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HomeAwardsA Couple Key Changes Made ‘The Traitors’ Season 2 Into ‘Event Viewing’

A Couple Key Changes Made ‘The Traitors’ Season 2 Into ‘Event Viewing’

Welcome to It’s a Hit! On this sequence, IndieWire speaks to creators and showrunners behind just a few of our favourite tv packages in regards to the second they realized their present was breaking massive.

“It did really feel just like the Avengers assembling,” mentioned govt producer Sam Rees-Jones of casting the primary all-celebrity version of “The Traitors” on Peacock. “We knew in Season 2 we wished to assemble an all superstar forged realizing that that may create a buzz as effectively, and would assist construct on the success of Season 1,” mentioned govt producer Mike Cotton.

The pair, based mostly in the UK, instructed IndieWire over Zoom that one other key change for the second season of the fact competitors sequence the place “devoted” contestants attempt to weed out who amongst them are traitors earlier than the latter steal all the cash they earned from finishing missions was altering the best way by which the episodes had been rolled out.

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“Season 1 was launched as a batch drop, so all of them went out in a single go. Whereas, Season 2 there was a weekly drop, which we cherished as a result of it kind of constructed a social chats and a social dialogue and an anticipation,” mentioned Rees-Jones. “It felt like occasion viewing, individuals trying ahead to it and dissecting the present, or dissecting gamers inside what they’d performed, or what they’ll do subsequent.”

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Cotton mentioned, ”We knew it was successful once we may see all that social chat. You may see the excitement. We love the truth that you can see the joy constructing as much as when it drops on a Thursday after which all of the social chat after—all of the memes, all of the articles, all of the posts on X and Insta.”

Greater than most competitors exhibits, “The Traitors,” which received the Emmy for Excellent Casting for a Actuality Program final season, actually relies on the individuals they convey in to play the sport. “We don’t produce our forged in any respect once they’re there on the ground. We created this immersive bubble and so they’re let free inside it,” mentioned Cotton. “Sure, there are twists that now we have, however they’re all issues that we meticulously pre-plan, very like in case you’re writing your personal homicide thriller, we pre-plan these items. We all know that they’re occurring after which they’re let free.”

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THE TRAITORS --
‘The Traitors’ Season 2 stars Kate Chastain, Parvati Shallow, Dan Gheesling, and Phaedra Parks.Chris Haston/Peacock

Arguably the breakout of the season has been former “Actual Housewives of Atlanta” star Phaedra Parks, who uttered the “Lord, not Ekin-Su” heard around the world. “​​Our American counterparts say individuals had been saying it within the streets,” mentioned Rees-Jones of the second the Season 2 contestant realized her fellow traitor, “Survivor” all-star Parvati Shallow, had unexpectedly used a poison chalice on “Love Island” Season 8 winner Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu. “I bear in mind we had been watching breakfast on the time, and we’re typically watching with our fingernails in our tooth going, ‘What’s going to occur subsequent?’ However the pleasure of watching that breakfast unfold and Phaedra not realizing that Parvati had murdered Ekin-Su. And Ekin-Su arriving, and Ekin-Su having poison operating by her veins, simply as a program maker was a pleasure to look at.”

It served for example of how the producers can impress main sport selections upon the contestants, however how issues play out is a thriller even to them. Aligning with what his fellow producer mentioned, Cotton added “That’s additionally what’s so thrilling, proper? We may e book the most important superstar ever to participate within the present and so they may get murdered by the traitors on day one, and that’s simply what occurs. I like the truth that the community lets us try this as effectively, they’re fairly courageous about the truth that that is the sport and we simply must go along with it.”

Nonetheless, there are moments the place the sport does mirror actual world points round exclusion and bias. As an illustration, the primary contestant to be banished in Season 2 was “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Peppermint, a Black transgender lady, who had an ungainly second with eventual winner Trishelle Cannatella that snowballed into allegations she was a traitor. “It’s arduous, isn’t it? As a result of this present is partly about judgment,” mentioned Cotton. “In these early episodes, having seen many variations of the present, individuals will go on the smallest factor to determine whether or not they wish to banish somebody or not. And sure, in fact there may very well be unconscious bias inside that. I believe Peppermint slipped up within the kitchen the place she mistakenly mentioned, ‘I’m a traitor.’ And clearly it was simply as she acquired muddled in the best way that she used her phrases, however a number of the contestants latched onto that. And folks will latch onto a tiny factor and so they’ll use that to banish somebody.” 

