Drama ‘The Republic of Sarah’ Looks At How Nations are Built

From left: Nia Holloway as Amy "AJ" Johnson, Stella Baker as Sarah Cooper and Hope Lauren as Corinne Dearborn in The CW's 'The Republic of Sarah'
From left: Nia Holloway as Amy "AJ" Johnson, Stella Baker as Sarah Cooper and Hope Lauren as Corinne Dearborn in The CW's 'The Republic of Sarah' (Image credit: The CW)

The Republic of Sarah, a drama about a new nation hatching in New Hampshire, starts on The CW June 14. Jeffrey Paul King created the show and Stella Baker plays Sarah. 

A valuable mineral is discovered under Greylock, New Hampshire, and a mining giant plans to extract it, and effectively wipe Greylock off the face of the earth. School teacher Sarah battles the mining company, and gets Greylock cast off from the United States. 

She must then work to build a nation. 

Also in the cast are Luke Mitchell, Megan Follows, Izabella Alvarez and Ian Duff. 

King called the show’s premise “a really good story engine” at a CW press event. 

“The idea of building a country was always really intriguing to me,” said King. “It's sort of an endless number of things you'd have to deal with. And the joy of those things is that they run the gamut from the absurd, like what color is your money, and what does your national anthem sound like, to the really serious,” such as government and banking. 

CBS had initially ordered a pilot of Sarah, but did not go forward with the series. The pilot was retooled for The CW, with the new cast in their mid-20s, as opposed to mid-30s at CBS. 

The population of the new nation is about 2,700. “You're forming a government around a very specific group of people,” said Baker. “And I think that's a different task than forming a government for hundreds of millions of people.” 

Follows, who plays the main character’s mother on Wynonna Earp, directed some of the episodes. She was intrigued by the hard work that goes into nation building, work that is often overlooked. “It exposes the rights and things we take for granted when we live in a society where we have structured and fought so hard for things,” she said. “So at the birth of something, the assumption that there will be rights and rules in place. We learned that people actually fought very hard for those and they were born out of needs and necessities and/or people trying to stop certain people from having rights. So that's a fun exploration.”

Creator King promises viewers a show that’s equal parts head and heart, he said. “I'm very proud of the fact that our show has a big brain,” said King.

“There are some interesting debates that go on because our characters are well read,” added King. “They know what they're talking about and they're passionate.”

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.