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Roc Nation and Participant Media board BBC One adaptation of Noughts & Crosses

ITV Studios

Roc Nation and Participant Media board BBC One adaptation of Noughts & Crosses


London, New York and Los Angeles, 4 October, 2018 – Roc Nation is to board the eagerly awaited BBC One drama series, Noughts & Crosses (6 x 1 hour) from Producer Mammoth Screen, as Executive Producer. It will curate and release the soundtrack to the enthralling story of first love in a dangerous, adrenalin-filled alternate world, based on the multi-award winning novel series by Malorie Blackman. Participant Media, the leading media company dedicated to producing content that inspires and engages audiences in social change, will also Executive Produce.


Noughts & Crosses is written for television by Showrunner Toby Whithouse (Being Human, Doctor Who) who also serves as Executive Producer, with Lydia Adetunji (Riviera), Nathaniel Price (Tin Star) and Rachel De-Lahay (Kiri). The series is directed by Julian Holmes and produced by Johann Knobel (Shameless). Executive Producers are Kibwe Tavares (Jonah), Patrick Reardon for Roc Nation; Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll and Miura Kite; Mammoth Screen’s Preethi Mavahalli and Damien Timmer; and Ben Irving for BBC One. The series currently is in pre-production with casting underway and will be distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.


Patrick Reardon, Executive Producer for Roc Nation said, "We are thrilled to partner with Mammoth Screen and Participant Media on this series, which explores issues of race and discrimination through such a provocative and unexpected lens."


Jonathan King, President of Narrative Film & Television for Participant Media said, “As we build out Participant Media’s episodic television slate, we’ve been looking for projects that explore social issues in unexpected and entertaining ways. When we saw Noughts & Crosses, we were captivated immediately. Music and popular culture are huge parts of the fabric of the show, and we couldn’t be more excited that Roc Nation is joining the team.”


Damien Timmer, Managing Director at Mammoth Screen, part of ITV Studios, added, “It is genuinely thrilling to have the Roc Nation team helping create an individual sound for this unique project."


Malorie Blackman, Author of the Noughts & Crosses series, said "I am so thrilled and excited Roc Nation and Participant Media are going to be involved in the Noughts & Crosses series as Executive Producers. They're going to bring an extra dimension to the production that I can’t wait to see - and hear!"


Noughts & Crosses follows two young people, Sephy and Callum, who are divided by their colour but united by forbidden love and burning injustice. Sephy is a ‘Cross,’ a member of the black ruling class and daughter of a prominent politician. Callum is a ‘Nought,’ a white member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood but their relationship grows ever more complicated as they come of age. It's the story of two families separated by power and prejudice but forever entwined by fate.


The adaptation is based on the first book in the Noughts & Crosses series for young adults, which has won the Red House Children’s Book Award and the Fantastic Fiction Award among other accolades. The author, Malorie Blackman OBE, was the Children’s Laureate from 2013 to 2015.


After establishing itself as the leading producer of feature films that inspire social awareness and engage audiences in positive social change (including The Help and Spotlight) working with world-class filmmakers, Participant Media continues its expansion into long-form programming with Noughts & Crosses. Participant’s first TV series, America To Me, the 10-part docuseries from acclaimed filmmaker Steve James, is now available to watch on Starz, followed by Ava DuVernay’s limited drama series, Central Park Five, which is currently in production and will launch on Netflix in 2019.



About Roc Nation


Since its founding in 2008, Roc Nation has grown into the world’s preeminent entertainment company.  We work in every aspect of modern entertainment—with recording artists and producers, songwriters and athletes. Our client list includes some of the world’s most recognizable names: from Rihanna, Shakira, J. Cole, and Big Sean to Yoenis Cespedes, Kevin Durant, and Robinson Cano. We are a full-service organization, supporting our diverse roster of talent via artist management, music publishing, touring, production, strategic brand development and beyond. Roc Nation houses a TV/Film Division, which won a 2018 Peabody for the docu-series "Time: The Kalief Browder Story" and the critically acclaimed "Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story." Roc Nation has partnerships with the world’s leading experts in artist management, technology, fashion, and philanthropy, redefining the business of entertainment. 


About Participant Media


Founded by Chairman Jeff Skoll and under the leadership of CEO David Linde, Participant Media ( combines the power of a good story well told with real world impact and awareness around today’s most vital issues. Through its worldwide network of traditional and digital distribution, aligned with partnerships with key non-profit and NGO organizations, Participant speaks directly to the rise of today’s “conscious consumer,” representing the well over 2 billion consumers compelled to make meaningful content a priority focus.


As an industry content leader, Participant annually produces up to six narrative feature films, five documentary films, three episodic television series, and more than 35 hours of digital short form programming, through its digital subsidiary SoulPancake. Participant’s more than 80 films, including Wonder, Contagion, Lincoln, The Help, CITIZENFOUR, RBG, Food, Inc., and An Inconvenient Truth, have collectively earned 56 Academy Award® nominations and 12 wins, including Best Picture for Spotlight and Best Foreign Language Film for A Fantastic Woman. Participant’s digital division, SoulPancake (, is an award-winning provider of thought-provoking, joyful, and uplifting content including such widely popular series as Kid President and The Science of Happiness and reaches an audience of over 9 million fans. Follow Participant Media on Twitter (@Participant) and on Facebook and Instagram. Follow SoulPancake on Twitter (@soulpancake) and on Facebook and Instagram.


About Mammoth Screen


Mammoth Screen is one of the UK’s leading production companies. Current and forthcoming shows include POLDARK series 5, NOUGHTS & CROSSES, THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, THE ABC MURDERS, WORLD ON FIRE and THE SERPENT for BBC1, ENDEAVOUR series 6, VICTORIA series 3, VANITY FAIR and SINGAPORE GRIP for ITV. Mammoth Screen is an ITV Studios Company.


About ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE)


ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE) is one of the world’s leading international TV distribution, home entertainment, publishing, merchandising and licensing businesses. ITVS GE distributes celebrated content across all genres from both its in-house production business, ITV Studios, and in collaboration with leading producers from around the world.


Part of ITV PLC, which includes the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster, ITV Studios Global Entertainment ITV has offices in London, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Sydney.


About Malorie Blackman


Malorie Blackman has written over 60 books for children and young adults, including the Noughts & Crosses series, Thief and most recently her science fiction thriller Chasing the Stars. Her work has also been adapted for TV with the 6 part adaptation of Pig-Heart Boy winning a BAFTA and Noughts & Crosses currently in production for the BBC. A stage adaptation of the book, by Pilot Theatre, will run from February 2019, under the direction of Sabrina Mahfouz. In 2005, Malorie was honoured the Eleanor Farjeon Award in recognition of her distinguished contribution to the world of children’s books, in 2008 she received an OBE for her services to children’s literature and, between 2013 and 2015, she was the Children’s Laureate. Malorie is currently writing for the new Doctor Who series on BBC One and the fifth novel in her Noughts & Crosses sequence, Crossfire, will be published by Penguin Random House Children's in summer 2019.