‘Baby Reindeer’ star's next gripping drama series ‘Lions’ snapped up by HBO — what we know so far

Donny (Richard Gadd) behind the counter in a pub in Netflix's "Baby Reindeer"
(Image credit: Ed Miller/Netflix)

"Lions" (a working title) is the next project from "Baby Reindeer" creator and star, Richard Gadd. Announced two months before his gripping drama became one of the biggest shows on Netflix, his new drama is surely all-but-guaranteed to become another hit. And now the show's got another big name involved: HBO.

Today (June 27), the network confirmed it would co-produce Gadd's six-part drama with the BBC, who originally commissioned the project in February 2024. The series revolves around two estranged 'brothers', Ruben and Niall, and documents the ups and downs of their lives from the 1980s through to the present day.  

In a statement about the partnership, Gadd (who's writing and exec producing "Lions") wrote: "Ordering a HBO boxset of "The Sopranos", "The Wire", or "Oz" and watching it from start to finish were some of the happiest moments of my childhood.

"Since then, it has always been a dream of mine to work with HBO and be part of their iconic roster of shows. I am so grateful to Francesca Orsi, Kara Buckley and Clin LaVigne for taking this chance on the show and on Ruben and Niall too who — despite growing up in a dead-end Scottish town — would be absolutely pinching themselves at this! I cannot wait to get started."

Baby Reindeer | Official Trailer | Netflix - YouTube Baby Reindeer | Official Trailer | Netflix - YouTube
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So what do we know about 'Lions'?

From the sounds of things, we might still have a decent wait in store before "Lions" hits our screens. The project was first commissioned by the BBC in February 2024 and does not currently have a confirmed release date, at the time of writing, though Alexandra Brodski ("Somewhere Boy") is attached as lead director.

Set and filmed in and around Glasgow, Scotland, the "ambitious" series charts nearly 40 years in the lives of two men. The BBC's full synopsis reads: "When Niall's estranged 'brother' Ruben shows up at his wedding, it leads to an explosion of violence that catapults us back through their lives. 

"Spanning almost forty years from the 1980s to the present day, this ambitious series will cover the highs and lows of the brothers' relationship, from them meeting as teenagers to their falling out as adults — with all the good, bad, terrible, funny, angry, and challenging moments along the way. It will capture the wild energy of a changing city — a changing world, even — and try to get to the bottom of the difficult question... What does it mean to be a man?

In a statement released in the original announcement, Gadd said at the time: "When I first started talking about this project with the wonderful Tally Garner and Morven Reid, it was love at first sight. For them, anyway. I kept it purely professional. I am absolutely thrilled to be working with them in bringing Ruben and Niall to the screen alongside Lindsay Salt, Gaynor Holmes, and the incredible BBC team. 

"It is a dream come true to be part of such a historic broadcaster with a reputation for bringing the best comedy and drama (and comedy-drama for that matter) to our screens. A dream which will likely wear off when it comes to tight writing deadlines and rainy shooting days on the streets of Glasgow. Just joking. I have never been happier to work on anything in my life and I would like to thank [executive producers] Tally, Morven, and Gaynor for everything — as well as the inimitable Lindsay Salt who has always been my biggest champion and to whom I will always owe a great debt of gratitude", Gadd added.

Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, said: "Richard Gadd's hugely imaginative, one-of-a-kind exploration of Niall, Ruben and their intertwining lives is so bold and brilliant storytelling that will make you sit up and lean in. This is a relationship you really haven't seen before, and we can't wait to unpack it across six surprising, moving, funny, highly original episodes."  

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Staff Writer, Streaming

Martin is a Streaming Writer at Tom’s Guide, covering all things movies and TV. If it’s in the theaters or available to stream somewhere, he’s probably watched it… especially if it has a dragon in it. Before joining the team, he was a Staff Writer at What To Watch where he wrote about a broad range of shows that stretched from "Doctor Who" and "The Witcher" to "Bridgerton" and "Love Island". When he’s not watching the next must-see movie or show, he’s probably still in front of a screen playing massive RPGs, reading, spending a fortune on TCGs, or watching the NFL.