Hosted by Justin Melvey, THE PHONE is a fast-paced, high-tech reality series in which two complete strangers are plucked from their daily lives to compete in a cat and mouse game like no other. Every week, two new contestants must work together, but ultimately compete against one another, for the chance to win $25,000.
Each one hour episode starts with two strategically placed mobile phones ringing at opposite ends of a major Australian city. Once answered, a mysterious guide (played by Melvey) gives contestants five seconds to decide if they want to play the game. If they accept, the competition begins immediately, throwing the two contestants into an intense race.
With an interesting back story himself, Melvey’s fictional character communicates and toys with the contestants via mobile phone, setting them tasks and giving them clues and hints to find the briefcase of cash. Meanwhile, crews track their every move, exploit and error – with each failed task chipping away at the cash prize.
THE PHONE is the first series in the world to combine reality with an enthralling fictional element, making the show an exciting, original format. Filmed with frenetic pace in a voyeuristic manner, THE PHONE replicates the look and feel of the smash hit franchises Bourne Identity and 24. Viewers will feel they’re part of an espionage thriller that is gripping to the very end.
THE PHONE is a successful Dutch format that has been picked up around the world, including the US where Justin Timberlake recently signed on to produce a local version for MTV.
In Australia, the eight-part series was produced by dSP Beyond for FOXTEL with Executive Producer Chris Berry (Project Greenlight Australia, He’s Coming South). Episodes were filmed across Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart and the Gold Coast.