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

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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 (426)

  • Why do people keep comparing it to real army life its a show. It sucks when characters get changed. Damn near a whole new case in the first 3 episodes of the season. That sucks they should have done it gradually.

    Comment by India – March 18, 2013 11:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wow this is disappointing! I understand that they killed off Claudia Joy, but they got rid of Roxy and Pamela. Now the is being replaced with all new people. its only the second episode and I am already loosing interest in my favorite show. Not a smart choice for their ratings.

    Comment by Brianne – March 19, 2013 09:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I saw the award show that everyone is talking about and Im not sure if she was drunk or if there was something wrong with the teleprompter. if you look you can see her tryimng to read it and she has moments where she is just fine and then you can see her having problems reading it you have to watch her eyes. In any case I would say that ARMY WIVES HAS LOST ME TOO. ROLAND IS LEAVING TO JOHN HOPKINS. THERE ARE JUST TOO MAMY CHANGES TOO FAST. THE PLANE THING…. IT NEVER BLEW UP THEY JUST STARTED HITTING TURBULANCE AND YOU THOUGHT THEY WERE GOING TO CRASH BUT THEY DIDNT. THEY SHOWED WHAT THEY SHOWED LAST SEASON AND THEN FRANK TOLD DENISE WHEN HE CALLED BEFORE SHE BURST INTO TEARS ABOUT CLAUDIA JOY. NEVER FORGOTTEN CLAUDIA JOY.

    Comment by lISA – March 19, 2013 09:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why is everyone leaving?? Not sure Im liking the new cast yet…

    Comment by heather – March 19, 2013 05:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • man oh man. I probably wont watch it anymore. Kim was the “mother” of the show and Roxie is the mixer. Man, it wasnt broke…well, you now the rest. Shucks!

    Comment by Kim – March 19, 2013 08:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Granted we haven’t seen Brooke Sheilds make an apperence yet, but really… Bringing in a ‘known’ actress doesn’t automatically help all the changes. And how did her picture end up at the top of that little pyramid anyway?

    Comment by Teresa – March 19, 2013 10:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • A fan of the show! We all have our demons. It’s no reason to dismiss it so eagerly. Show won’t be the same, true but what civilians don’t know is that we leave or post and receive new marching orders all the time. I kept asking myself how do they stay in the same post for so many years. To make it more believable and honest. Soldiers and their families do move on. You might not like it but it is time for new blood to keep the traditions that they have set forth.

    Comment by SFC Torres Retired – March 23, 2013 07:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Kim is a human like all of us and just because she is a well known actress does not mean she does not have problems, she is not perfect.

    Comment by Jerry Markwith – March 25, 2013 12:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I personally like the changes even if I’m going to miss Claudia Joy. If she showed up to work intoxicated or something it was only responsible to let her go. I hope she pulls through and goes to rehab.

    Comment by Amanda – April 3, 2013 04:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I won’t be watching anymore. Too many regulars have exited and now Army Wives not worth my time.

    Comment by LMP – April 8, 2013 12:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Has Catherine Bell (DEnise) lost a lot of weight? She looks very different with longer hair and a thinner face. I love the show though and will miss Kim Delaney.

    Comment by Lin Pirretti – April 14, 2013 06:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have watched Army Wives from the very beginning. Regardless their reasons for the character changes I was willing to give the show a chance of reboot. However, now that they are bringing Brook Shields into the show I am not so sure. I am not a fan of her’s “AT ALL”. Nevertheless, I am willing to give her a chance. If it proves to be a bad choice bringing her in then I too will stop watching the show.

    Comment by Donita – April 15, 2013 01:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sorry to see CJ go. But I welcome the change. Characters on a base does change. My dad was Air Force for 28 years. And the longest we were in one place was 4 yrs. l love the show. If they need new people to keep on. Do it

    Comment by Gloria – May 17, 2013 12:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • One thing that bother me is the flirtation between CJ’s husband and new character pilot. Maybe it makes the old adage true; “in death, women mourn, men replace.” I do know the difference between real people and characters written by other real people. However, it is fairly bad taste to have a mourning man flirting, with intent, so soon.

      Comment by Kate Conner – May 17, 2013 03:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I think they backed off the flirting in the last episode. But I’m sure Micheal Holden won’t be single long. The show is army wives not army guys. Lol.

        Comment by Gloria – May 18, 2013 12:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am just glad there is going to be a season 7, My husband brought me season’s 1 to 6 for my birthday and my poor kids lost me for a few day’s while I watched from beginning to end. Bring on the new chapters, I cant wait.

    Comment by Heidi Kohari. – May 22, 2013 08:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wow, I am very late watching season 7 of ‘Army Wives’ and I haven’t missed a season since it started. I’m a retired Army soldier, woman and though officers and enlisted in no way have relationships like the show depicts, I enjoy watching it.
    Officers feel they are elite, more educated and above enlisted; which they clearly are not more educated than us nowdays; but would NEVER hang out with enlisted people. Still, I love the friendships the show portrays. It’s hopeful thinking anyway.

    It was heart breaking to see Claudia Joy go, but I like the new Kay Young character. I was a fan of Brook Shields in ‘Lipstick Jungle’ and hated to see that show go. So, I’m looking forward to the new characters and watch how things unfold.

    I love Ashanti’s strong mom and wife roll.I think I would have picked a hotter guy to be her husband.

    With Claudia Joy gone, Pamela, Roxy, Trevor and now Roland and Joan, I don’t know if I really want to continue to be a fan of ‘Army Wives’ it’s bittersweet watching now, I want to see what happens with the new characters, but I greatly miss the old ones. It’s like ‘Army Wives’ isn’t ‘Army Wives’ anymore. I’ll probably watch it like I did Season 7, wait ’til the season’s over and catch the whole season on Netflix.

    Comment by Tess Price – October 25, 2013 02:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This was my favorite show. Why did you take it off.

    Comment by Marcia Woodbury – December 1, 2013 02:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Please put Army Wife’s back on. It is my favorite show.

    Comment by Marcia Woodbury – December 1, 2013 02:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I really wish that Army Wives will come back on. I’m gonna miss the original characters but like they say everyone pcs sometimes

    Comment by Kay Christopher – February 1, 2014 04:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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