AMC sets cast for tech dramedy “Loaded”
AMC and Channel 4 are partnering to bring “Loaded,” which is an eight-part series that follows four tech entrepreneurs and childhood friends who become multi-millionaires overnight, to North America.
The series will be a co-production between AMC, Channel 4, Hillbilly Television and Keshet UK. “Loaded” will be an English-language version based on the award-wining Keshet International series Mesudarim created by Muli Segev and Assaf Harel. Jon Brown (Veep, Fresh Meat) is writer and executive producer. Ian Fitzgibbon (Moone Boy, Raised by Wolves) will direct the first three episodes of the series.
The show follows the lives of tech entrepreneurs and friends Josh, Leon, Watto and Ewan, who have just sold their start up videogame company for hundreds of millions of pounds. Overnight, the four 30-something friends are transformed from “people who play games” to “serious players in the game.”
Amid a raging hurricane of money, excess and “millionaire’s guilt”, LOADED is about friendship, ambition, gluttony, the peculiar distaste for other people’s success and how money can put even life-long friendships to the test.
Jim Howick (The Aliens, Yonderland, Horrible Histories) takes the role of Josh. Fretful and essentially decent, he’s the moral compass of the group, the most sensible of them. Riddled with insecurities, his decisions are driven mostly from a deep sense of worry and anxiety. Eternally cautious, he’s always anticipating a disaster, scared that his money will get taken away from him at any moment. So instead he focuses all his energies on getting his ex-girlfriend Abi back, which causes problems with his best friend Leon, with whom Abi has a hate/hate relationships.
Samuel Anderson (Doctor Who, Trollied) plays Leon, the Business Development Director of their company Idyl Hands. He’s in charge of securing investment and is, clearly, very good at it. Deeply charismatic and usually able to get exactly what he wants, Leon believes money will open any door, but is surprised, then disillusioned, when it doesn’t. Massively confident, bordering on cocky, this front masks his own insecurities and a sense of pride that can get him into trouble. He is, however, deeply loyal to his friends and won’t let anyone else take credit for what they have achieved together.
Jonny Sweet (Babylon, Together, Him & Her) plays Ewan, Director of the Coding Team and in charge of all the technical aspects of Idyl Hands. A slightly awkward personality, and an innate introvert, he’s a delicate soul who suffers from IBS, motion sickness, nosebleeds and feels unrecognised by the wider world after years stuck behind a screen. With his new wealth, and an exciting new relationship, the worm is about to turn – what will the group do when their beta pal makes moves to become the alpha male?
Nick Helm (Uncle, Funny Valentines) takes the role of the eccentric Watto. A talented artist who drew the artwork for their hit game, Watto is recently sober after years of drug and alcohol use. Replacing one compulsive habit with another, he loves the thrill of spending large amounts of cash on flamboyantly useless items but at once suffers a crippling emptiness in the immediate aftermath of a splurge. A flighty character with few roots to keep him grounded, his commitment to his friends and Idyl Hands is the longest of his life and his mates play a big part in his sobriety.
Mary McCormack (The West Wing, Deep Impact, K-Pax) plays Casey, Vice President for Acquisitions at the parent company that has bought Idyl Hands. On the surface she’s a ruthless, immaculate and forthright business executive who refuses to suffer fools gladly. Emotionally distant and with a super tough exterior, she’s prone to sudden bursts of feeling when it suits her which belie a much more vulnerable side.
The series will go into production early next month and is slated to premiere on Channel 4 and AMC in 2017.
Executive producers on LOADED are Kate Norrish and Polly Leys for BAFTA-winning Hillbilly Television (The Level, Random, Holy Flying Circus); Howard Burch, Avi Nir, Muli Segev and Assaf Harel for Keshet; and Jon Brown. Charlie Leech (The Wrong Mans, The Aliens, Lovesick) is Producer. Roberto Troni and Lee Mason are Commissioning Editor and Commissioning Executive for Channel 4.
Phil Clarke, Head of Scripted at Channel 4, talked about the new partnership saying, “After such a successful collaboration on ‘Humans’, we’re thrilled to be partnering once again with AMC. Jon Brown is one of the most talented young British writers around, demonstrated by his ability to turn the dream of instant riches into the worst nightmare imaginable. We can’t wait to see the brilliant cast bring to life the motley crew at Idyl Hands. We’re so excited to be working alongside AMC, Hillbilly Television and Keshet UK on this hilarious, astute and timely comedy drama.”
“A smart and somewhat light-hearted look at all of the things that can go wrong when you’re suddenly very, very rich; and very, very young felt like a perfect show for our times,” said Joel Stillerman, president of programming, AMC and SundanceTV. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Channel 4 and Keshet International and to begin a new one with Hillbilly and the very talented writer, Jon Brown, director, Ian Fitzgibbon and this terrific cast.”
Kate Norrish and Polly Leys, Producers at Hillbilly Television said, “We’re delighted to be partnering with AMC, C4, Keshet UK and the fabulously talented Jon Brown on “LOADED”. It is a fresh, funny and pertinent take on four friends trying to cling on to the slats of their friendship in the eye of a hurricane of money and excess – and with this cast it’s going to be a hell of a ride. Four freshly minted millionaires working alongside people who still have to bring in their lunch from home. An office of haves and have-nots. Like Downtown Abbey with nerds.”
“It’s so exciting to be teaming up again with our friends at AMC to bring “LOADED” to an even wider audience,” said Howard Burch, Head of Drama at Keshet UK. “Great comedies are an important part of the global market and it’s fantastic that AMC are joining us for the ride. Working with Jon and Ian and the Hillbilly team I have little doubt that Loaded will go on to make a fresh and hilarious, excess-laden splash.”
Mesadurim was the winner of four Israeli Academy Awards in 2007. Two seasons of the show have aired on Keshet Broadcasting. Keshet International will hold worldwide distribution rights to the finished UK series Loaded. The deal was brokered by WME.