewers. For comparison, that same week over at ABC, The Good Doctor took a slight dip in audience numbers, yet still managed to bring in 8 million sets of eyes, according to the same TVLine piece.
Even if the show's run didn't go exactly as planned, it was an ambitious venture. Georgaris told Entertainment Weekly that, from the start, he wanted The Brave to be more than just another show about the military. He didn't want it to be overly patriotic or fanatical, which it easily could become given the fact that so much of the plot takes place in seemingly dangerous foreign countries. The creator wanted the series to be focused on the stories of the human lives behind these military roles. "We stay focused on the mission, we stay focused on the team, and really, we stay focused on the human side of it, and that makes it fairly easy to avoid being jingoistic, because, like I said, it’s just not apart of who they are," the creator said in a September interview with EW.
He also noted in the same interview that there were several other military-based shows coming to television around the same time that The Brave was, but that there was enough space for all of them. "It’s a funny thing to say: This is just the show we wanted to make. My hope is that a rising tide lifts all boats. I remember when E.R. premiered, so did Chicago Hope. They both found their audiences," he said. "What I think is funny is that people talk about military dramas, but they forget that NCIS is technically a military drama. Our approach is just really different, and I think our look is different. There’s plenty of room."
If this is the end for The Brave, it'll be disappointing for those fans who have become engrossed in the story the show is telling. But perhaps the glut of similarly themed new series did mean that the NBC series was lost in the shuffle.