EXCLUSIVE: TNT has given a pilot pickup to Hinges, a drama from John Wells Prods. Warner Horizon Television and Turner’s Studio T. The network landed the project, written by former Criminal Minds executive producer Janine Sherman Barrois based on her short story “The Boom”, in a competitive situation.

Anthony Hemingway (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Underground) is set to direct the pilot, which centers on two middle-class families of different races living in suburban America. Sherman Barrois, Wells and Hemingway executive produce alongside Mark Taylor (Underground).

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Hinges is described as a provocative and humorous dissection of middle-class suburbia. It follows two sets of neighbors whose lives are dramatically changed in the wake of a scandal that rocks the community. Shifting focus to a different set of families each season, Hinges will expose the American Dream to be an illusion as it holds up a fun-house mirror to the cracks beneath a community’s seemingly happy surface.

The project reunites Wells and Sherman Barrois. He became a mentor to the then-up-and-coming writer-producer Sherman Barrois, graduate of the Warner Bros. Writers’ Workshop, who worked for him on Third Watch and ER for nine seasons. The two hoped to work together again, and when she showed Wells and his team the short story she had written titled “The Boom,” he suggested they do it together as a series. Helping the collaboration was the fact that Sherman Barrois last year inked an overall deal with Warner Bros. TV where Wells had been based for a long time.

The John Wells/Warner Horizon-produced Animal Kingdom launched the new TNT brand of darker, edgier dramas in June, earning a second-season renewal after ranking among cable’s Top 3 new summer shows. (Wells previously produced TNT’s acclaimed drama Southland). Sherman Barrois also already is in business with TNT on another Warner Horizon/Studio T pilot; she is executive producer/showrunner on dramedy Claws.

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Hinges deals with timely, relevant issues, which not only makes for great storytelling but will also contribute to larger cultural conversations,” said Sarah Aubrey, EVP of original programming for TNT. “We look forward to expanding TNT’s relationship with John Wells, whose Animal Kingdom was one of the summer’s biggest hits, and Janine Sherman Barrois, who is also producing our new dramedy pilot Claws.”

TNT’s original programming slate transformation continues with the upcoming debut of thriller Good Behavior starring Michelle Dockery.

Hinges joins four other pilots in the works at TNT: Let the Right One In, based on the best-selling novel by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist; Monsters of God, a post-Civil War drama from Rod Lurie and Plan B Entertainment; Civil, starring Bradley Whitford, Toby Jones, Courtney B. Vance and Enrique Murciano in a gripping story about America on the brink of a modern day Civil War; and Claws, starring Niecy Nash, Carrie Preston, Harold Perrineau and Jenn Lyon in a wickedly funny drama set in a Florida nail salon. Eliot Laurenceis writer/co-executive producer. Sherman Barrois executive produces alongside Rashida Jones and Will McCormack.

Hemingway served as director/co-executive producer on FX hit People v. OJ Simpson, sharing in its Emmy Award for best limited series. He is repped by WME. Sherman Barrois is repped by WME and Felker Toczek. Wells is with CAA.