AMC has partnered with Channel 4 on the upcoming eight-episode comedic drama series Loaded. AMC will be the U.S. network for the series, which it will co-produce with Channel 4, Hillbilly Television and Keshet UK.
Loaded, an English-language version of the Keshet International award-winning series Mesudarim created by Muli Segev and Assaf Harel, was originally commissioned by Channel 4 in January, with Jon Brown (Veep) tapped as writer and executive producer. The series now has set its main cast as it is gearing up to start production early next month for a premiere on Channel 4 and AMC in 2017.
Jim Howick (The Aliens), Samuel Anderson (Doctor Who), Jonny Sweet (Babylon), Nick Helm (Uncle) and Mary McCormack will star on the show, whose first three episodes will be directed by Ian Fitzgibbon (Moone Boy).
This marks the second series collaboration between AMC and Channel 4 following the sci-fi drama Humans as international co-productions are becoming a growing part of AMC’s series portfolio.
Called by executive producers Kate Norrish and Polly Leys “Like Downtown Abbey with nerds,” Loaded revolves around the lives of tech entrepreneurs and friends Josh (Howick), Leon (Anderson), Watto (Helm) and Ewan (Sweet), who have just sold their start up videogame company for hundreds of millions of pounds. 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.
“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. AMC currently is exploring the the software industry world with drama series Halt and Catch Fire.
Howick’s Josh is the moral compass of the group. Riddled with insecurities, his decisions are driven mostly from a deep sense of worry and anxiety. Anderson’s Leon, the Business Development Director of their company Idyl Hands, is 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. Sweet’s’ Ewan, Director of the Coding Team, is 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. Helm’s eccentric Watto is a talented artist who drew the artwork for their hit game. Recently sober after years of drug and alcohol use, 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.
McCormack 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.
Loaded is executive produced by Kate Norrish and Polly Leys for Hillbilly Television (The Level); Howard Burch, Avi Nir, Muli Segev and Assaf Harel for Keshet; and Jon Brown. Charlie Leech (The Wrong Mans) is Producer.
“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,” Norrish and Leys said. “Four freshly minted millionaires working alongside people who still have to bring in their lunch from home. An office of haves and have-nots.”
Two seasons of Mesudarim, winner of four Israeli Academy Awards in 2007, have aired on Keshet Broadcasting. You can watch a trailer below with no English subtitles. Keshet International will hold worldwide distribution rights to the English-language version. The deal was brokered by WME.