TNT has opted not to proceed with its pilot Civil. The political and social drama was a hot prospect when it was picked up to pilot in May, as its plot sounded ominously close to real-life current events. Written by A Simple Plan scribe Scott Smith and directed by Allen Coulter, Civil, which secured a solid cast led by Bradley Whitford, Courtney B. Vance, Toby Jones and Enrique Murciano, takes place in the wake of a hotly contested Presidential election, as America finds itself plunging uncontrollably into a modern day Civil War. The series weaves together the personal stories of citizens from all walks of life, whose actions – amplified in an age of instant media – add fuel to the conflict and affect the fate of the entire country.
TNT brass were high on the project for a series order, and backup scripts were ordered while the pilot was being filmed over the summer, just as the Presidential election campaign was growing more contentions by the day. There was an idea to preview the pilot in the fall, around the November vote, and then launch the series in January. Those potential plans were put on hold when the pilot was delivered in August. A decision was made not to rush the project to series. The network eventually passed on it. Some observers say it may have felt too close to home.
One of the Civil cast members, Emmy-winning People v. O.J. Simpson star Vance, already has lined up his next gig — a co-lead role opposite Felicity Huffman in another politically-themed pilot, hot ABC comedy Libby & Malcolm, from Black-ish creator/executive producer Kenya Barris and co-executive producer Vijal Patel.
Civil, from TNT Originals in association with MGM Television, was executive produced by Smith, Thomas Kelly, who served as showrunner and Lloyd Braun.