Army Wives Exclusive: Major Character Getting Killed Off Amid Season 7 Shake-Up

Army Wives Season 7 Kim Delaney LeavingArmy Wives‘ classified Season 7 battle plan has leaked, and if you’re a fan of the show, believe me when I tell you it will have you standing at attention.

Not only does it include (at least!) one major casualty, it also includes a handful of new recruits and contains a dozen other bits of top-secret intel. So proceed with caution…

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First, the big news: Leading lady Kim Delaney, who has played Claudia Joy Holden since the Lifetime drama launched six years ago, will not be returning — like, ever. Exec producer Jeff Melvoin confirms to TVLine that her character (who is currently travelling overseas) will be killed off in the season premiere — a tragedy that will serve as a launching pad for an almost rebooted program.

“The first two [episodes] will be very emotional, and it will confirm that Claudia Joy is no longer among the living,” he says. “It’s been very wrenching for us to write, and I think it will be very wrenching for the audience to go through.

“Kim and Claudia Joy have been the rock upon which we based the show,” the EP continues. “But we [have to] continue to move forward and keep the show fresh and unpredictable.”

Below, Melvoin explains how he and his fellow generals will be doing exactly that:

WHAT ABOUT ROXY? | Original cast member Sally Pressman (Roxy) will be back — but not as a series regular. “Sally, just like Kim, has been a huge part of the show’s success,” notes Wives‘ boss, adding that Pressman’s real-life pregnancy will likely limit her participation to the first couple of episodes.

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WHO’S STICKING AROUND? | Melvoin confirms that Catherine Bell (Denise), Wendy Davis (Joan), Alyssa Diaz (Gloria), Kelli Williams (Jackie), J.J. Soria (Hector) and Terry Serpico (Frank) are all back as series regulars. Additionally, Claudia Joy’s widower — Michael, played by Brian McNamara — will also remain a full-timer. Beyond that, Melvoin is staying mum, in part to maintain some suspense, considering Season 6 ended with a plane carrying practically half the cast possibly crashing. “Who survives the cliffhanger and who doesn’t is going to provide a lot of the juice of the first two hours.”

NEW BLOOD | Three new female characters will be introduced, including an “18-year-old farm girl from Illinois,” an African-American mother of three who “runs the kind of house that kids and adults want to hang out in,” and a drop-dead gorgeous bad girl named Maggie who is a member of the Airborne Division. She’s also on her second marriage. “It’s the first time where we’ve done a blended marriage,” notes Melvoin. “Her second husband, who is a soldier, has a 14-year-old daughter who resents Maggie. And she’s got an 11-year-old son who’s trying to fit in.”

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NEW SETTING | The common thread tying the new (and some of the existing) wives together is that their “husbands all serve in the same platoon that’s stationed in an outpost in Afghanistan,” explains Melvoin, who drew inspiration for the new setting from the acclaimed 2010 war documentary Restrepo. “The war is winding down, but that doesn’t mean what they’re doing is any less dangerous or risky.”

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE… | “We’re trying to return to the show’s roots,” Melvoin says. “The central conceit of the show is friendship that transcends rank [featuring] women from different walks of life and with very different outlooks. But it’s not going to be like you just flip the page and suddenly you’re looking at a different show… It’s the same show with some fresh new colors.”

Army Wives is slated to return in mid-2013. In the meantime, hit the comments with your insta-reaction to the show’s mini-reboot and your eulogies for poor Claudia Joy.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Debbie Sons says:

    I’ve loved the show & have watched every episode since day 1 but with this new “refreshing” of the show, those wroye out & the new ones being brought on, I won’t be watching it anymore.

  2. ASpringMom says:

    Geez, what a shocker! And I hate it. Kim Delaney is a great actress and has played Claudia Joy with her usual class. Claudia Joy is an awesome mentor and role model. Why couldn’t they introduce new characters without kicking a classic to the curb?

  3. tammy says:

    I will miss Claudia joy/Kim Delaney she held everyone together. I love the original cast. I wish they would stop bringing all the new people on board.I love Roxy and Pam, . Dee, etc. I think this too many changes but we will see.

  4. Chell says:

    I love Army Wives, but that sucked! I’m bummed Kim Delaney was killed off. They should have knocked off Gloria, or Hector. No more casualties for Denise or Claudia Joy! They had their share.

