NBCUniversal and the BBC have ordered U.S. and U.K. versions respectively of Studio Lambert’s hit Dutch psychological adventure format “The Traitors.”
Contestants in the game move into a castle and work as a team to complete a series of challenging missions to earn money for the prize pot. But three of the contestants are secretly traitors, who will attempt to deceive and manipulate their way to the prize by eliminating loyal contestants.
The Dutch version was created by Marc Pos, developed by All3Media’s IDTV & RTL Creative Unit and produced by IDTV. It launched in March this year on Netherlands commercial broadcaster RTL4 and was a ratings hit, attracting a 43% share of 25-54 year olds and 50% share of 16-24 year olds. A second series was ordered and has also been picked up by VTM in Belgium.
All3Media International is distributing the format worldwide.
Jenny Groom, EVP, entertainment unscripted content, NBCUniversal television and streaming ordered the U.S. version, which will be released as a Peacock original series. The U.K. series was ordered by Kate Phillips, director of BBC Entertainment, for BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
Both series will be produced by the recently launched Studio Lambert Scotland. Studio Lambert’s creative director Tim Harcourt and deputy creative director Mike Cotton will oversee production of both versions. Toni Ireland will be the showrunner and Abi Brooks is the production executive. Studio Lambert U.S.’s EVP Jack Burgess will serve as an executive producer on the U.S. version and Sharon Vuong, SVP, entertainment unscripted development will oversee for NBCUniversal. Neil McCallum is the commissioning editor for the BBC.
The orders are not part of the recently announced BBC/NBCU unscripted partnership.
“’The Traitors’ is a gripping social experiment and we can’t wait to bring this to the U.S. as a Peacock original series,” said Groom. “Studio Lambert has had amazing success with immersive formats and we are excited to partner with them on this. We know that U.S. audiences will absolutely love the twists and turns of the show.”
Phillips said: “’The Traitors’ is a high stakes entertainment series full of false promises and paranoia. Set against the stunning Scottish landscape, I can’t wait for these very different Highland Games to begin where the biggest rule of all is trust no one.”
“We are hugely excited to be making two versions of a show with spectacular challenges and mind games involving suspicion and trust,” said Studio Lambert CEO, Stephen Lambert. “The Scottish Highlands offers some of the most stunning scenery in the world and we’re delighted both NBCU and the BBC agreed this was where we should bring our American and British contestants to play the game.”
Filming for both series will commence in 2022.
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