The BBC is staying 100% loyal to “The Traitors.” The public broadcaster officially greenlit a second season of the smash hit reality series, which is the biggest entertainment launch for the BBC in two years. Casting is now open for the next competition.
“The Traitors,” which aired in December, has had 34 million views on BBC streaming service iPlayer. The Studio Lambert-produced show was the biggest new series for young audiences across all BBC titles last year, and the highest rating new entertainment series on the public broadcaster since at least 2017 for young audiences.
Referencing her legendary knitwear on Season 1, host Claudia Winkleman said: “I can’t wait to go back to the castle to watch people play the greatest game on television. I’m knitting a high funnel sweater immediately.”
“The Traitors” (12 x 60’) is produced by Studio Lambert Scotland for BBC One and BBC iPlayer. Executive producers for Studio Lambert Scotland are Mike Cotton, Sarah Fay and Toni Ireland, and the production executive is Abi Lambrinos. Commissioning editors for the BBC are Neil McCallum and Syeda Irtizaali.
The original Dutch version of “The Traitors” was created by Marc Pos, and developed by All3Media’s IDTV & RTL Creative Unit and produced by IDTV. All3Media International is distributing the format worldwide and is selling the tape versions of both the U.K. and U.S. show, which it also produced via Studio Lambert.
Indian streamer Disney+ Hotstar and BBC Studios have revealed “Dead Pixels,” the Telugu-language adaptation of the popular British series of the same name, executive produced by “Succession” creator Jesse Armstrong. The six-part series will be produced by BBC Studios India and Tamada Media Ltd, with animation by Keyframe Studios, directed by Aditya Mandala, written by Akshay Poolla. The cast includes Niharika Konidela, Harsha Chemudu, Sai Ronak, Akshay Lagusani and Bhavana Sagi.
“Dead Pixels” follows the journey of three friends whose lives revolve around an online video game, with the ultimate goal of defeating a virtual villain. Based in the city of Hyderabad, the show comically depicts their obsession with the game and how it interferes in different aspects of their daily lives.
U.K. broadcaster Channel 5 has commissioned a feature length documentary on the life and untimely death of the 10th Earl of Shaftesbury. Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 10th Earl of Shaftesbury was one of Britain’s wealthiest men. While in France, the Earl met Jamila M’Barek, a divorcée and the mother of two, through an escort agency and in 2002, married her, making her the third Countess of Shaftesbury.
Their relationship grew strained, and they separated. In 2004, the Earl asked for a divorce after meeting Nadia Orche, a club hostess and young mother of two who later claimed that he was planning to marry her. Shortly after, the Earl disappeared, and the press began speculating that he’d been abducted by the Mafia to force him to hand over his wealth. Several months after his disappearance, Jamila confessed to police that her brother, Mohammed M’Barek, had killed the Earl in a crime of passion.
“The Earl, His Lover, The Escort and Her Brother” (1×90’) is a Spun Gold TV production for Channel 5. The executive producer is Charlotte Smith. It was commissioned for Channel 5 by Denise Seneviratne. All3Media International has worldwide distribution rights.
All3Media International has revealed pre-sales for series “The Real Crown: Inside the House of Windsor,” a forensic exploration of the British royal family from 72 Films for U.K. streamer ITVX. Following its U.K. debut, the 5 x 60′ documentary will air on TF1 via a pan-territory deal covering France and French-speaking territories. Further European deals have been concluded with CLT-UFA for the Netherlands and Flemish-speaking Luxembourg, with RTL Television for Austria and Germany, with DR in Denmark, SVT in Sweden and TV2 in Norway.
Deals have also been concluded with CBC covering English-speaking Canada and Radio-Canada covering French-speaking Canada in addition to OSN in the Middle East and with SBS in Australia.
Netflix has launched a creative producer training program in Saudi Arabia in tandem with the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. The seven-week program run by USC alumni Jason Shuman, who co-wrote and executive produced “Acapulco” for Apple TV+, will take participants through the process of creating and executing a TV pitch, pilot script, and forming a writers’ room. The goal is to develop the local talent pipeline by providing producers in Saudi Arabia’s nascent film and TV industry with skills and opportunities to break new ground.
Netflix produced its first Saudi original series, titled “Whispers,” in 2020. More recently, in December 2022, the streaming giant dropped its first Saudi original feature film titled “Alkhallat+,” directed by Fahad Alammari and featuring an ensemble cast of Saudi stand-up comedians, that launched from the Red Sea Film Festival. – Nick Vivarelli
U.K. factual specialist Zinc Media Group has renewed its distribution partnership agreement with BBC Studios for another three years. Under the terms of the new three-year agreement, BBC Studios will continue to operate as Zinc’s first-look distributor for all of its London and Manchester labels, including, for the first time, new labels Red Sauce, Rex, Supercollider and the recently-launched Atomic Television.
The Casting Directors’ Guild has revealed the winners for the 2023 CDG Casting Awards, in partnership with Spotlight. This year’s ceremony was held at Ham Yard Hotel and hosted, for a second time, by Jennifer Saunders. Presenters included Bella Ramsey, Asim Chaudhry, Richard E. Grant, Rob Brydon, Harry Trevaldwyn, Laura Donnelly, Rose Ayling-Ellis, Toheeb Jimoh, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Gemma Chan.
The winners are:
Best Casting in a Commercial
NHS, “We are the NHS” – Heather Basten
Best Casting in a Limited or Single Series, sponsored by Netflix
“This is Going to Hurt” – Nina Gold and Martin Ware
Best Casting in Musical Theatre (Inside M25), sponsored by JAG (Jonathan Arun Group)
“Cabaret” at the Kit Kat Club – Stuart Burt
Best Casting in a TV Comedy Series, sponsored by Hamilton Hodell
“Big Boys” – Rachel Sheridan (Series Casting), Nadira Seecoomar (Taster Pilot)
Best Casting in a TV Drama Series, sponsored by United Agents
“Heartstopper” – Daniel Edwards, Lucy Allen (Associate), Tom Payne and Catherine Garlick (Assistants)
Best Casting in an Independent Film, sponsored by Independent Talent Group
“Boiling Point” – Carolyn McLeod, Matt Sheppard (Assistant)
Best Casting in a Film, sponsored by Warner Bros. Discovery
“The Lost Daughter” – Kahleen Crawford, Carla Morris (Assistant)
Best Casting in Regional Theatre, in partnership with Factory International
“East is East,” Birmingham Rep, National Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre – Stuart Burt, Olivia Barr (Associate)
Best Casting in Theatre (Inside M25), sponsored by The Partnership Group
“Our Generation,” National Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre – Charlotte Sutton
Best Child Casting (All Media), in partnership with AYPA (Agents of Young Performers Association)
“Belfast” – Lucy Bevan and Emily Brockmann, Katie Brydon (Associate)