    Now Brook Shields, Ashanti, and some bozo will be joining Army Wives? This is who they came up with to replace Claudia Joy? They could have done WAY better there!

    • Lynn says:

      I totally agree with you on the replacements Ashati for one she can barely sing and then they hire her to act oh lord this show is going to the pots and now they show reviews of more fights in the bar of upcoming shows more fights after roxy leaves and she hands over the bar to gloria come on that will be shut down. Then you have claudia joy killed off the show and they dont show the body at the morturary how boring was that. Come on writers you are already showing lack of skills already. And Brook Shields how long has she been out the scene of acting. This show is going to be a joke I had high hopes for all the new changes but I dont know now. Might just go back to watching the old reruns..!!!! those are a lot better then sitting down every week trying to understand the writer new techniques. its a shame just dont mess with roland and joan and denise and frank other then that you may have a chance with the show, poor michael he is going to be fighting every day to get himself together because he miss his wife, but of course they will hook him up with some looser that the daughter does not like. what a show….

  5. KrystalineKraden says:

    Prayers for Ms Delaney and her recovery. All life is about change for all of us. I’ve watched since the beginning and thought the series would be rotating new “wives” in each season and old would be transferred. It would be nice to see another male army partner tho. And Gloria is a pale imitation of Roxy, I’m hoping the writers will be more creative with her character. For those of you who think the Holdens have too much tragedy, did you forget this is a tv show? They aren’t really having tragedies – be real.

    Again. Prayers for Ms Delaney. And here’s hoping the writers are more creative this season. Cheers

  6. She doesn’t “leave” the shows. She gets booted off or killed off or whatever. Why don’t they support and help her instead? What a novel concept!! They support male actors who have problems like hers, so why do they keep turning their backs on her? Because she’s a woman? Because she’s made mistakes? It’s like… it’s not good for men to drink or whatever, but if a woman does the same thing, she’s a pariah. Look at the support Robert Downey Jr. has had, and he certainly did a lot worse things than Kim Delaney has ever done. My heart goes out to her, and I hope she gets the help she needs and shows them what a major mistake it was for them to kill off Claudia Joy, despite the difficulties.

  7. Patricia says:

    I cannot watch anymore!! Without Claudia, Pamela and especially Roxy, there just is no reason as far as I am concerned. And agree with the person earlier. Brooke Shields just does’t belong.

    • Barbara says:

      I agree Brooke Shields does not fit into this group of people at all. I thought she was going to replace Elisabeth Hasselhoff on the View. Is she going to do both shows? This show doesn’t need Brooke Shields for sure.

  8. Barbara says:

    This was absolutely the saddest worst show I have ever watched in my entire life all 63 years of it. I cannot understand why all these new characters have to come in and take over what was working very well for the original Army Wives. I cannot believe the pain and suffering is not over yet we have another week of this funeral. I was so drained from watching this show I swore I would never watch again. Another great show bites the dust because people don’t realize “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

    • Miriam says:

      I so agree with you

    • drhenning says:

      It’s called money…. All long running TV shows have the problem… Unless a show is uber successful like NCIS, it costs too much to keep a cast together… Thus it rotates… It is obvious that outside events forced KD off the show.. she was gone half of the last season.. I think even Roland will not be in every episode this season based on how the credits looked last night… Good for the actor (Sterling K Brown) that he seems to have a regular guest gig on a much higher rated show, Person of Interest, where he was a big hero last week!!!

      I am shocked that Michelle doesn’t force herself into CJ’s funeral… After all, she was on a trip with her…

      As a guy, I started watching this show due to Catherine Bell after her JAG years… She’s still around and probably the highest paid…

  9. Well can’t stand most the the new people coming on the show so will probably quit watching now. The original cast was the best.

  10. Pennagirl says:

    I lost interest in the show by Season 2…because it doesn’t portray military life correctly. It is unfortunate many people believe this is how military wives/families act.

  11. Toni Shelton says:

    Although I’m going to miss these characters, I also understand that this show is about Army life and in that life everyone doesn’t stay together all the time. Things change in real life just as they are on the show. I’m always amazed at fair weather fans of a show who jump ship at any change. I love this show and will continue to watch it until it ends.

