This comes after Netflix snapped up the international rights to the format and Deadline revealed that it was making French and Brazilian series as well as a U.S. adaptation.
The series, which is essentially Big Brother-meets-Catfish for a social media-obsessed audience, is produced by All3Media’s Studio Lambert, producer of Undercover Boss and Gogglebox, and Motion Content Group, the WPP-backed program funder.
The Circle features a range of individuals from all walks of life competing in a popularity contest to win a prize of around £75,000. They will 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.
C4 said that the show had been a hit for young audiences and the second season will “become more mischievous increasing the gameplay, drama and jeopardy.” It said that it would give viewers greater control and increased interactivity, influencing how the contestants play.
The Circle was recommissioned by Channel 4 Deputy Director of Programmes Kelly Webb-Lamb and Factual Entertainment Commissioning Editor Gilly Greenslade. The series will be made by Studio Lambert North and Motion Content Group. Executive producers for Studio Lambert will be Tim Harcourt, Darrell Olsen, Daisy Lilley and Toni Ireland. Martin Oxley will be executive producer for Motion Content Group. The new series will air later this year.
Kelly Webb-Lamb, Channel 4 Deputy Director of Programmes and Head of Popular Factual said, “It was a genuine risk to take on such an innovative new reality format, but The Circle absolutely struck a chord with young viewers who were utterly gripped by the drama and relationships that unfolded on screen – even though the players never met. The second series will have more of what the viewers loved – warmth, humor, more live elements and even more surprises. I’m excited to see how it will build on the success of series one.”
“We were blown away by the love on social media for our entertaining cast and the nightly drama of the show,” said Studio Lambert creative director, Tim Harcourt. “This year we have some thrilling twists and turns in both our casting and the gameplay. We will also have a weekly live show that offers our audience more chance to engage and make a big impact on the narrative.”
“We have partnered with producers of some of the world’s biggest formats,” added Richard Foster, CEO of the Motion Content Group. “We believe The Circle is one of the most innovative formats for many years and with the support of Channel 4 and Netflix has a bright future in the UK and around the world.”