CASTING AND CO-PRODUCTION PARTNER CONFIRMED FOR
BRAND NEW COMEDY DRAMA, LOADED
Channel 4 to partner with AMC on Jon Brown's Loaded, which follows four tech entrepreneurs and childhood friends who become
Jim Howick, Samuel Anderson, Jonny Sweet, Nick Helm
and Mary McCormack head the cast
Loaded set to start production early November 2016 and air on
Channel 4 and AMC in 2017
Channel 4 is partnering with AMC as co-producer of LOADED, an eight-part series that follows four tech entrepreneurs and childhood friends who become multi-millionaires overnight. A co-production between AMC, Channel 4, Hillbilly Television and Keshet UK, LOADED will be an English-language version based on the award-wining Keshet International series Mesudarim created by Muli Segev and Assaf Harel. Jon Brown (Veep, Fresh Meat) is writer and executive producer. Ian Fitzgibbon (Moone Boy, Raised by Wolves) will direct the first three episodes of the series.
LOADED centres around the lives of tech entrepreneurs and friends Josh, Leon, Watto and Ewan, who have just sold their start up videogame company for hundreds of millions of pounds - the culmination of a billion man-hours of blood, sweat, toil, coding, shouting, swearing, fighting, hugging, pitching, grinding, and, occasionally, showering. Overnight, the four 30-something friends are transformed from "people who play games" to "serious players in the game." Amid a raging hurricane of money, excess and "millionaire's guilt", LOADED is about friendship, ambition, gluttony, the peculiar distaste for other people's success and how money can put even life-long friendships to the test.
Jim Howick (The Aliens, Yonderland, Horrible Histories) takes the role of Josh. Fretful and essentially decent, he's the moral compass of the group, the most sensible of them. Riddled with insecurities, his decisions are driven mostly from a deep sense of worry and anxiety. Eternally cautious, he's always anticipating a disaster, scared that his money will get taken away from him at any moment. So instead he focuses all his energies on getting his ex-girlfriend Abi back, which causes problems with his best friend Leon, with whom Abi has a hate/hate relationships.
Samuel Anderson (Doctor Who, Trollied) plays Leon, the Business Development Director of their company Idyl Hands. He's in charge of securing investment and is, clearly, very good at it. Deeply charismatic and usually able to get exactly what he wants, Leon believes money will open any door, but is surprised, then disillusioned, when it doesn't. Massively confident, bordering on cocky, this front masks his own insecurities and a sense of pride that can get him into trouble. He is, however, deeply loyal to his friends and won't let anyone else take credit for what they have achieved together.
Jonny Sweet (Babylon, Together, Him & Her) plays Ewan, Director of the Coding Team and in charge of all the technical aspects of Idyl Hands. A slightly awkward personality, and an innate introvert, he's a delicate soul who suffers from IBS, motion sickness, nosebleeds and feels unrecognised by the wider world after years stuck behind a screen. With his new wealth, and an exciting new relationship, the worm is about to turn - what will the group do when their beta pal makes moves to become the alpha male?
Nick Helm (Uncle, Funny Valentines) takes the role of the eccentric Watto. A talented artist who drew the artwork for their hit game, Watto is recently sober after years of drug and alcohol use. Replacing one compulsive habit with another, he loves the thrill of spending large amounts of cash on flamboyantly useless items but at once suffers a crippling emptiness in the immediate aftermath of a splurge. A flighty character with few roots to keep him grounded, his commitment to his friends and Idyl Hands is the longest of his life and his mates play a big part in his sobriety.
Mary McCormack (The West Wing, Deep Impact, K-Pax) plays Casey, Vice President for Acquisitions at the parent company that has bought Idyl Hands. On the surface she's a ruthless, immaculate and forthright business executive who refuses to suffer fools gladly. Emotionally distant and with a super tough exterior, she's prone to sudden bursts of feeling when it suits her which belie a much more vulnerable side.
The series will go into production early next month and is slated to premiere on Channel 4 and AMC in 2017.
Executive producers on LOADED are Kate Norrish and Polly Leys for BAFTA-winning Hillbilly Television (The Level, Random, Holy Flying Circus); Howard Burch, Avi Nir, Muli Segev and Assaf Harel for Keshet; and Jon Brown. Charlie Leech (The Wrong Mans, The Aliens, Lovesick) is Producer. Roberto Troni and Lee Mason are Commissioning Editor and Commissioning Executive for Channel 4.
Phil Clarke, Head of Scripted at Channel 4, said: "After such a successful collaboration on 'Humans', we're thrilled to be partnering once again with AMC. Jon Brown is one of the most talented young British writers around, demonstrated by his ability to turn the dream of instant riches into the worst nightmare imaginable. We can't wait to see the brilliant cast bring to life the motley crew at Idyl Hands. We're so excited to be working alongside AMC, Hillbilly Television and Keshet UK on this hilarious, astute and timely comedy drama."
