astronaut-wives-clubEXCLUSIVE: There is a change in plans for ABC‘s 10-episode limited series The Astronaut Wives Club. The project, from Fake Empire, Groundswell Productions and ABC Studios, had been actively casting and getting ready to go into production for a July 24 premiere. Now production has been put on hold, and the series will undergo a creative change. It eyes a fall production start for a midseason 2014-15 launch. Written by Stephanie Savage based on Lily Koppel’s 2013 book, Astronaut Wives Club tells the real story of the women who stood beside some of the biggest heroes in American history during the height of the space race. The book profiles ABC_logo_2007dozens of the wives of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts. Originally, the series was envisioned to cover only the wives of the astronauts from the Mercury missions. Now ABC is expanding the scope to also include the Gemini and Apollo missions. That will involve reconceiving the arc of the season and expanding the current cast. Additionally, because the series involves the portrayal of real people, it has to go through an extensive clearing process, which has to be done after the scripts have been written.

The core seven wives of the Mercury astronauts that were at the center of the pilot script will remain central characters throughout the 10 episodes, gradually joined by Gemini and Apollo wives. The current cast includes JoAnna Garcia Swisher as Betty Grissom, Odette Annable as Trudy Cooper, Erin Cummings as Marge Slayton, Zoe Boyle as Jo Schirra, Azure Parsons as Annie Glenn and Desmond Harrington as Alan Shepherd, with casting expected to continue. Executive producing are Savage, Josh Schwartz, Len Goldstein, Michael London and Janice Williams, with Nick Cassavetes on board to direct the first episode.

Related: 2014 ABC Pilots