BBC and NBCUniversal have ordered UK and U.S. versions of the popular Dutch “psychological adventure” format The Traitors.
Both series will be produced by Studio Lambert Scotland. Jenny Groom, EVP, entertainment unscripted content for NBCUniversal Television and Streaming has ordered the U.S. version, which will be released as a Peacock original series. The UK series has been ordered by Kate Phillips, director of BBC Entertainment, for BBC1 and BBC iPlayer.
The series follows contestants who are moved into a castle in the Scottish highlands. They have to work as a team to complete a series of challenges to earn money from a prize pot. However, three of the contestants are secretly traitors who will try to win the prize by singling out and eliminating “loyal” players. Filming for both series will begin next year.
The original Dutch version of The Traitors (pictured) was created by Marc Pos, developed by All3Media’s IDTV & RTL Creative Unit and produced by IDTV. The series launched this past March on RTL4 where it was an instant ratings hit. A second series was ordered after just two episodes were broadcast and the show was also picked up by VTM in Belgium. All3Media International is distributing the format worldwide.
Studio Lambert’s creative director Tim Harcourt and deputy creative director Mike Cotton will oversee production of both U.S. and UK versions, with Toni Ireland show-running and Abi Brooks serving as the production executive. Jack Burgess, EVP of Studio Lambert U.S., will executive produce the U.S. version. Sharon Vuong, SVP, entertainment unscripted development, will oversee for NBCUniversal. Neil McCallum, commissioning editor – nations and regions lead, is the commissioning editor for the BBC.
“The Traitors is a gripping social experiment and we can’t wait to bring this to the US as a Peacock original series,” said Groom in a release. “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.”
“We are hugely excited to be making two versions of a show with spectacular challenges and mind games involving suspicion and trust,” added 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.”