  12. rita says:

    the show was going down hill when pamela an chase left now cj an roxey an trevor leaving to it isnt the same without them proably wont watch likei did cant keep a show that is worth watching anymore

  13. Dolores Dohn says:

    This is the last season for me. I watched since the beginning and with all the main characters leaving and bringing in story lines that I’m not interested in takes away the realness that Army Wives gave to everyone. Good Bye Army Wives, thanks for helping me get through some great tv.

  14. Angie says:

    A big let down that Claudia Joy was killed off. I think I’ll watch The Good Wife instead of Army Wives. Very disappointed that you’re taking off all the good characters.

  15. fan1 says:

    You all do realize that the actress who plays Claudia Joy, Kim Delaney, has a well known problem with alcohol. In my opinion, she needs to take this time to get the treatment she needs and to heal herself. No job is worth not taking care of your health. Having said that, a television show cannot replace a well known actress in the 7th season. I mean, they could, but I don’t think that it would have been successful. And who would want to have to fill those shoes? And be honest-do you think that people would be kind to the new actress and not find fault with a replacement? They couldn’t continue to say that she was just gone and working somewhere else. That would be extremely unfair to the other actors, especially to Brain McNamara who portrays Michael Holden. At least now he has something to work off of and this can springboard a new story line for him. And unfortunately folks, people can and do have multiple deaths in their families. Many times a parent does die after the loss of a child. (Not because of the loss but for other reasons) That is life. It is unfair. It would be a disservice to make the rest of the cast and the crew who rely on the show for their income to wait for Kim Delaney to get her life together before they continued with the show. She has had this problem for years and you cannot force other people into that holding pattern of waiting for her to show up to work and to wait on her recovery. I wish her well and I will watch the show and give it an honest effort before I write it off as being done in my book.
    And I don’t think if has anything to do with gender. The creators gave her last season to get it together and it did not work out. If I recall, Charlie Sheen was fired from his very successful show for his substance abuse problem after the show tried to help him. They tried, it failed, he was let go. I think the same was probably tried with Kim Delaney but if she doesn’t show up for work and isn’t cooperative, not much can be done but to let her go.

    • Lynn says:

      Well Written Fan1 ….I agree you cannot hold on to one person for the show. I believe you have written what most of us needed to read..Thanks….

  16. AS says:

    I didn’t like when Pamela left the show, now with both Roxy and Claudia Joy gone, I probably won’t be watching as religiously as I have been. Probably should’ve just ended the show on a high note rather than bring on a bunch of new characters in hopes of replacing the ones that have left and watching the ratings drop until the show gets canceled. Too bad.

  17. rose ma says:

    When the show first came on…it had so much feeling cried during the whole six season……I don’t think its right to let claudie joy off the show. Yes she may have had and has alcohole problem….they could have found a way to bring her back..she is a great actress.and name one that don’t have some sort of problem.the first six season was warm.togetherness .I don’t see. The new ones being that . It want be the same without claudie joy or roxy..true friends is all its about. Sorry it ended.

  18. guest says:

    The show has not ended-actors have chosen to move on. Some voluntarily and some forced out. I read somewhere else that the show did try working with Kim Delaney but she often didn’t show up for work. I don’t believe that the rest of the cast and the crew should lose their jobs because one actress chose to move on (Sally Pressman) and the other (Kim Delaney) chose to let other things run her life and to not show up to work. I also read an insightful comment on another fan page. This person stated that she came from a military family and most of them move on and only stay in one place for 3 years. This person stated that bringing in new people made the show more realistic for her because in the real world those people would not have remained on the same base together for that many years.

  19. I was very sad watching the show but I hope that she gets the help neded
    I need to wait and see about all the new changes in the comming weeks with these
    new people

  20. KColo says:

    I am going to miss Claudia Joy a lot! She was the heart and soul and of the group. Her and Michael’s love story was the best. I too, still miss Pam and Chase and almost stopped watching after they went off the show. I don’t know if I am going to continue to watch now that Roxy, Trevor and Claudia Joy are gone too. I didn’t enjoy the show as much as I did when the characters who started off the show were still a part of it. And I agree with a lot of others who haven’t taken to the new characters. And after seeing the ones that are going to be coming on, I can already tell that they are going to take some getting used to. And I just don’t know if I am willing to put in that much effort. A couple of seasons ago, when all core characters were still there, it was effortless – and a joy to watch. And I don’t understand why the seasons have to follow the years. Why can’t four seasons – or five seasons – be one year in Fort Marshall? I realize that things would have to move slower, but in my opinion, the tradeoff would be worth it. We could keep them all on the show for nine or ten seasons! Maybe more. Anyway, I hope and pray for the best for Kim.

