The Underdog Lands U.S. Adaptation


STV Studios and NBCUniversal have signed a deal to develop a U.S. adaptation of the new reality format The Underdog.

In the show, a cast of contestants who all have significant online followings compete in a popularity contest, without knowing there is an underdog in their ranks. Unbeknownst to all of them, some of TV’s most iconic reality stars control the game by setting tasks, introducing twists and using everything they know about reality TV to make sure the underdog wins.

The format was created by STV Studios label Primal Media and co-owned by GroupM Motion Entertainment. A U.K. version is currently in the works for E4 under the working title Alan Must Win.

Outside of the U.S., All3Media International is the show’s global partner.

Josephine Brassey, STV Studios’ creative director of international development, said: “Primal Media have created another truly genius format which puts a unique new spin on the reality genre, so we’re delighted to be working with Toby, Ed and the talented team at NBCUniversal on developing it for the U.S. market.

“This deal is the first secured by our newly combined business, and Camilla and I are excited about the potential of our international growth strategy.”

Mat Steiner and Adam Wood, managing directors of Primal Media, commented: “Pulling the curtain back on the reality genre has been such fun, but the most revealing thing about this format is the emotional rollercoaster ride that the cast goes on. We’re sure it’ll be the same for the viewers!”

Toby Gorman, president of Universal Television Alternative Studio, added: “This development partnership cements our ambitions at Universal Studio Group to partner with some of the best content creators on shows with global scale and appeal. This is such a unique reality format that really lends itself to adaptation for the U.S. market, so we’re super excited to bring it to life for NBC.”