ABC’s new drama The Astronaut Wives Club is based on Lily Koppel’s book of the same title. It tells the story of the first American astronaut’s wives and how they were pushed into celebrity while their husbands were embarking on death-defying missions. The book and show address the real life tragedies that the women experienced including the death of three astronauts (Roger Chaffee, Ed White, Gus Grissom) during the pre-launch test of Apollo 1.
Betty Grissom, who put her husband through engineering school at Purdue while working the 5-11pm shift at Indiana Bell, is portrayed by JoAnna Garcia Swisher. The actress is best known for her roles in Once Upon a Time (Ariel), The Mindy Project (Sally Prentice), Royal Pains (Dr. Nina Greene), Gossip Girl (Bree Buckley), Privileged (Megan Smith), Freaks and Geeks (Vicki Appleby), and Reba (Reba’s daughter Cheyenne). The Astronaut Wives Club will air Thursdays at 8pm on ABC.