ITV and AMC Order ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’ Cheating Drama ‘Quiz’

AMC and ITV have ordered a three-part drama telling the story of the British couple who tried to cheat their way to huge winnings on the quiz show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”

The miniseries event “Quiz” will be directed by Stephen Frears and written by James Graham, based on Graham’s play of the same name. Matthew Macfadyen and Sian Clifford are on board to play the couple, Charles and Diana Ingram, and Michael Sheen as “Millionaire” host Chris Tarrant. “Quiz” will be produced by Left Bank Pictures and distributed by Sony Pictures Television.

In 2001, the Ingrams both appeared on ITV’s edition of “Millionaire” as contestants. The two arranged a scheme with an accomplice sitting in the audience of coughing to indicate correct answers to the multiple choice options presented.

“If this tale was invented you’d think it too preposterous – the fact that it is true, and told so brilliantly, makes for an unmissable three-part TV event that will entertain and enthrall Americans audiences every bit as much as their British counterparts,” said AMC Networks entertainment president Sarah Barnett. “‘Quiz’ has the most remarkable bunch of talented people attached both in front of and behind the camera, and we, at AMC, are delighted to be part of it.”

Production on “Quiz” is under way in London. Also on board are Mark Bonnar in the role of Paul Smith, head of “Millionaire” production banner Celador Television. Michael Jibson as accomplice Tecwen Whittock and Aisling Bea as ITV Entertainment Commissioner Claudia Rosencrantz. Dan Winch, William Village, James Graham, Stephen Frears and Left Bank’s Andy Harries are executive producers, with Alice Pearse as producer.

“I am delighted to be bringing James Graham’s wonderful play ‘Quiz’ to screen on ITV,” said ITV drama chief Polly Hill. “It’s testament to James’ brilliant scripts that Stephen Frears is directing, which together with Left Bank Pictures producing, promises to deliver a very special drama.  It’s an extraordinary and thoroughly British story and is going to be a real treat for our audience.”

A 2003 documentary on the case, “Millionaire: A Major Fraud,” from investigative reporter Martin Bashir, drew some 17 million viewers for ITV.

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