  21. Judy McCubbins says:

    OMG!!! I think I have never cried so much watching a show. I woke up this morning thinking that I really knew Claudia Joy and that I had lost my best friend. The show even had my husband in tears. The show will not ever be the same without her.
    I was once an Army wife and the show is so much like the real thing. I just want to thank all the Army wives and what they also do for their country, ie..taking care of their families while the spouse is gone.

  22. Lea says:

    Things change. I am an Army brat. Where We lived and who our friends were changed frequently. Why shouldn’t the characters come and go on the show too? It’s a part of that life. I met so many wonderful people living in the military world … you can probably count on there being more awesome characters in the show too.

  23. Jean Hislop says:

    I sobbed my way through this episode. And I, too, am tempted to not watch it as it will not be the same show. But I’ll watch, to see how Michael makes it through. Watch unless the new cast is intolerable. What does trouble me, is the number of viewers who are saying that lifetime did the wrong thing in killing her off. I would like to make a few points here: 1. Nobody else could take that role, and do the job that Kim did. So replacing the role with a new actress was NOT an option. 2. Alcoholics in recovery do NOT need to be dealing with the spotlight, and the incredible stress of show biz. All the gatherings, appearances, crazy hours, etc. 3. One of the biggest struggles that Alcoholics or addicts of any sort face, is that of incredibly low self worth, and low self esteem. For this reason, acting, or any form of entertainment I would say is MORE difficult to do when you are recovering than any other career. Imagine if not only you had to deal with your own self judgments, but hear those judgments played out over, and over, and over again in the press. This is exactly the kind of thing that could push an alcoholic into an oblivion they will never get out of. 4. Many alcoholics only see true recovery, when they leave their prior lives behind. Sometimes, they even have to sever ties completely with the life they’ve lead before. Entering an AA program, and doing some sort of public education, is NOT a viable solution. She needs a long break. To concentrate on HERSELF. And nobody else. What KIM wants. NOT what her fans want. 5. Alcoholism is progressive, and Fatal. To wish that she does anything BUT put herself first, is selfish. I for one, will only wish her recovery, and happiness. 6. And finally..NOTHING anyone can do, can make a person with alcoholism or addiction issues GET help. An alcoholic cannot be forced to get help. They will only get help when THEY want to get it. Recovery cannot be a punishment. Thus, the idea of “Sentencing her” to AA and public service is ridiculous. In my opinion…lifetime did the BEST thing for her. They refused to enable her. They made it impossible for her to say to the world ..”See, I’m FINE”, when she’s anything but. They gave her the room to think, and to find her direction. And all we can do now, is pray that that direction, is sobriety.

  24. maureen says:

    I am really sorry that Claudia joy has left the show. I feel real sad as she was a strong character and I just loved her …will miss you Kim Delaney

  25. Julia j says:

    Well creater of AW if your reading this I think u made a huge mistake killing her off because u r about to loose alot of veiwers including myself!! She was the glue that held everyone together and how u gone break up the group like that!?! They’re the ones that kept us watching this is stupid man!!! Then u gone put ashunti on there don’t nobody want to see her just when I thought there was still some decent shows on u turn around and turn it into a fight scene cause that’s all they’re doing this season so no sir I wont be watching!!!

  26. cindy says:

    i think all of you have made a BIG mistake. you have lost me as a viewer. i love catherine bell but i guess i will see her in her hallmark movies. I suggest you bring delaney back. Anything is possible Use your imagination. I will not be watching anymore. There had to have been other avenues that could have been taken. You are taking the show down the road. I cant believe no one else sees this. Goodbye. Be seeing Cat in the movies.

    • Julia j says:

      I agree with u whole heartly!!! This is crazy they better use their imagination cause we need Claudia joy!!

