BBC Studios and Anton have co-commissioned Cheaters, an eighteen episode short-form series from Misfits and The End of the F***ing World indie Clerkenwell Films. It is is eyed as a returnable series and each episode will run ten minutes.
Cheaters tells the story of a chance meeting after a cancelled flight that leads to an unlikely night of drunken airport-hotel sex between twenty-something strangers Fola and Josh. The next morning, as they rush to make the rescheduled flight, both admit they are with other people – Fola is married to Zack, and Josh is in a long term relationship with Esther.
After arguing at the airport and ignoring each other on the plane, they finally agree their night of passion was a mistake and go their separate ways. But as Josh gets off at the bus stop next to his flat, he’s horrified to see Fola pulling up in a taxi across the road and heading into the house she has just bought. Josh and Fola are going to be neighbours. Oliver Lyttelton is the creator. The executive producers are Murray Ferguson, Petra Fried, Matt Jarvis, Emily Harrison, and Caroline Stone.
Cheaters marks the first series to come out of the partnership between BBC Studios, Anton and Clerkenwell that was inked back in September 2018. Under the partnership, Clerkenwell produces the projects, with BBC Studios and Anton providing the funding. It will see the creation of premium, high volume, short-form content produced for digital and linear platforms, with additional funds set aside to self-commission.
“This is the first time that we have fully commissioned a drama without a broadcaster already on board, which marks an exciting moment for us at BBC Studios”, said Mark Linsey, BBC Studios’ Chief Creative Officer. “We’ve seen an increase in the demand for super-premium content in a bite-sized format and Cheaters is a bold comedy drama that will engage audiences in this new way. It’s young, it’s fresh and comes from Clerkenwell who have a well-established knack for creating punchy and eye-catching content that audiences just love”.
While Clerkenwell Films’ CEO Murray Ferguson added: “Cheaters is the first of several series we’re developing in this format. It’s clear from the success of The End of the F***ing World that there is a huge appetite globally for new and innovative content that is high quality yet easy to consume and prepared to break with convention both in format and narrative content. Oliver Lyttelton’s scripts and characters are brilliantly surprising and addictive. It’s such a pleasure working with him.”