Channel 4 is launching a major new social experiment that explores the gap between the haves and the have-nots and asks how wealth and power shape the way we behave toward one another.
In a timely new reality competition series from Studio Lambert and Motion Content Group, ordinary British people, from all walks of life and ages, will find themselves as a have or a have-not, either in a position of power or as part of the powerless, as inequality is explored over 18 stripped episodes.
The show is set in a glamorous Succession-like world, with the powerful living in a opulent penthouse and everyone else living in a basement workplace.
Through a series of games and challenges those in power will be responsible for making decisions which affect those who have none, whilst those without power will have to compete to build favour with those at the top.
In a unique game packed with drama, betrayal and power plays, players will have opportunities to rise and fall, from having everything to having nothing. The cash prize starts at zero and only builds if challenges devised by those in power are completed by those who are not.
Those at the bottom must find a way to make it to the top, as only the most powerful and influential can win the game.
Alf Lawrie, Head of Factual Entertainment at Channel 4, said: “Society is made up of the haves and the have nots, those who have power and those who don’t. In this fascinating new reality format, we’re going to see how power is gained, what happens when power is lost and how the quest for power can bring out the best or worst in people...
"We’re thrilled to be working with Studio Lambert and Motion Content Group on this exciting new series that promises to deliver entertainment and drama aplenty.”
Vivienne Molokwu, Senior Commissioning Editor for Channel 4, said: “Rise & Fall is the ultimate test of the adage that 'power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely'...
"A deliciously distorted reflection of real life, as the underdogs battle to improve their lot and the topdogs battle to maintain the status quo, this series offers a fascinating prism through which to watch human behaviour at its best and worst.”
Mike Cotton, Deputy Creative Director, Studio Lambert said: “Since the 1980s, the UK has become a much more unequal society. With politicians seemingly writing their own rules and billionaires putting profit over people, we wanted to find a way of exploring this in a show which viewers would find entertaining and thought-provoking...
"We will discover the moral dilemmas faced by those holding the power as they set challenges for workers and see how they behave when they know their hard work largely benefits those who rule them.”
Martin Oxley, Head of Formats and Entertainment and Executive Producer for Motion Content Group, said: “We’re looking forward to working alongside Studio Lambert and Channel 4 again, this time on a show that bears all the hallmarks of a classic reality series alongside a very new opportunity to see how the exchange of power and position can affect who we all are.”
Rise & Fall was commissioned for Channel 4 by Alf Lawrie, head of Factual Entertainment and Vivienne Molokwu, senior commissioning editor, Factual Entertainment.