“Behind every great man is a great woman,” the old phrase goes, and “Astronaut Wives Club” will prove that to be true. The historical drama blasts off on Thursday on ABC and will follow the wives of the first American men to go into space. The women will find themselves in unexplored territory of their own as they try to balance their family life, are thrust into the public eye and must cope with the thought of their husbands on potentially dangerous missions.
Here are six things to know about the show before the premiere:
1. Limited series. Don’t expect six seasons and a movie here. “Astronaut Wives Club” will be around only for this summer. “We’re a limited series, so we’re only 10 episodes,” creator Stephanie Savage told Variety. “We’re doing the eight seasons of ‘Mad Men’ with each episode. We’re sort of marching through time at a much faster rate.”
2. Gender roles. Expect the show to look at the roles of husbands and wives in a marriage. “There’s a lot of issues in terms of gender equality inside marriage … and we still get to tell them from a perspective of that time period,” Savage said.
3. Fast timeline. Expect the plot to move quickly. Actress Odette Annable told KTLA that the show will span over a decade. “We are actually tracking a period of about 10 years, '59 to about '71,” Annable explained. “It’s a story of the wives who stood behind these American heroes. We track Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions."
4. Based on a book. The series is based on “The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story” by Lilly Koppel. The New York Times best-seller was released in 2013.
5. Female friendships. Like many ABC dramas, “Astronaut Wives Club” will focus on the friendships between the women. “No one had done what they were doing before,” star Yvonne Strahovski told the New York Daily News. “So for the wives, there was no one else who could relate to what they were going through. That’s how they bonded. They really did form a club.”
6. Sneak peek. ABC has released the first five minutes of the pilot episode. Get a taste of the drama in the video below.
“Astronaut Wives Club” premieres Thursday at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC. Will you be tuning in? Sound off in the comments section below!