Episodes: 10 (hour)
TV show dates: June 18, 2015 — August 20, 2015
Series status: Ended
Performers include: Yvonne Strahovski, Dominique McElligott, Odette Annable, Joanna García, Erin Cummings, Azure Parsons, Zoe Boyle, Bret Harrison, Aaron McCusker, Wilson Bethel, Kenneth Mitchell, and Desmond Harrington.
TV show description:
This dramatic TV series is based on the book of the same name by Lily Koppel. It focuses on seven women who were key players behind some of the biggest events in American history. As America’s astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, the lives of their young wives were transformed — seemingly overnight — from military spouses to American royalty. As their celebrity rose, tragedy began to touch their lives and they rallied together.
Betty Grissom (JoAnna Garcia Swisher) is a small-town girl who’s been thrust into the spotlight. She says what she means and means what she says. Betty worked the night shift at Indiana Bell to put her husband and best friend Gus (Joel Johnstone) through engineering school and her unwavering support helps him to become the second American to fly in space.
The spouse of astronaut Scott Carpenter (Wilson Bethel) and a mother of four who attended college, Rene Carpenter’s (Yvonne Strahovski) time in the public eye awakens her to a higher calling in politics, civil rights, and women’s issues.
An intensely private person, Louise Shepard (Dominique McElligott) understands the image she’s expected to project to the public. She’s the calm, collected, and supportive spouse of Alan Shepard (Desmond Harrington). She always delivers and this earns her the nickname of “Lady Louise” from the other wives.
A pilot herself, Trudy Cooper (Odette Annable) is separated from her husband Gordon “Gordo” Cooper (Bret Harrison) when he gets selected to become an astronaut. Trudy agrees to reunite with him for the sake of his career during this pivotal time.
When her husband Deke (Kenneth Mitchell) is grounded early in the Mercury program, Marge Slayton (Erin Cummings) is forced to carve out her own identity in this tight knit community. Just as Deke came to oversee the training and assignment of the astronauts, “Mother Marge” stepped up to become the leader of the Astronaut Wives Club.
Despite a debilitating speech impediment, Annie Glenn (Azure Parsons) is the picture perfect American housewife. She’s athletic, cheerful, devoted to her family and sings in the church choir. Annie shines in the pages of LIFE magazine and her husband John (Sam Reid) is the first American to orbit the Earth.
The daughter of a Navy officer, Jo Schirra (Zoe Boyle) is the consummate military wife who knows the proper behavior in every circumstance. Jo shows up to functions with perfect pearls and gloves, but she also has a wry sense of humor — much like her husband Wally Schirra (Aaron McCusker), the prankster of the astronauts.
Episode #10 — Landing
It’s 1969, and Apollo 11’s historic moon landing is cause for worldwide celebration and a high point for the Astro-families. The wives are interviewed for a TV documentary on the space program, Gordo is passed over for the next mission, and Trudy faces some big decisions about her personal and professional future. Betty finds a powerful way to honor Gus’s legacy and advocate for change.
First aired: August 20, 2015.
What do you think? Do you like The Astronaut Wives Club TV show? Do you think it should have ended or been renewed for a second season?