EXCLUSIVE: Netflix has greenlit a new version of BBC Three’s high-concept masked dating show, Sexy Beasts, as part of a wave of UK-made reality series, Deadline can reveal.
Produced by All3Media-owned Lion TV, Sexy Beasts is a bit like The Masked Singer but for dating. In a format designed to spotlight personality, singletons are disguised in Hollywood-grade prosthetics before they go dating. Only once decisions are made about potential suitors do the elaborate masks come off.
The show ran for just one season on youth service BBC Three in 2014, but Lion had some success with the format internationally, including adapting it for A&E in 2015. It will now get a new lease of life as a 12-part series on Netflix.
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We first got wind of the project last October, when it was developed under a covert title of The Date. We hear that Sexy Beasts was filmed during the coronavirus pandemic between September and November last year, with around 50 singletons from the U.S. and UK taking part in the series.
The dating show is one of at least three new UK-produced reality and entertainment series ordered by Netflix, as the streaming giant looks to double down on the success of shows like Talkback-produced Too Hot To Handle, which became the best-performing competition show in its history, and Chris Coelen’s Love Is Blind, which has clinched a two-season renewal.
As previously revealed by Deadline, The Circle producer Studio Lambert is making a reality game show, working titled Jet Set, in which contestants compete in a series of challenges and dilemmas at a tropical location. The company is also making a dance show, working titled All The Right Moves, which aims to uncover a superstar choreographer. Production on the latter was disrupted by coronavirus, but it remains a live project.
Furthermore, we hear that Netflix is set to commit to another season of Wall to Wall’s make-up competition series Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-Up Star. It co-produced a second season of the Stacey Dooley-fronted show last year with BBC Three. Season 1 launched exclusively on BBC Three in 2019.
Despite this glut of new UK reality series and the success of last year’s show, Netflix is yet to confirm a second season of Too Hot To Handle. Nat Grouille and Sean Hancock, directors of unscripted originals and acquisitions, were non-committal when asked about Season 2 at the Edinburgh TV Festival last August.
Netflix declined to comment on Sexy Beasts. Check out A&E’s version below.