The BBC and NBCUniversal have ordered a British and a US version of the hit Dutch psychological adventure format “The Traitors”.

The UK series has been ordered by Kate Phillips, Director of BBC Entertainment, for BBC One and BBC iPlayer. Jenny Groom, EVP, Entertainment Unscripted Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming has ordered the US version, which will be released as a Peacock original series. Both series will be produced by recently announced Studio Lambert Scotland.

Contestants in the game move into a majestic castle and work as a team to complete a series of dramatic and 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. Who will prevail? Will the traitors be unmasked in time?

The original (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 RTL4, the most-watched commercial broadcaster in the Netherlands.  It was an instant ratings hit, attracting a 43% share of 25-54 year olds and 50% share of 16-24 year olds.  A second series was ordered after just two episodes aired and has also been picked up by VTM in Belgium. All3Media International is distributing the format worldwide.

Kate Phillips, Director of Entertainment, BBC Commissioning, 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!”

“The Traitors is a gripping social experiment and we can’t wait to bring this to the US as a Peacock original series,” said Jenny Groom, Executive Vice President, Entertainment Unscripted Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “Studio Lambert has had amazing success with immersive formats and we are excited to partner with them on this. We know that US audiences will absolutely love the twists and turns of the show.”

“We are hugely excited to be making two versions of a show with spectacular challenges and mind games involving suspicion and trust,” says 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.”

Studio Lambert’s creative director Tim Harcourt and deputy creative director Mike Cotton will oversee production of both UK and US versions. Toni Ireland will be showrunning and Abi Brooks is the production executive. Studio Lambert US’s EVP Jack Burgess will serve as an executive producer on the US version. Sharon Vuong will oversee for NBCUniversal. Neil McCallum, Commissioning Editor – Nations and regions lead, is the Commissioning Editor for the BBC.

Filming for both series will start in 2022.


Jon Creamer

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