ITV commissions psychological thriller, Playing Nice, starring James Norton, Niamh Algar, James McArdle and Jessica Brown Findlay


Playing Nice

ITV commissions psychological thriller, Playing Nice, starring James Norton, Niamh Algar, James McArdle and Jessica Brown Findlay.

Adapted by Grace Ofori-Attah, produced by Rabbit Track Pictures and STUDIOCANAL

ITV’s Head of Drama Polly Hill has commissioned four-part psychological thriller, Playing Nice adapted by Malpractice writer Grace Ofori-Attah from the best-selling novel by British thriller author JP Delaney with Kate Hewitt (One Day) directing all four episodes. CANAL+ pre-bought the series.

Principal photography for the series is currently underway in Cornwall.

BAFTA nominated James Norton (Happy Valley, A Little Life, Nowhere Special), BAFTA nominated Niamh Algar (Mary and George, The Virtues, Raised By Wolves, The Wonder, Calm With Horses), Olivier nominated James McArdle (Sexy Beast, The Mare of Easttown, Life After Life) and BIFA nominated Jessica Brown Findlay (The Flatshare, Life After Life, Black Mirror, Downton Abbey) all take leading roles in the limited series.


Playing Nice


STUDIOCANAL will produce the series with Rabbit Track Pictures, the production company founded by Norton and co-founder and Managing Director, Kitty Kaletsky (Rogue Agent). Executive producers are Kitty Kaletsky, James Norton, Kate Crowe (Great Expectations, Taboo, Misfits) and STUDIOCANAL’s Joe Naftalin, with Isobel Carter overseeing for STUDIOCANAL. Grace Ofori-Attah and author JP Delaney also executive produce. Nick Pitt (Black Mirror, His Dark Materials) is series producer.
ITV Drama Commissioner, Helen Perry, will oversee production for the broadcaster with Playing Nice premiering on ITV1 and streaming on ITVX.

Set against a sweeping Cornish landscape, two couples discover that their toddlers were switched at birth in a hospital mix-up, and face a horrifying dilemma: do they keep the sons they have raised and loved, or reclaim their biological child?

Living a waking nightmare, Pete (James Norton) and Maddie (Niamh Algar) are jettisoned into the world of the other couple; Miles (James McArdle) and Lucy (Jessica Brown Findlay). At first it seems all four are agreed on a solution, but it soon becomes clear that hidden motives are at play. How far can each couple trust the real parents of their child – or even each other? As Pete and Maddie are stretched to breaking point, they realise they will stop at nothing to keep their family together.

On behalf of Rabbit Track Pictures Kitty Kaletsky and James Norton commented:

“Playing Nice was the first book we optioned after launching Rabbit Track and we feel immensely proud of the project it has become. To be working with ITV, STUDIOCANAL, wonderful Grace Ofori-Attah, visionary Kate Hewitt, our unbelievable cast and the whole rest of the production team is a huge privilege. We’re thrilled and very excited.”

Grace Ofori-Attah adds:

“It has been an absolute privilege to adapt JP Delaney’s gripping novel for the screen. I am thrilled to be working with Rabbit Track and STUDIOCANAL, as well as our incredible cast and production team. I’m also excited to be partnering with ITV again on my second drama series, and can’t wait for Playing Nice to hit TV screens next year.”

STUDIOCANAL’s Joe Naftalin and Isobel Carter expand:

“We are hugely excited to be launching this production. We are delighted to be working with our wonderful cast and crew, working from a brilliant script by Grace Ofori-Attah, and with powerful direction from Kate Hewitt. We are grateful to our partners at ITV, CANAL+, Rabbit Track - and to JP Delaney for allowing us the opportunity to adapt his gripping novel. We can’t wait to share this captivating series with audiences around the world next year.”

ITV Drama Commissioner Helen Perry commented:

“Playing Nice is an enthralling thriller with a knotty moral dilemma at its heart. Not only will viewers be hooked, they'll be left questioning 'what would I do...?' As Grace Ofori-Attah's superb script raises questions about the nature of parenting and how far we'll go for those we love.”

