Spectrum Originals Out, MGM+ In
by Peter White | Deadline | November 29, 2022
by Lesley Goldberg | The Hollywood Reporter | November 29, 2022
Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce-fronted drama series A Spy Among Friends has found a new home in the U.S. following Spectrum’s move out of original series. The spy thriller, which is a co-production with UK streamer ITVX, has landed at MGM+, the network formerly known as Epix.
The premium cable network/streamer has picked up domestic rights to the series and it will air in the U.S. in 2023. It comes after the series premiered at the London Film Festival and ahead of its British launch in December.
The six-part series was among the programs that were left without a home after Charter shut down its Spectrum Originals banner following the departure of executive Katherine Pope.
Pope departed cable service Charter to take over as president of indie studio Sony Pictures Television, which produces A Spy Among Friends. Pope previously bought the show during her time at Charter and now sold it to MGM+ in her new role atop Sony TV. The MGM-controlled Epix will be rebranded as MGM+ starting January 1, 2023.
“I’m very happy to be bringing our Cold War tale of friendship and betrayal to MGM+. They’re the perfect partners for us and I can’t wait for people to see it,” said Damian Lewis.
“Alex Cary has brilliantly adapted Ben Macintyre’s historical novel about friendship, loyalty, and betrayal. He, along with Nick Murphy, Damian Lewis, and the remarkable cast led by Lewis and Guy Pearce, have brought to life this riveting tale of two British spies whose deep personal bond and long friendship is challenged by duplicity and deception,” said Michael Wright, head of MGM+. “This series is emblematic of our new MGM+ brand and the rich, cinematic, and character-driven stories we aim to tell.”
A Spy Among Friends, which is based on Ben Macintyre’s book, tells the true story of two British spies and lifelong friends. It follows the defection of notorious British intelligence officer and KGB double agent, Kim Philby, played by Pearce, through the lens of his complex relationship with MI6 colleague and close friend, Nicholas Elliott, played by Lewis. The show examines espionage through their friendship, the fallout of which affects East-West relations to this day.
Anna Maxwell Martin (Line of Duty), Stephen Kunken (Billions), and Adrian Edmondson (Back to Life) also star.
Homeland executive producer Alexander Cary created the series and executive produces alongside Lewis, via his Ginger Biscuit Entertainment banner, Patrick Spence and Nick Murphy, who directs, with Bob Bookman, Alan Gasmer and Peter Jaysen executive producing for Veritas Entertainment Group.