History has abandoned its planned scripted drama series from R.J. Cutler based on the Bill Clinton impeachment. The Breach: Inside the Impeachment of Bill Clinton was greenlighted by History in September as a six-part scripted drama series based on Peter Baker’s bestseller The Breach: Inside the Impeachment and Trial of William Jefferson Clinton. Over the past few months, the producers made several offers to A-list actors for the leads, but no one had been cast.
A rep for History confirmed that the network is no longer going forward with the project in what was described as a creative decision.
The Breach was supposed to be the first installment in The Commanders anthology series that dramatizes “pivotal moments in U.S. history that defined the legacy of the men who served as Presidents of the United States — from the first one, George Washington, to No. 42, Bill Clinton.” The other limited series in the franchise, about such U.S. presidents as Ronald Reagan, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt and Thomas Jefferson, remain in development.
Written by Cutler and David K. Israel and to be directed and executive produced by Cutler, The Breach had been billed as a political thriller looking at how one of the nation’s biggest political scandals unfolded – from the revelation that President Clinton was having an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky through the political combat that saw Hillary Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Special Prosecutor Ken Starr, Congressman Bob Livingston and many others dominating the national headlines. The series was to take viewers inside Republican and Democrat war rooms, revealing the infighting among the president’s advisers, the secret back-channel negotiations between the White House and Congress, Tom DeLay’s strategy to force President Clinton out of office and the Democrats’ pressure for Clinton to resign.
Word of History’s decision to abandon the series follows the revelation by Ryan Murphy that he was no longer going forward with another Clinton impeachment-themed project, an American Crime Story installment on the Lewinsky-Clinton sex scandal. History had greenlighted The Breach while the Murphy project was in development.