Helen continued:

“We're thrilled to have on board such a stellar cast and crew, and we're delighted to be working with the team at STUDIOCANAL and Rabbit Track Pictures to bring this fantastic adaption to ITV1 and ITVX.”

Grace Ofori-Attah was selected for the BAFTA Elevate Talent scheme for writers in 2018.  She read medicine at Cambridge and Oxford Universities and worked as a Consultant Psychiatrist before switching to Screenwriting.  Grace’s debut drama, Malpractice premiered earlies this year on ITV1 and ITVX to rave critical reviews.

Playing Nice will be distributed globally by STUDIOCANAL.


About STUDIOCANAL (a CANAL+ Company)

STUDIOCANAL, a 100% affiliate of CANAL+ Group held by Vivendi, is Europe’s leader in production, distribution and international sales of feature films and series, operating in all nine major European markets - France, United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, Spain, Denmark and Benelux - as well as in Australia and New Zealand.  It finances and produces around 30 films per year, distributes around 80 films per year. It owns the largest library in Europe and one of the most prestigious libraries in the world, boasting more than 8 000 titles from 60 countries, spanning 100 years of film history. 20 million euros has been invested into the restoration of 750 classic films over the past 5 years. In addition, STUDIOCANAL also produces almost 20 series each year and operates at an international level by globally distributing its scripted productions and CANAL+ Originals (2,000 hours of current and library content in distribution). All productions take place directly through STUDIOCANAL entities or with its award-winning network of 14 production companies in Europe and in the United States (STUDIOCANAL Series, LAILAPS FILMS, RED PRODUCTION COMPANY, URBAN MYTH FILMS, BAMBÚ PRODUCCIONES, STUDIOCANAL ORIGINAL, 2e BUREAU, SUNNYMARCH TV, SAM Productions, DINGIE, KINO SWIAT, BIRDIE PICTURES, STRONG FILM & TELEVISION, THE PICTURE COMPANY).


Rabbit Track is a London-based film and TV production company. Headed up by actor James Norton and former LA-based Black Bear exec, Kitty Kaletsky, Rabbit Track bridges the gap between Hollywood and European television and cinema, mining James’ and Kitty’s varied experiences. Their feature, Rogue Agent, starring James Norton, Gemma Arterton, Sarah Goldberg and Marisa Abela, was released Summer 2022 on Netflix. Other projects include a BBC greenlit series to shoot next year, and more in development with the broadcaster; other television projects with Sony, Fifth Season and more; and features with Film4 and the BFI. Banijay UK recently invested in Rabbit Track to build the company’s team and accelerate its growth strategy, ensuring it can continue to acquire the best IP. The deal includes a first look with distributor, Banijay Rights.

ITV is an integrated producer broadcaster consisting of ITV Studios and Media & Entertainment. 

ITV Studios is a world-class international creator, producer and distributor. It is the largest commercial producer in the UK, one of the largest producers in Europe and one of the largest independent unscripted producers in the US.  

Through ITV Studios we create, produce and distribute high-quality award-winning content for broadcasters and platform owners around the world. Our footprint spans 13 countries, and we have 60 labels supplying over 200 channels and 90,000+ hours of active content in our catalogue.

In Media & Entertainment we commission brilliant programmes in a full range of genres, including a wealth of entertainment formats, high-quality drama, must-watch sporting events, impactful factual and award-winning current affairs and journalism. We make this available to audiences through our family of channels, the biggest commercial network in the UK, and through ITVX the new ad-funded, free streaming home for ITV and new programme premieres. ITVX also features a subscription option, for audiences who want to watch ad-free, and get access to BritBox UK.

Worldwide, ITV has several SVOD services including BritBox International which is available in the US, Canada, Australia, and South Africa and The Nordics.

ITV's Social Purpose is to use its platform and reach to shape culture for good. It is an integral part of how ITV sets and delivers its business goals, and has four focus areas: Better Health, Diversity & Inclusion, Climate Action and Giving Back.



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