Today Xbox Entertainment Studios and UK broadcaster Channel 4 announced an innovative partnership to co-produce “Humans,” a bold new drama. The hour-long, eight-episode series will be produced by award-winning UK production company, Kudos (“The Hour,” “Utopia,” “Broadchurch”). “Humans” will share a premiere broadcast window on both the Xbox platform in North America and Channel 4 in the UK in 2015.
Written by British writing team Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley (“Spooks,” “Spooks: The Greater Good”), “Humans” is an English-language adaptation of Sveriges Television and Matador Film’s acclaimed series “Real Humans.” “Humans” is set in a parallel present where the latest must-have gadget for any busy family is a ‘Synth’ – a highly-developed robotic servant eerily similar to its live counterpart. In the hope of transforming the way they live, one strained suburban family purchases a refurbished synth only to discover that sharing life with a machine has far-reaching and chilling consequences.
“‘Humans’ not only questions personal relationships, we loved how this sci-fi show toys with reality and our connection to technology,” said Xbox Entertainment Studios President Nancy Tellem. She added, “This deal with Channel 4 and Kudos underscores Xbox Entertainment Studios’ commitment to programming premium TV series with global partners and creating engaging interactive experiences.”
Adding to a rapidly expanding slate of premium television experiences from Xbox Entertainment Studios, “Humans” is the latest in a broad portfolio of ambitious programs enhanced with exclusive interactive features, aimed at Millennials. Other previously announced projects include a “Halo” television series executive produced by Steven Spielberg, “Every Street United,” an unscripted series about the globally significant sport of street soccer, a tech-focused documentary series by award-winning producers Simon and Jonathan Chinn, the live event Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, and a “Halo” digital feature project executive produced by Ridley Scott and David Zucker.
“In Humans, Sam and Jon have not only crafted an ingenious and imaginative thriller, they’re also asking big, thought-provoking questions about how we live,” said Piers Wenger, Head of Drama for Channel 4. “I’m thrilled to be working once again with the team at Kudos and to be partnering with Xbox Entertainment Studios to bring this extraordinary and epic series to the screen. This is the first co-production commission to benefit from Channel 4’s increased investment in drama and reaffirms our commitment to ambitious, highly original drama series.”
“Exploring themes of love, discrimination and integration, this thrilling, beautifully written series allows us to get under the skin of what it means to be human in the most compelling way,” said Jane Featherstone, Executive Producer for Kudos. “The bold, innovative storylines and subject matter lend themselves perfectly to this pioneering collaboration with Channel 4 and Xbox.”
Jane Featherstone and Derek Wax will executive produce for Kudos, along with Henrik Widman and Lars Lundström, from Matador Films, the executive producers of the original Swedish format. Chris Fry (“The Smoke”) will produce. Distribution will be handled by Shine International.
Casting for “Humans” will begin in May 2014 and production will commence later this summer.