Richard Gadd’s ‘Baby Reindeer’ Follow-Up Lands at HBO, BBC 5

Richard Gadd will take his next series to HBO and the BBC.

The two outlets will co-produce Gadd’s follow-up to Baby Reindeer, which was a breakout success for Netflix and sparked waves of conversation over its based-on-a-true-story tale of an alleged stalker of Gadd. The new series is currently titled Lions and will follow a decades-long and very complicated relationship between two men.

“We are tremendously excited to partner with the BBC and Richard Gadd, whose remarkable talent continues to make waves across the globe,” said Kara Buckley, senior vp HBO drama programming. “With this new, gripping and evocative series, we are proud to welcome Richard to the HBO family.”

The description for Lions reads, “When Niall’s estranged ‘brother’ Ruben shows up at his wedding, it leads to an explosion of violence that catapults us back through their lives. Spanning almost 40 years from the 1980s to the present day, this ambitious series will cover the highs and lows of the brothers’ relationship, from them meeting as teenagers to their falling out as adults — with all the good, bad, terrible, funny, angry, and challenging moments along the way. It will capture the wild energy of a changing city — a changing world, even — and try to get to the bottom of the difficult question, What does it mean to be a man?”

Gadd said in a statement, “Ordering an HBO boxset of The Sopranos, The Wire, or Oz and watching it from start to finish were some of the happiest moments of my childhood. Since then, it has always been a dream of mine to work with HBO and be part of their iconic roster of shows. I am so grateful to Francesca Orsi, Kara Buckley and Clint LaVigne for taking this chance on the show, and on Ruben and Niall too, who — despite growing up in a dead-end Scottish town — would be absolutely pinching themselves at this! I cannot wait to get started.”

Gadd adapted Baby Reindeer from a one-man show he debuted at the 2019 Fringe Festival in Edinburgh. The show became a hit for Netflix after its April 11 premiere (and has also prompted a defamation suit from the woman who claims the show’s stalker character, played by Jessica Gunning, is based on her). “I never expected it to pop like this,” Gadd told The Hollywood Reporter in May. “I thought maybe it could be a cult success but in terms of the global reach, I feel like I’m going to wake up one day and it’s all been a dream.”

Lindsay Salt commissioned Baby Reindeer for Netflix. She’s now director of drama at the BBC and helped bring Lions to the British network and HBO. “We are delighted that HBO are joining us to bring Richard Gadd’s exquisite Lions scripts to the screen,” she said in a statement. “This is bold, brilliant, one-of-a-kind storytelling and we can’t wait for viewers to see it.”

Gadd is writing Lions and will executive produce along with Tally Garner and Morven Reid of Mam Tor Productions (a Banijay UK copmany), Gaynor Holmes for the BBC and Gavin Smith for BBC Scotland. Alexandra Brodski (Somewhere Boy) and Eshref Reybrouck will direct, and Wendy Griffin is producing. Mam Tor Productions produces the series. Banijay Rights is handling distribution outside the United States, U.K. and Ireland.

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