Channel 4 Working To Salvage Format From Sony-Backed Indie Electric Ray After Casting Issues

Reggie Yates
Reggie Yates Nic Serpell-Rand/Shutterstock

EXCLUSIVE: Channel 4 is working to salvage a format from Sony Pictures Television’s British production outfit Electric Ray following casting issues.

The British broadcaster commissioned factual entertainment show One Click Away in April last year, with the intention of testing it with viewers as a broadcast pilot. Twenty months on, however, the format is still not close to being aired.

The premise of the show is to reunite estranged relatives, who have found each other online, through a reconnection process overseen by experts. The idea is to help people navigate this emotional experience at a time when long lost family members can be identified through a simple social media search.

But Electric Ray’s production team struggled to find the right participants for One Click Away last year and have since re-worked the show and embarked on another casting push.

One Click Away now has the title Relative Strangers and there has been a fresh attempt to find people to take part in the show through social media, local press and via casting producers.

British TV presenter and former Doctor Who star Reggie Yates has also been attached to the project, in what would represent his first major show for Channel 4.

Yates has a long association with the BBC, for whom he has made many documentaries and travel shows, the most recent of which is 72 Films’ Reggie in China for BBC Two. He worked with Electric Ray on BBC One entertainment series Prized Apart, which was canceled after one series in 2015, and made a short film for Channel 4 in 2013, titled Patriarch.

Channel 4 and Electric Ray have been in talks about Relative Strangers for months and are hopeful that the show can make it to screen, although it is understood that casting remains an issue.

Electric Ray’s managing director Meredith Chambers is overseeing the show as executive producer. His former business partner Karl Warner — who was quoted in the original Channel 4 press release for One Click Away — is now working for Channel 4 running its youth channel E4.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: “We still have a project in development with Electric Ray.”

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