The SVOD platform has struck a major deal for the series, which is essentially Big Brother-meets-Catfish for a social media-obsessed audience, with All3Media’s Studio Lambert, producer of Undercover Boss and Gogglebox, and Motion Content Group, the WPP-backed programme funder that co-produces the show.
The announcement comes as the show finishes its debut season on Channel 4 in the UK this evening.
Created by Studio Lambert Creative Director Tim Harcourt, Netflix will remake the show initially in the U.S. with two other international adaptations to follow, a similar model to the obstacle course competition.
The Circle features a range of individuals from all walks of life competing in a popularity contest to win a prize of around £50,000 (US$65,000). They will all live in one modern block but separately in individual apartments, interacting with one another exclusively through a bespoke voice-activated social media platform called The Circle. In the show, the contestants will chat, make friends, argue and maybe even fall in love, while building their own profiles as well as forming cliques and private allegiances. They must avoid being judged least popular by the rest of The Circle. In the British version, contestants who have made it to the final include a man impersonating his girlfriend, a turtle-loving former real estate agent, a loud Essex call-center worker and a fashion student-turned model.
The show is presented by My Dad Wrote A Porno co-host Alice Levine and Maya Jama, who presents MTV’s True Love Or True Lies with Danny Dyer. Since its launch in a 10pm slot, the show has averaged just above 500,000 viewers, a decent performance for a brand-new, and slightly different format. It has also attracted decent numbers of young viewers, which was essentially the point.
“The Circle has already proven to be a compelling, timely, and buzzworthy show,” said Brandon Riegg, Netflix’s Vice President of Unscripted Content. “We think the show’s combination of modern social media interaction and competition will captivate Netflix members around the world, in multiple languages, and we’re delighted to partner with Studio Lambert and Motion to produce these three new local versions.”
“Social media has radically changed the way we make friends, conduct relationships, argue and even fall in love,” added Studio Lambert CEO Stephen Lambert. “But how truthful are our online identities? The Circle is a thought-provoking and entertaining way of exploring such questions and the chance to make different versions for Netflix’s global audience was irresistible.”