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THE TRAITORS --
‘The Traitors’ Season 2 stars Ekin-Su Cülcüloglu, Deontay Wilder, Dan Gheesling, Tamra Choose, Marcus Jordan, Chris Tamburello, Shereé Whitfield, Alan Cumming, Carsten Bergersen, Mercedes “MJ” Javid, Johnny Devenanzio, Pahaedra Parks, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Peter Weber, John Bercow, Janelle Pierzina, Larsa Pippen, and Maksim Chmerkovskiy.Euan Cherry/Peacock

“However then I assume that’s additionally reflective of society, proper,” mentioned Cotton. “In something. If it was a jury or anything like that. And I discover that fairly attention-grabbing as a result of it’s an perception into individuals’s psyche.”

In truth, Rees-Jones says that they deal with casting the present precisely like forming a jury. “That’s the heartbeat of our present, the spherical desk,” he mentioned. “You need a cross part of individuals, you need individuals to convey totally different expertise and totally different walks of life to the sport… To see a housewife go in opposition to a British politician is fascinating to look at as a result of they convey totally different expertise. In order that’s integral for our casting.” And although host Alan Cumming makes the preliminary choice on who’re made traitors, any contestant can find yourself being a traitor as effectively relying on how the sport performs out additional into the season.

Talking of the Emmy-nominated Scottish actor, the producers see Cumming as in all probability the facet most original to the American model of “The Traitors” (based mostly on the Dutch sequence “De Verraders,” the idea now has over a dozen worldwide editions.) “As quickly as you throw Alan Cumming into the combination, it makes a totally totally different present, a unique house, a unique world,” mentioned Rees-Jones. “He’s a thespian, he’s an actor and having him as a actuality TV host is good as a result of it simply throws us extra into this world we’ve created. And he’s completely concerned within the script and his phrases, and there’s precision with that. He sees it as a efficiency, which we love. The truth that he’s quoting Plato and Shakespeare, and that’s all weaved into the present, or he’s dressed much like Queen Victoria whereas there’s a funeral march occurring, simply provides and elevates to the tone that we’ve created.”

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“Additionally, the sport’s fairly darkish, isn’t it,” mentioned Cotton. “The sport is about murdering and banishing individuals. I believe [Alan] provides a heat and a camp to it, which makes the present a lot extra enjoyable. Since you wouldn’t need it to be too darkish. I like the truth that there’s this stability of darkish themes, however in fairly a comedic, camp method.”

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 14: Stephen Lambert, Alan Cumming, Kate Chastain and Sam Rees-Jones attend the 2024 TCA Winter Press Tour - NBCUniversal at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on February 14, 2024 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Stephen Lambert, Alan Cumming, Kate Chastain and Sam Rees-Jones attend the 2024 TCA Winter Press Tour panel for ‘The Traitors.’Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Pictures

One may say the contestants add to that as effectively, particularly when one thing so simple as former “Shahs of Sundown” star Mercedes Javid awkwardly backing out of a room turns into a second followers latch onto. “We love having preconceptions of individuals after which both breaking these preconceptions or cementing these preconceptions,” mentioned Rees-Jones of why they’re offered on persevering with to have an all superstar forged for the upcoming third season. So far as what kinds of contestants they’ve sought out subsequent, “I’d love musicians, I’d love an actor. I might love a sports activities individual. I’d love somebody from ‘Vanderpump Guidelines,’” mentioned Cotton. “And that’s so enjoyable in regards to the present is which you could pull individuals from anyplace.”

And whereas there’s a probability for somebody like “The Problem” star Johnny Bananas, the primary contestant murdered by the traitors in Season 2, to make a Season 3 comeback very like how the present introduced again “Beneath Deck” star and Season 1 breakout Kate Chastain this 12 months, the producers have strict guidelines about returnees. “One factor that’s essential to say is that when somebody is murdered or banished inside that season, they’re gone. If you happen to’re murdered from the present, you don’t get murdered in episode two and are available again in episode six of that season. You’re handled such as you’ve been murdered, you’re gone,” mentioned Cotton. “And it’s the identical as soon as you might be banished from that fortress. You’re banished endlessly.”

“The Traitors” Season 2 is streaming on Peacock.

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