James Norton Leads 'Playing Nice', ITV & StudioCanal's Baby Swap Series



by NOUMAN RASOOL

James Norton Leads 'Playing Nice', ITV & StudioCanal's Baby Swap Series
© Andreas Rentz/GettyImages

James Norton, celebrated for his role in "Happy Valley," is poised to headline a captivating ITV and StudioCanal adaptation of JP Delaney's acclaimed novel, "Playing Nice." This eagerly anticipated four-part limited series will showcase a star-studded cast, including Niamh Algar of "Mary and George," James McArdle from "Mare of Easttown," and Jessica Brown Findlay, known for her performance in "Downton Abbey." Norton, a BAFTA nominee widely rumored as a potential James Bond successor, extends his creative prowess by serving as an executive producer through his Banijay-backed production company, Rabbit Track Pictures.

"Playing Nice" is set to explore the emotionally charged story of two couples who face a heart-wrenching discovery: their toddlers were mistakenly switched at birth in a hospital error. The narrative unfolds in the picturesque setting of Cornwall, plunging Pete (played by Norton) and Maddie (Algar) into the lives of another couple, Miles (McArdle) and Lucy (Brown Findlay).

As they seek a resolution, the series delves into the complexities of parental love and the murky waters of underlying motives.

Scripting Moral Dilemmas

The script for "Playing Nice" is crafted by Grace Ofori-Attah, known for the ITV drama "Malpractice," while Kate Hewitt, who directed "One Day," takes the helm for all four episodes.

Currently in production in Cornwall, this series promises to be a thought-provoking thriller. Helen Perry, ITV's drama commissioner, emphasized the show's gripping nature and the moral conundrum at its core, promising a narrative that will not only captivate viewers but also prompt introspection with the question, "What would I do?" Joining Norton in executive production are Kitty Kaletsky, co-founder of Rabbit Track, Kate Crowe, and Joe Naftalin from StudioCanal.

Isobel Carter will supervise for StudioCanal, with additional executive production from Ofori-Attah and JP Delaney, the original author. Nick Pitt serves as the series producer. ITV's head of drama, Polly Hill, alongside Perry, commissioned the series, signaling a strong endorsement from the network.

"Playing Nice" is set for global distribution by StudioCanal, with Canal+ already securing rights for the series in France. This adaptation marks a significant moment in television, combining a compelling narrative, a powerful ensemble cast, and the scenic allure of Cornwall, all promising to deliver a series that resonates with audiences worldwide.