BBC Studios and Anton have greenlit their first premium short-form scripted series Cheaters, from Clerkenwell Films, the makers of Misfits, Lovesick, and The End of the F***ing World.
An eighteen-episode returnable series told in ten-minute chapters, Cheaters is billed as a sexy, messy, comedy drama about morality and monogamy.
The series is written and created by breakout writer Oliver Lyttelton (pictured), known for his short film The Listener, which premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2015 and was longlisted for Best Short Film at the 2016 BAFTAs.
Cheaters is the first commission in a long-term development deal between BBC Studios, Anton and Clerkenwell Films, previously announced by BBC Studios CEO, Tim Davie in 2018. Anton has previously financed His Dark Materials and McMafia.
The partnership sees BBC Studios, Clerkenwell Films and Anton developing and funding a slate of high-end, short-form drama and comedy projects to be produced by Clerkenwell and co-financed by BBC Studios and Anton.
Cheaters tells the story of a chance meeting after a cancelled flight that leads to an unlikely night of drunken airport-hotel sex between twenty-something strangers Fola and Josh. The next morning, as they rush to make the rescheduled flight, both admit they are with other people – Fola is married to Zack, and Josh is in a long term relationship with Esther. After arguing at the airport and ignoring each other on the plane, they finally agree their night of passion was a mistake and go their separate ways. But as Josh gets off at the bus stop next to his flat, he’s horrified to see Fola pulling up in a taxi across the road and heading into the house she has just bought. Josh and Fola are going to be neighbours…
Mark Linsey, BBC Studios chief Creative Officer, says: “This is the first time that we have fully commissioned a drama without a broadcaster already on board, which marks an exciting moment for us at BBC Studios. We’ve seen an increase in the demand for super-premium content in a bite-sized format and Cheaters is a bold comedy drama that will engage audiences in this new way.”
Murray Ferguson, Chief Executive at Clerkenwell Films, says: “Cheaters is the first of several series we’re developing in this format. It’s clear from the success of The End of the F***ing World that there is a huge appetite globally for new and innovative content that is high quality yet easy to consume and prepared to break with convention both in format and narrative content. Oliver Lyttelton’s scripts and characters are brilliantly surprising and addictive. It’s such a pleasure working with him.”
Cheaters has been commissioned by BBC Studios and Anton. It is a Clerkenwell Films production, funded by BBC Studios and Anton. Executive Producers are Murray Ferguson, Petra Fried, Matt Jarvis, Emily Harrison, and Caroline Stone.
Cheaters goes into production in February 2020.
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