Guide to SOF TV Shows Fall 2017 (or how to wean away from the NFL)

SOF TV shows

There are a number of SOF TV shows airing during the Fall 2017 television season. There are three networks offering a television drama that depicts special operations forces (SOF) at work protecting our nation’s interests. Naturally, of the three SOF TV shows, one will likely emerge as a favorite and one or two probably get discontinued. But . . . it is too early to tell. So here is a quick guide on what (and how) to watch these (hopefully) exciting SOF TV shows. It would appear that only four of the military components having SOF units is depicted. Naturally, there is a show centered on Navy SEALs and an Army SOF aviation unit is the focus of a second show. MARSOC and AFSOC are no where to be seen so it seems the Marines and Air Force are getting left out.  [1]

SOF TV shows

Skipping the NFL This Season? If you are like me, you enjoy watching football. However, this season has proven to be a bit of a turnoff. My football viewing time will be sharply diminished – probably just one game a week. In addition, I am skipping the usual pre- and post-football game shows. While I will probably be watching TB12 perform his usual magic it will be only for the last three quarters of the game. The NFL players can play out their little drama during the pre-game activities but I will not watch the ugly performance. They have the right to their protest and I have the right to ignore it. To compensate for only watching 3 periods of football each week I will probably seek other forms of entertainment – hopefully one or more of these SOF TV shows will provide some viewing pleasure. So here is the new SOF TV shows lineup for the Fall 2017 season. [2]

The Brave (NBC) – Monday Nights, 10/9c
Valor (CWTV) – Monday Nights, 9/8c
SEAL Team (CBS) – Wednesday Nights, 9/8c

Guide to Demonstrating Your SOF Knowledge. Here is the opportunity for you – a special operations veteran – to impress your spouse with ‘as they happen’ critiques of the characters, actions, and plots while you view these SOF TV shows. Imagine the delight of your wife (or husband, or . . . whatever) as you yell at the television phrases like “That would never happen”, or “He didn’t change magazines”, or “His transition from rifle to pistol was very slow”. Or perhaps a measured, cool statement like “Ah, it brings back memories”, or “I have been there”, or “I miss those days”, or mention something about a t-shirt. Of course, as these SOF TV shows develop the characters in the respective series the inevitable ‘love dramas’ will emerge. Issues like infidelity and sexual temptations may present themselves. Be ready with defensive statements like “I never saw that happen”, or “It is way overblown”, or “There were (are) no women in my outfit”. [3]

The Brave – NBC. A team of elite undercover military special operators carry out missions on the ground while supported by a team of intelligence specialists and cultural advisors in D.C. from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). The SOF team is presented as a ‘cross-matrixed’ element comprised of the ‘greatest of the greatest’ from Delta Force, Navy SEALs, and the CIA. The first episode aired on Monday, September 25th – the plot centered on the rescue of an American female doctor held hostage in the Middle East. You can meet the cast (multicultural and gender diverse . . . of course), learn about the filming, and watch the first show plus three trailers of The Brave at the link below online.

The Valor – CWTV. This show features an Army aviation special operations unit with a female in the lead. Yes, she is easy on the eyes . . . but seems a little young for the part. I have met my fair share of Chief Warrant Officers and this young lady does not come close to looking like any of the old and crusty CW4 aviators that I have known. So right off the bat  . . . well, never mind. I am sure the romantic nature of this “SOF” show will generate an audience that will watch it and the gender advancement crowd will surely applaud. The jury is out on this one.

SEAL Team – CBS. David Boreanaz of Bones fame is the star with several other cast members that I don’t recognize. Once again we have a diverse group of SOF team members to entertain us. This military drama presents the whole picture of life as a SEAL – what happens while deployed on missions and the stuff that takes place in garrison (and in the home). The show will attempt to depict how Navy SEALs juggle their professional and personal lives (something current and former SOF professionals will likely be familiar with). First show is on Wednesday, September 27th (9/8c).


[1] Full disclosure: An online review by Molly Gobeski entitled “A Special Operation’s Guide to This Fall’s TV Military Dramas”, The Tracking Board, September 25, 2017 provided inspiration for the writing of this article.

[2] It is unfortunate that the three SOF TV shows are not scheduled for Sunday afternoon, Monday night, and Thursday night. That would go a long way to fighting NFL withdrawal symptoms.

[3] If you are a SOF ‘wanna be’ then simply precede any of these statements with “If I were SOF I . . . .”, or “A friend of mine is SOF and he . . .”, or “I was talking to a SOF guy once and he said . . .”

About John Friberg 201 Articles
John Friberg is the Editor and Publisher of SOF News. He is a retired Command Chief Warrant Officer (CW5 180A) with 40 years service in the U.S. Army Special Forces with active duty and reserve components.