At the opening of our new TBY2 facility, we were delighted to be able to reveal that the first booking for our new premium facility will be the High-End TV drama Rivals, produced for Disney+ by Happy Prince, part of ITV Studios.
Rivals is an outrageously bold eight-part saga full of power, betrayal and romance, based on the iconic novel by Jilly Cooper (pictured). It is part of the author’s bestselling Rutshire Chronicles, an iconic and beloved piece of British literary history, capturing the joy, drama, excess, and brazen power-grabbing of the affluent elite in 1980s England. The UK original series will premiere on Disney+ in EMEA and Asia Pacific and Star+ in Latin America.
Rivals dives headfirst into the cutthroat world of independent television in 1986, where the shoulder pads are big and ambitions even bigger. In the fictional upper-class county of Rutshire, a long-standing rivalry between two powerful men is about to boil over: ex-Olympian, Member of Parliament, and notorious womaniser Rupert Campbell-Black, and his Rutshire neighbour Tony Baddingham, controller of the independent TV franchise Corinium Television. As tensions rise and rivalries deepen, there are spilled secrets, forged alliances, and snatched liaisons that draw wives, lovers, colleagues, friends, and families into their battle.
Rivals is a joyously mischievous rollercoaster ride, steamy in its love stories and packed with larger-than-life characters. Yet beneath the spectacle and fun, the series brings a 2020s lens to the 1980s, offering a raw exploration of a complicated moment in British history when class, race, sex, wealth, and sexual liberation meant that, for the very privileged few, there were no limits to what they could achieve.
The lead director is BAFTA-nominated Elliot Hegarty (Ted Lasso, Cheaters, Trying), who also serves as executive producer on episodes 1-3. Eliza Mellor (The Midwich Cuckoos, Behind Her Eyes, Poldark) serves as Series Producer. The series is written by Dominic Treadwell-Collins and Laura Wade, with a writers room that also includes: Sophie Goodhart (The Baby, Sex Education), Marek Horn, Mimi Hare & Clare Naylor (The Accidental Husband), Dare Aiyegbayo (The Dumping Ground, EastEnders), Kefi Chadwick (Looted, Avoidance), Tray Agyeman, and Sorcha Kurien Walsh (The Pink Pill).Executive producers for the series are Dominic Treadwell-Collins and Alexander Lamb for Happy Prince, Felicity Blunt, Laura Wade, Rivals author Jilly Cooper and Director of Scripted Content for Disney+ EMEA Lee Mason.
For more information about RIVALS, click here.