‘Valor’ Creator Hopes Female Lead, Diverse Cast Help CW Military Drama Stand Out

'Valor' presentation, PaleyFest

Up against a fall lineup peppered with military-centric pilots, “Valor” creator Kyle Jarrow is looking to the story’s strong female lead to set the series apart.

“It’s centered around a female soldier. And frankly there are tons of female soldiers, but the media depictions are very few. It feels like a story that’s really important and needs to be told,” Jarrow said Saturday night at “Valor’s” PaleyFest Fall TV Previews session, moderated by Variety‘s Debra Birnbaum.

“Valor” follows an elite unit of U.S. Army helicopter pilots and the fallout from a botched mission. Nora Madani, played by Christina Ochoa, is the unit’s first female pilot.


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“There’s more pressure [on Nora], not just being in the special ops and being a Black Hawk pilot, but also being the first female,” said showrunner Anna Fricke. “We highlight that and what her responsibility is in that role.”

Beyond a strong female lead, “Valor” boasts a diverse supporting cast—an effort to authentically represent the military, according to Jarrow. With a writers room informed by two female veterans, authenticity was an attainable priority.

“The U.S. Army is incredibly diverse. It’s actually more diverse than the general American population and it felt like we needed to reflect that reality,” said Jarrow, adding, “Diversity was a big goal, but in all those roles we wanted to find people who had all elements — charisma and acting chops, as well as a military believability.”

“Valor” premieres Oct. 9 on the CW.

(Pictured: Matt Barr, Christina Ochoa and Kyle Jarrow)

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  1. Allen V Cheesman says:

    This show is anything but accurate. This soap drama does not represent the US Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR). Our pilots are subject to pass Class 1 flight physicals and random urinalysis testing, so a pill popping pilot would not happen. The beards the male actors wear are prohibited by Army Regulation 670-1. The show supposedly has military advisors. I question their advice in some aspects of is shown in the trailer. The female pilot wears the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 3, which she is too young to have earned. This rank takes time in service and rated performance to be selected for promotion to. Our Army’s Special Operations Warriors are proud, professional, and highly effective! This show is a sensationalized drama. This YouTube video shows our #NightStalkers in action.

    This is the opinion of a retired Army Command Sergeant Major and not the opinion of the US Army.

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