  27. Annie says:

    I think dropping three popular characters one after the other was a mistake. I will watch because of Denise (I’m a big fan of CB)….. I wish KD the best…..

  28. Karen says:

    Just watching the season episode. I’m bored with it! This has been my favorite series but to many of my favorite characters have left. I’ve lost interest. To bad :( Pamela, Roxy and Claudia Joy were the best. They kept the show so interesting. Oh well.

  29. Julia j says:

    Are yall sure she was fired because she cldnt controll her alcohol or are yall just looking on her past??

  30. guest says:

    No one is saying why she has left the show. Some articles state that she wasn’t showing up to work in season 6. Some articles suggest that she actually quit the show. I think a lot of people are speculating that alcohol has something to do with it because of the rambling speech she gave at a military function in Sept, 2011. When she was asked what was wrong she just stated that she wasn’t feeling well and did not deny that alcohol may have been involved when pointedly asked that question. The following season of Army Wives in the spring of 2012 was season 6 and this is when she began to be seen less frequently. Coincidence? Who knows? If you struggle with something for years to the point that you go to rehab twice and you lose custody of your child at your own child’s request(her 15 year old son stated he didn’t feel safe with his mother because she drove drunk when he was in the car) and then there is the public spectacle that you make that goes viral on the internet-all those things combined are of course going to lead people to believe that her problem with alcohol is back. But for now, it is just speculation.

    As for Sally Pressman, she chose to leave the show. At the beginning of season 6 none of the lead actresses had a new contract to continue with the show. Therefore, when Sally Pressman was presented with an offer from NBC for a new series for the fall of 2013, she took it. She is also pregnant in real life and so is probably focusing on that right now. Brigid Brannagh left because she was offered a role in a new drama that is to air on ABC called “Gilded Lilys”. When you don’t lock in your lead actresses for another season and they feel like the show is coming to an end, they are going to look out for their own best interests. So the creators of “Army Wives” had two options-cancel the show at the end of season 6 or continue on with new characters. Only time will tell if they made the right decision.

  31. Barbie Boyle says:

    So bummed! I love this show and will miss her character. Hopefully she can get treatment and come back on the show. They can pretend it was a dream and the character can suddenly appear, maybe she’s been in the shower, because we all know that’s believable. (The reason I stopped watching Dallas)

  32. I too love Claudia Joy and the person of Kim Delaney…I started reading here hoping to find that Kim had asked to leave…but it seems that her drinking caused them to let her go. I do so hope she can get help and get her career back on track…I am a devoted fan of hers. All my best wishes Kim…do hope to see you in another show when you get your act together.

  33. Missed the Season 7 premiere and was just watching it on a Friday-night repeat. Rather, I was TRYING to watch this UN-watchable crocodile tear-fest! What a shabby setup and send-off for the character (Claudia Joy) that has anchored the show and the actress (Kim Delaney) who many of us have loved since her Jenny days on AMC and who was the main reason we watched. Terrible script; lousy, unbelievable & maudlin acting in this episode. Well, they were losing me last season with CJ and Pamela’s absence, and now with the “death” of Claudia Joy and Roxy gone too, I’m also gone — for good. And with a sour taste in my mouth. Kim Delaney deserved way better.

    • Sophie says:

      I agree 100%. One of the worst I’ve seen. Horrible acting. Was that supposed to be a sad memorial? Because it stunk! You would think a lead character would get a better send off, regardless of the personal story of Kim Delaney.

  34. Marsha Anne says:

    I have watched Kim Delaney sense All My Children. it is going to be so sad to watch Army Wives w/o her. no show is the same wbdn the originals leave and shes a rock on the show. she is so talented to waste it on alcohol. WE ALL NEED TO PRAY FOR HER AND HER PROBLEM, GOD IS THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN HELP HER. But taking her off AW will be like taken Laura off General Hospital. it wont ever be the same and I really enjoy the show. God Bless you Kim and may you find what your looking for or hiding from

  35. Donny Osmond says:

    I think Army Wives should now be called “Lost Wives” because almost all of them are now gone! What a waste…..I think I’ll read or do something else other than watch this dumb show.

  36. Mimi says:

    Brooke Shields and Ashanti? Good grief! I love “Army Wives”, but not enough to watch them! Ugh! They are ruining one of my favorite shows!

