Playing Nice - James Norton as Pete

Playing Nice – ITV adapts JP Delaney’s baby swap thriller

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The four-part drama will star James Norton, Niamh Algar, James McArdle and Jessica Brown Findlay. 

ITV have announced an adaptation of the best-selling novel Playing Nice by JP Delaney.

The four-part psychological thriller series has gathered an impressive headline cast: it stars James Norton, Niamh Algar, James McArdle and Jessica Brown Findlay.

The story comes to the screen adapted by Grace Ofori-Attah, who wrote Malpractice for ITV in 2023.

Here’s the synopsis for Playing Nice:

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?

Playing Nice - Niamh Algar as Maddie
Playing Nice – Niamh Algar as Maddie (c) Rabbit Track Pictures and STUDIOCANAL/ITV

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.

Principal photography for the series is currently underway in Cornwall.

The series comes from Rabbit Track Pictures (James Norton’s production company with Kitty Kaletsky), and STUDIOCANAL. They executive produce with Kate Crowe and STUDIOCANAL’s Joe Naftalin. Grace Ofori-Attah and author JP Delaney also executive produce, while Nick Pitt (Black Mirror) is series producer.

From Rabbit Track Pictures, Kitty Kaletsky and James Norton said:

“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.”

Playing Nice should premiere in the UK on ITV1, and stream on ITVX, in 2024.