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Damian Grapples with Friendship, Betrayal and Producing in MGM+ Drama
by Charna Flam and Katie Reul | Variety | March 10, 2023
Following Sony’s “A Spy Among Friends” premiere and red carpet in New York, the cast and crew of “A Spy Among Friends” took to the stage to discuss the process of differentiating the series from the 2014 nonfiction book by author Ben Macintyre about one of Britain’s most notorious espionage scandals. Alexander Cary, showrunner and creator of the Sony Pictures Television series for MGM+, was joined by star Damian Lewis, director Nick Murphy and producer Chrissy Skinns.
Moderated by Variety’s TV business writer Jennifer Maas, the conversation began with Lewis’ reflection on why the series was the right opportunity to make his debut as an executive producer. Best known for his starring roles in Showtime’s “Billions” and “Homeland” and the 2001 HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers,” the Emmy winner tried his hand at a behind-the-screen job on the series, working with fellow executive producers Cary, Murphy, Macintyre, Bob Bookman, Alan Gasmer, Peter Jaysen and Patrick Spence.
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A Spy Among Friends x Billions Mini Reunion x A Dash of Homeland
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | February 27, 2023
Damian attended MGM+’s A Spy Among Friends New York Premiere at Crosby Street Hotel on Monday, February 27, 2023 in New York City. Damian is pictured here with co-star Stephen Kunken (Billions) who played James Jesus Angleton in the spy series. Other attendees at the premiere included Neil Burger, Claire Danes (Homeland), Alexander Cary, Nick Murphy, Michael Wright, Katherine Pope, President of Sony Pictures Television, Andrew Ross Sorkin (Billions co-creator), Alessandro Nivola, Sienna Miller and Jill Hennessy, as well as Billions castmates Danny Strong, Jack Gilpin, Asia Kate Dillon, Daniel K. Isaac, Dhruv Maheshwari, Kelly AuCoin and David Costabile.
There was also a Q&A panel discussion at the screening. A Spy Among Friends is available for streaming in the US on MGM+ starting March 12. View all the photos of the event in our Gallery here.
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Espionage Series Hits MGM+ in March
by Charles Barfield | The Playlist | February 2, 2023
Being a spy requires a lot of discretion. You have to not only keep most of what you do at work a secret, but you sometimes even have to lie to those closest to you to protect that work. But what happens when your best friend is also a spy? And not only that, what if that best friend who is a spy might also be a double agent, working for the enemy? That drama is what propels the plot of the new limited series, “A Spy Among Friends.”
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Two Lifelong Friends, One Double Agent
by Michael Pickard | Drama Quarterly | January 13, 2023
Stars Damian Lewis and Anna Maxwell Martin join the team behind A Spy Among Friends to discuss the making of this ITVX espionage drama, which is based on the true story of two lifelong friends and British spies – one of whom is a double agent. When he was initially approached to star in A Spy Among Friends, Damian Lewis didn’t know which of the two leads he would play.
In this DQTV interview here, star Damian Lewis, who plays Elliott, and writer Alex Cary discuss why they wanted to give viewers a peek behind the curtain of this notorious spy story. They talk about why Elliott emerged as the focal point of the drama, their roles behind the scenes as executive producers and the fallout from the damaged friendship at the heart of the story.
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MGM+ Unveils A Spy Among Friends at TCA Winter Press Tour
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | January 10, 2023
For the first time in three years since the pandemic, the in-person Television Critics Association press tour returned. The event was held at The Langham, Huntington in Pasadena, California beginning Monday, January 9, 2023. Not all television networks appeared, but MGM+ was there to discuss upcoming content available on its new streaming platform, including A Spy Among Friends. After first debuting on ITVX in the U.K. in December 2022, A Spy Among Friends staring Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce will get its US premiere on MGM+ on March 12, 2023, as EPIX will become MGM+ on January 15, 2023. The six-episode series is based on the Ben Macintyre book of the same name, written by Alexander Cary and directed by Nick Murphy. ITV produces in collaboration with Sony Pictures Television and Damian’s own Ginger Biscuit Entertainment.
Those attending the TCA panel discussion in-person were Anna Maxwell-Martin, Nick Murphy and Alexander Cary, and joining remotely via video call were Damian and Guy Pearce. During the discussion Damian said Guy Pearce plays the rock star Kim Philby and he plays the sap Nicholas Elliott. Anna Maxwell-Martin said her scenes with Damian were thrilling, “It’s just about being with Damian in a room.” Alex Cary shared that he centered the story of A Spy Among Friends around relationships, friendship and betrayal to make it relevant to today’s audience. Photos from the event can be viewed here.
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Sony Pictures Television Lands Global Sales for Espionage Thriller
by Mona Tabbara | ScreenDaily | November 30, 2022
A Spy Among Friends has sold to 117 territories for Sony Pictures Television. The series stars and is executive produced by UK star Damian Lewis, with Australian actor Guy Pearce and the UK’s Anna Maxwell-Martin also starring. The Cold War thriller is based on Ben Macintyre’s novel and tells the true story of follows British intelligence officer and KGB double agent Kim Philby, and is co-produced by ITV Studios and Sony Pictures Television. The series director is Nick Murphy.
It launches in the UK on ITVX on December 8, and has been picked up by MGM+ in the US, plus Canada (Prime Video), France (OCS January 3, 2023) and Germany (Deutsche Telekom). Sky Italia will broadcast the series in Italy, Monaco and Malta, and it will also air in India (SonyLIV), New Zealand (TVNZ), the Middle East (BeIN), across Central and Eastern European territories including Poland, Hungary, Czechia, Croatia, and Slovakia (HBO), Greece (Nova) and South Korea (Coupang).
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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.”