Channel 4 has ordered two new reality formats from Studio Lambert and The Garden.

From Studio Lambert and Motion Content Group is new show, Rise & Fall, billed as a “major new social experiment that explores the gap between the haves and the have-nots and asks how wealth and power shape the way we behave toward one another.”

In the reality competition series, ordinary British people, from all walks of life and ages, will find themselves as a have or a have-not, either in a position of power or as part of the powerless, as inequality is explored over 18 stripped episodes.

The show is set in a glamorous Succession-like world, with the powerful living in an opulent penthouse and everyone else living in a basement workplace. Through a series of games and challenges those in power will be responsible for making decisions which affect those who have none, whilst those without power will have to compete to build favour with those at the top.

Players will have opportunities to rise and fall, from having everything to having nothing. The cash prize starts at zero and only builds if challenges devised by those in power are completed by those who are not. Those at the bottom must find a way to make it to the top, as only the most powerful and influential can win the game.

Alf Lawrie, Head of Factual Entertainment at Channel 4, said: “Society is made up of the haves and the have nots, those who have power and those who don’t. In this fascinating new reality format, we’re going to see how power is gained, what happens when power is lost and how the quest for power can bring out the best or worst in people. We’re thrilled to be working with Studio Lambert and Motion Content Group on this exciting new series that promises to deliver entertainment and drama aplenty.”

Vivienne Molokwu, Senior Commissioning Editor for Channel 4, said: “Rise & Fall is the ultimate test of the adage that ‘power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’. A deliciously distorted reflection of real life, as the underdogs battle to improve their lot and the top dogs battle to maintain the status quo, this series offers a fascinating prism through which to watch human behaviour at its best and worst.”

Mike Cotton, Deputy Creative Director, Studio Lambert said: “Since the 1980s, the UK has become a much more unequal society. With politicians seemingly writing their own rules and billionaires putting profit over people, we wanted to find a way of exploring this in a show which viewers would find entertaining and thought-provoking. We will discover the moral dilemmas faced by those holding the power as they set challenges for workers and see how they behave when they know their hard work largely benefits those who rule them.”

Martin Oxley, Head of Formats and Entertainment and Executive Producer for Motion Content Group, said: “We’re looking forward to working alongside Studio Lambert and Channel 4 again, this time on a show that bears all the hallmarks of a classic reality series alongside a very new opportunity to see how the exchange of power and position can affect who we all are.”

Rise & Fall was commissioned for Channel 4 by Alf Lawrie, head of Factual Entertainment and Vivienne Molokwu, senior commissioning editor, Factual Entertainment. It will be made by Studio Lambert and Motion Content Group and the executive producers are Mike Cotton, Colin Whitaker and Kelly Lynn for Studio Lambert and Martin Oxley for Motion Content Group. Production Executive for Studio Lambert is Diana Focke.

Channel 4 has also commissioned The Garden to make the first UK series of the international survival hit Alone.

Alone is billed as “TV’s most extreme and uncompromising survival experiment: the ultimate test of endurance and ingenuity, in one of the most beautiful but challenging landscapes on earth.”

The six-part series will see ten contestants dropped into the remote Northern Canadian wilderness, where each must survive entirely alone.  They’ll be equipped with only a handful of basic tools and must film their adventure themselves. They’ll battle the elements, loneliness and wild animals including bears, moose and wolverines, in a trial of skill, mental strength and resilience. Whoever lasts longest will win £100,000.

Ian Dunkley said, ‘In one of the most inhospitable locations on earth, the cast will not only have to battle the elements and hostile wildlife, but also themselves, facing adversity with no camera crew, no producers and no catering trucks on standby. It will provide a fascinating insight into the human spirit and what it takes to survive against all the odds’.

Rachel Bloomfield added: ‘Alone is the most real and raw survival series on television. Ten ordinary people will go on an extraordinary adventure. We hope what will begin as a bare-knuckle survival challenge, will go on to reveal itself as a complex and beautifully layered series – an examination of self and soul, as well as outdoors skills.’

Robyn Hurd, VP of International Content Sales, EMEA, for A+E Networks said, “A+E Networks is proud to be the worldwide distributor of Alone, the ultimate survival show that succeeds across cultures and territories with its stripped back, minimal production style and cast of everyday contestants challenged with becoming extraordinary survivalists. We’re delighted to be working with the Garden on this version, and Channel 4 will be the perfect UK home.”

Alone is now in its ninth series on the History Channel in the USA, and is a hit in Denmark, Norway and Sweden – and globally on Netflix – with a further series in production in Australia.  This is the first time the format has come to the UK – and the first time it has been made with a UK cast.

The 6 x 60’ series has been commissioned for Channel 4 by Ian Dunkley, Commissioning Editor, Factual Entertainment. The series from The Garden, part of ITV Studios, will be executive produced by Nicola Brown and Rachel Bloomfield.  Alone is distributed worldwide by A+E Networks.


Jon Creamer

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