  37. Lulu says:

    This is like real Army life. People come and go. Army wives are a special group of people who bond over common ground.

  38. Barbara .elcher says:

    I dont care what people think of Kim or Army Wives, I love her and Army Wives.

  39. Wanda Kelley says:

    Brooke Shields, really? You couldn’t do better than “Broke” Shields?

  40. Bridgett smith says:

    I do not agree with nor do I think this “reboot” is necessary. To kill off Claudia Joy is like killing this show. It is the dumbest thing the writers could do. You have had a show that keeps us coming back every year and now everyone we love is gone!! N what the hell!!! This is infuriating!!! And these new girls are awful thus far!!! This change is going to blow up in your faces!!!!

  41. L.H. says:

    What give anyone the right to judge her at all?????

  42. Cathy says:

    Pitiful they killed off Claudia Joy! Could have let her recoup like she did at the end of last season with her surgery – Something, Not Kill Her Off! That’s gratitude in the show biz world I guess…Roxy is great but life takes front seat and she is pregnant – Would love for Joan and Roland to take a hike and that Gloria, Hector and especially everything these days having to throw gay into our lives is sickening! Hope those characters never come back…Sure let them live the way they want but for Gods sakes don’t make it such an issue these day’s on every show we watch on television…

    It will never be the same for me on Army Wives and I’ve watched from episode one – but that’s life, it changes – take it from an army brat and a woman who divorced a drill sergeant! I missed the army way of life but not his mean butt! :)

  43. Noel Spaso says:

    I am only bummed that CJ didn’t get a death scene (although i am unsure if all the flashbacks with Kim in them were really flashbacks because a few I just didn’t remember seeing at all!) As for new characters i think it IS realistic because military people DO move around, just as so many have said here. I happen to like Brooke Shields but I am unsure of how she’ll do with drama. I already like the young pie girl and I ‘m ok with the NY version of Roxy running the Hump. Guess time will tell altho there sure is alot of anger here!

  44. Joann says:

    I have watched Kim Delaney since she was on All My Children and have loved her on Army Wives,from the beginning,I will miss her,I will miss Roxy and Pamela,love to watch them all so really everyday life people,sorry they are gone and I love Denise and Roland,I have watched all of the Good Witch programs,but I will continue to watch,I am a fan of the show and I want to see what will now come to Fort Marshall,will miss all my favorites and will still continue with the favorites still on the show.

  45. Debbie says:

    With the original cast changing so drastically it definitely won’t be same. The intrical way the characters related to each other was what made the show so successful and fun to watch. It was a loss last season when Pamela & Chase left then Roxy & Trevor were transferred. Now Claudia Joy is killed and Roland moving away. The additions of Gloria & Jackie were easier to adjust to with the main characters still in place. The new characters don’t have that same appeal. I am sorry Kim Delaney is still battling this awful disease. She is a very talented actress and brought so much to the role of Claudia Joy. It’s too bad her character couldn’t have been left traveling for a while longer. Roxie, Trevor and Roland bring so much to the show i can’t imagine the show without them. I hope they are brought back.

  46. Charlotte Gilliam says:

    I have watched and loved Army Wives since the beginning. I hated to see Pamela go and now Roxy and Claudia Joy. I don’t think the show will be as good, these ladies together made the show in my opinion. Sorry to see this happen. Can’t say that I will be watching this season. Good Wife may take its place.

  47. Mary says:

    I was surprised that Claudia Joy left the show, especially since Pamela and Roxy have already gone. They will make appearances now and then but it won’t be the same. Now Roland is leaving for probably most of the season which will leave Denise alone with Frank deployed. So far I am not sure if I am going to continue to like the show. I enjoyed the dynamics of the friends as well as there relationships with their spouses but that is pretty much gone now.

  48. Cathy says:

    The core characters are the best. The ones added the last two seasons are horrible. Brooke Shields coming on the show will dumb it down even further. I am not gonna watch much longer. I hate that for the original characters. They don’t deserve this. Love Kim Delaney hope she takes care of herself.

  49. Eileen smith says:

    I won’t be a returning fan to army wives. I think she and Roxie made the show.

  50. India says:

    I don’t see how the show is going to work well this way. It will be like a new show. Why change something that’s already great?