EXCLUSIVE: BBC One’s Danny Dyer-fronted game show The Wall is set to be filmed in the UK instead of Poland, as a growing number of British producers look to switch to domestic production to keep shows on track during the coronavirus crisis.
Deadline understands that Endemol Shine Group producer Remarkable Television is drawing up plans to shoot Season 2 of The Wall at a studio in the UK, rather than at the group’s production hub in Warsaw where the first series was made.
It comes as the UK government is warning against “all but essential international travel,” while Poland is restricting the number of people allowed to enter the country and new arrivals are expected to quarantine for two weeks.
Remarkable’s plans are yet to be finalized, but a source said Elstree Studios is one potential option under consideration given its track record in hosting ambitious entertainment shows, including Strictly Come Dancing.
The Wall is made using what producers have described as a “gargantuan” set, on which the drop of a giant ball through a five-story wall determines the prize money contestants walk away with at the end of the show. Production is set to take place over the summer and people can still apply to appear on the program after the casting application window was extended until the end of June.
Remarkable’s thinking reflects a growing sentiment among British producers that overseas filming is going to be extremely difficult this year due to coronavirus travel restrictions, and shifting production to the UK could be a way of keeping shows on the road.
Andy Harries, CEO of The Crown producer Left Bank Pictures, told BBC Radio 4 this week that he is considering relocating a shoot from Hungary to London, but warned that such decisions can inflate the cost of production by up to 20%. Meanwhile, Sky has paused all UK drama productions that involve international filming until spring 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Wall was created by SpringHill Entertainment and Andrew Glassman’s Glassman Media in collaboration with Universal Television Alternative Studio. It has run for three seasons on NBC in the U.S. The format was one of the BBC’s best entertainment launches last year, drawing overnight audiences of up to 4.5 million.