As happens on actual military bases, the names and faces of some “Army Wives” are changing.
When the Lifetime drama series begins its seventh season at 8 p.m. Sunday, an obvious absence will be that of founding cast member Kim Delaney with the departure of her character, Claudia Joy Holden, explained early in the run. Longtime co-stars Sally Pressman and Sterling K. Brown are recurring now, but at the same time, the show is getting an influx of performers both new and familiar.
Torrey DeVitto (“Pretty Little Liars,” “The Vampire Diaries”) plays a veteran of three tours of duty in Iraq, now opting for domestic life with her staff sergeant husband (Burgess Jenkins); singer-actress Ashanti appears as a mother of three whose husband (Joshua Henry) serves overseas; Jesse McCartney, who also has dual careers in singing and acting, portrays a new soldier eager to make his mark; and Elle McLemore is cast as the latter's new, young wife, forced to build a life for herself away from other loved ones.
And midway through its new season, “Army Wives” will be joined by a particularly famous new co-star: Brooke Shields, as an Air Force pilot who proves herself a worthy opponent to Army Gen. Michael Holden (Brian McNamara) as each tries to maintain a degree of professional power.
For all the actors who are just starting their “Army Wives” tenures on location in Charleston, S.C., Kelli Williams, McNamara and Wendy Davis remain prominent on the series — as does Catherine Bell, whose alter ego Denise Sherwood remains so pivotal to the show, ABC Studios signed the popular “JAG” alum to a new contract early to ensure the drama would have at least another year.