"A smart and somewhat light-hearted look at all of the things that can go wrong when you're suddenly very, very rich; and very, very young felt like a perfect show for our times," said Joel Stillerman, president of programming, AMC and SundanceTV. "We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Channel 4 and Keshet International and to begin a new one with Hillbilly and the very talented writer, Jon Brown, director, Ian Fitzgibbon and this terrific cast."
Kate Norrish and Polly Leys, Producers at Hillbilly Television said, "We're delighted to be partnering with AMC, C4, Keshet UK and the fabulously talented Jon Brown on "LOADED". It is a fresh, funny and pertinent take on four friends trying to cling on to the slats of their friendship in the eye of a hurricane of money and excess - and with this cast it's going to be a hell of a ride. Four freshly minted millionaires working alongside people who still have to bring in their lunch from home. An office of haves and have-nots. Like Downtown Abbey with nerds."
Howard Burch, Head of Drama at Keshet UK, said, "It's so exciting to be teaming up again with our friends at AMC to bring "LOADED" to an even wider audience. Great comedies are an important part of the global market and it's fantastic that AMC are joining us for the ride. Working with Jon and Ian and the Hillbilly team I have little doubt that Loaded will go on to make a fresh and hilarious, excess-laden splash."
Mesadurim was the winner of four Israeli Academy Awards in 2007. Two seasons of the show have aired on Keshet Broadcasting. Keshet International will hold worldwide distribution rights to the finished UK series Loaded. The deal was brokered by WME.
About Channel 4
Channel 4 is a publicly-owned, commercially-funded, not-for-profit public service broadcaster and has a remit to be innovative, experimental and distinctive. Its public ownership and not-for-profit status ensure all profit generated by its commercial activity is directly reinvested back into the delivery of its public service remit. As a publisher-broadcaster, Channel 4 is also required to commission UK content from the independent production sector and currently works with over 300 creative companies across the UK every year. In addition to the main Channel 4 service, its portfolio includes: E4, More4, Film4, 4Music, 4seven, Channel4.com and digital service All 4. For more information, visit: www.channel4.com/press
AMC is home to some of the most popular and acclaimed programs on television. AMC was the first basic cable network to ever win the Emmy(R) Award for Outstanding Drama Series with "Mad Men" in 2008, which then went on to win the coveted award four years in a row, before "Breaking Bad" won it in 2013 and 2014. The network's series "The Walking Dead" is the highest-rated series in cable history and the number one show on television among adults 18-49 for the last four years. AMC's other current original drama series include "Better Call Saul," "Hell on Wheels," "Turn: Washington's Spies," "Halt and Catch Fire," "Humans," "Fear the Walking Dead," "Into the Badlands, "The Night Manager," "Preacher," "Feed the Beast," and the forthcoming "The Son" and "The Terror." AMC also explores authentic worlds and discussion with original shows like "Talking Dead," "The Making of The Mob," "Comic Book Men," "Ride with Norman Reedus" and "The American West." AMC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. and its sister networks include IFC, SundanceTV, BBC America and WE tv. AMC is available across all platforms, including on-air, online, on demand and mobile.
About Hillbilly Television
Hillbilly Television was set up and is run by BAFTA award-winning producers Kate Norrish and Polly Leys. The company, known for producing high-end, multi award-winning content, is currently enjoying success with primetime ITV drama "THE LEVEL" and has a number of key development commissions with UK broadcasters. Previous credits include Tony Roche's "HOLY FLYING CIRCUS" (BBC4) which won a Broadcast Award and was BAFTA nominated and Debbie Tucker Green's BAFTA winning single drama "RANDOM" (C4) and BAFTA nominated feature film debut "SECOND COMING" (Film4) starring Idris Elba. www.hillbillyfilms.com
About Keshet UK
Keshet UK is an independent production company based in London. Established in 2012, it is the first global outpost to appear under the Keshet International banner. It develops, produces and coproduces original scripted and non-scripted programmes for UK and international broadcasters, as well as making local versions of Keshet formats. Keshet Productions UK is committed to working with local talent and broadcasters across a wide range of genres, including Drama, Comedy, Entertainment, Factual Entertainment and Game Shows.
About Keshet International
Keshet International is Keshet Media Group's global distribution and production arm. Headed by CEO Alon Shtruzman, it includes Keshet's local production outposts (Keshet UK, Keshet Asia and Keshet Studios in the US) as well as its global distribution arm. KI's catalogue consists of over 70 tried and tested properties that appeal to audiences worldwide, spanning all genres. Highlights include hit drama Prisoners of War, the original Israeli version of prime time Emmy? winner Homeland; gripping espionage thriller False Flag; touching family drama The A Word (second season green lit by BBC One and SundanceTV after the first attracted a consolidated average audience of 5.5 million and a 22% market share); the high octane game show BOOM!; hit interactive talent show Rising Star and children's talent show Master Class; reality dating format Girlfri3nds; and 'buddy comedy' Traffic Light, winner of an International Emmy Award.