Today, the premium and commercial-free linear channel and streaming service MGM+ announced that it has picked up the scripted crime drama A Spy Among Friends, based on the New York Times best-selling novel written by Ben Macintyre. The six-episode limited series dramatizes the true story of two British spies and lifelong friends, Nicholas Elliott and Kim Philby. The latter became the most notorious British defector and Sovietdouble agentin history. Philby’s deeply personal betrayal, uncovered at the height of the Cold War, resulted in the gutting of British and American intelligence.
The series will premiere domestically on MGM+ in 2023. Internationally, A Spy Among Friends was commissioned by ITV for new streaming service ITVX, which will be premiering the series in the UK in December.
Produced by ITV Studios in collaboration with Sony Pictures Television, A Spy Among Friends stars Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning actor Damian Lewis (Homeland, Billions) and Emmy winner Guy Pearce (Jack Irish, Mare of Easttown). Additional cast members include Anna Maxwell Martin (Motherland, Line of Duty), Stephen Kunken (Billions, The Handmaid’s Tale), and Adrian Edmondson (Back to Life, The Pact).
Damian Lewis will also serve as executive producer through his production company, Ginger Biscuit Entertainment. Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning British writer Alexander Cary (Homeland, Taken) serves as creator and executive producer, alongside BAFTA Award winners Patrick Spence (Adult Material, Litvinenko) and Nick Murphy (Save Me, A Christmas Carol), and BAFTA Award nominee Chrissy Skinns (Elizabeth Is Missing, The Last Kingdom). Bob Bookman (The Mosquito Coast), Alan Gasmer (Vikings, Dublin Murders), and Peter Jaysen (The Mosquito Coast, Dublin Murders) serve as executive producers for Veritas Entertainment Group. The series is directed by Murphy.
“I’m very happy to be bringing our Cold War tale of friendship and betrayal to MGM+. They’re the perfect partners for us and I can’t wait for people to see it,” said Damian Lewis.
“Alex Cary has brilliantly adapted Ben Macintyre’s historical novel about friendship, loyalty, and betrayal. He, along with Nick Murphy, Damian Lewis, and the remarkable cast led by Lewis and Guy Pearce, have brought to life this riveting tale of two British spies whose deep personal bond and long friendship is challenged by duplicity and deception,” said Michael Wright, head of MGM+. “This series is emblematic of our new MGM+ brand and the rich, cinematic, and character-driven stories we aim to tell.”
“Ben Macintyre is an unbelievably talented writer. Alex Cary has taken this fascinating story and created a suspenseful—and at times heartbreaking—drama about duty, honor, and friendship,” added Lauren Stein, EVP, drama development, Sony Pictures Television. “Watching Damian, Guy, and Anna bring it to life is like watching a master class and I am so excited for people to get to experience the show.”
MGM+, an Amazon company, is a premium linear channel and streaming service delivering a broad lineup of quality original series and docuseries, the latest movie releases, and classic film franchises—all available in the U.S. on TV, on-demand, online, and across devices. MGM+ is a destination for original premium content, with Original series including sci-fi horror series FROM; Emmy-winning series Godfather of Harlem; the Western adventure Billy the Kid; and cinematic dramatic series War of the Worlds, Rogue Heroes, and Belgravia. The network is also the home of acclaimed docuseries, including Emmy-nominated Laurel Canyon, Helter Skelter, Slow Burn, My Life as a Rolling Stone, NFL Icons, and Blumhouse’s Compendium of Horrors. Premium movies are also available, including No Time to Die, House of Gucci, Cyrano, and Licorice Pizza.
MGM+ will continue to be available nationwide through cable, telco, satellite, and emerging digital distribution channels, as well as through its MGM+ app, providing more movies than any other network with thousands of titles available for streaming. For more information about the current MGM+ lineup, go to [www.mgmplus.com ] or follow on [Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube].
Launching in late 2022, ITVX will be the UK’s freshest streaming service, letting viewers stream new programme exclusives, with adverts, for free; ranging from premium dramas, documentaries, US series, comedy and reality shows to blockbuster films and much, much more. ITVX will be the first streaming service in the UK to offer viewers the flexibility to access free content with ads and ad-free paid subscription, all in one place. Paying subscribers will also have access to BritBox UK. ITVX will live stream must-watch events, from live sport to Love Island, as they are broadcast on ITV’s channels. ITVX will also offer an ever-changing host of exclusive themed channels in line with viewer preferences and popularity. These constantly evolving pop-up channels will give a scheduled experience through a streaming service, with viewers able to choose where in the schedule they join.
About Sony Pictures Television
Sony Pictures Television (SPT) is one of the television industry’s leading content providers, producing, distributing and carrying programming worldwide in every genre and for every platform. In addition to managing one of the industry’s largest libraries of award-winning feature films, television shows, and formats, SPT is home to a thriving global content business, operating a robust portfolio of wholly owned and joint-venture production companies across the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific, as well as linear and digital channels around the world. SPT is a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Group Corporation.