This Feminist Military Drama May Be Meeting An Early End

The CW/Erika Doss

With Valor (co-producer: Celine Geiger), the CW gave viewers perhaps the first feminist-focused military drama that's been missing from TV. The show, which premiered in October, refreshingly placed a female protagonist at the center of the tried-and-true military plotlines that people have seen versions of many times before. Will Valor return for Season 2? This twist on a tried-and-true classic wraps up its first round of episodes on Jan. 29.

In November, the CW decided not to order additional episodes of Valor (series writing: April Fitzsimmons), according to Deadline. That decision didn't altogether condemn the series, as the CW has the opportunity to reevaluate the show in the spring. That decision will come after observing not only the remainder of the originally ordered 13 episodes, but also how Valor does ratings-wise after it hits Netflix, which it will reportedly do early this year, according to the same article. While this is relatively hopeful news for fans of Valor, similar situations haven't exactly played out well for other shows on the same network. Deadline also reports that the CW chose a similar path last fall with shows No Tomorrow and Frequency, and both ultimately were officially canceled in the months that followed their shortened orders.

Though that's the official current status of Valor, comments that the CW President Mark Pedowitz made to Deadline earlier this month about the fate of the show aren't particularly reassuring. "It did not resonate the way we’d hoped it would resonate,” Pedowitz told the outlet about Valor. “I wanted to do [the show] for 6-7 years; it maybe is a question whether the CW audience would come to a military drama for us. It did not help that there were 85 of them this year, I don’t think any of them did really well. I’m proud of what [creator Kyle Jarrow and producer Bill Haber] did, I will be in business with them again. We will take a hard look at everything in May for scheduling purposes."

That "hard look" period is likely when Valor will either nab a second chance or finally get the ax. Even though it didn't get the viewership that producers and network execs were hoping for, the show cat least ventured a into the realm of important stories that deserve more exploration on television. Though female soldiers have been featured in shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Brave, no program has really taken a direct focus on a woman in this line of duty. This, it seems, is what endeared creator Kyle Jarrow to the project in the first place. "It’s centered around a female soldier. And frankly there are tons of female soldiers, but the media depictions are very few. It feels like a story that’s really important and needs to be told,” he said at a PaleyFest panel in September, according to Variety.

The CW/Erika Doss

The show also makes an effort to ensure that the narrative it's presenting is an authentic one. According to the same Variety piece, two of the writers working on Valor are female veterans themselves. "The U.S. Army is incredibly diverse. It’s actually more diverse than the general American population and it felt like we needed to reflect that reality,” Jarrow said in the same interview, adding, “Diversity was a big goal, but in all those roles we wanted to find people who had all elements — charisma and acting chops, as well as a military believability."

While the prognosis doesn't necessarily look great for Valor, fans can still attempt to rally their friends around the show, supporting it as it hits Netflix. There seems to be a chance that the military drama can still be saved.