MGM+, the linear channel and streaming service previously known as Epix, has picked up crime drama “A Spy Among Friends.” The British limited series was commissioned by ITV Studios and was originally set to air as a Spectrum Original in the U.S. before that cabler was shuttered in August.
“A Spy Among Friends” is based on Ben Macintyre’s novel of the same and dramatizes the true story of two British spies and lifelong friends, Nicholas Elliott (Damian Lewis) and Kim Philby (Guy Pearce). The latter became the most notorious British defector and Soviet double agent in history. Philby’s deeply personal betrayal, uncovered at the height of the Cold War, resulted in the gutting of British and American intelligence. Anna Maxwell Martin, Stephen Kunken and Adrian Edmondson also star.
After debuting on ITVX in the U.K. in December, “A Spy Among Friends” will premiere on MGM+ in 2023.
The six-episode series was created by Alexander Cary. ITV produces in collaboration with Sony Pictures Television. Executive producers include Lewis via his Ginger Biscuit banner, Cary, Patrick Spence, director Nick Murphy, Chrissy Skinns and Veritas Entertainment Group’s Bob Bookman, Alan Gasmer and Peter Jaysen.
“I’m very happy to be bringing our Cold War tale of friendship and betrayal to MGM+,” Lewis said. “They’re the perfect partners for us and I can’t wait for people to see it.”
“Alex Cary has brilliantly adapted Ben Macintyre’s historical novel about friendship, loyalty, and betrayal,” said MGM+ head Michael Wright. “He, along with Nick Murphy, Damian Lewis and the remarkable cast led by Lewis and Guy Pearce, have brought to life this riveting tale of two British spies whose deep personal bond and long friendship is challenged by duplicity and deception. This series is emblematic of our new MGM+ brand and the rich, cinematic and character-driven stories we aim to tell.”
“Ben Macintyre is an unbelievably talented writer. Alex Cary has taken this fascinating story and created a suspenseful — and at times heartbreaking — drama about duty, honor, and friendship,” added Lauren Stein, executive vice president of drama development at Sony Pictures Television. “Watching Damian, Guy and Anna bring it to life is like watching a master class and I am so excited for people to get to experience the show.”