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BBC announces commissions, revivals

BBC Children's in-house productions team is set to bow shows inspired by book series like Love Monster (pictured), as well as a revival of the kids classic Crackerjack.
February 11, 2019

The BBC is launching a number of new shows and bringing back some old favorites. One show making a comeback is the classic kids series Crackerjack. The original series ran from 1955 to 1984 and featured a mix of sketches, musical performances and games. Originally presented by Eamonn Andrews, the new 10 x 45-minuter will be presented by Sam and Mark (Sam and Mark’s Guide to Dodging Disaster) and made by BBC Children’s in-house productions team. It will launch on CBBC and BBC iPlayer next year.

In addition to Crackerjack, BBC Children’s in-house productions team is set to launch a number of new multiplatform commissions developed by the in-house scripted development team led by Anna Davies. The 10 x 30-minute teen mystery drama Get Even targets 12- to 15-year-olds and is a co-production with Boat Rocker Studios. Adapted from the book by Gretchen McNeill, the series will air on BBC iPlayer. The Demon Headmaster, meanwhile, is a revival of the 1990′s kids brand and the new 10 x 30-minute drama will air on CBBC and BBC iPlayer. Additionally, Princess Mirror-Belle targets kids five to seven and is based on the best-selling book series of the same name. The 13-part series will feature classic stories from the books as well as new adventures.

The in-house productions team is also partnering with Boat Rocker Studios and UYoung to co-produce an animated preschool series inspired by Rachel Bright’s Love Monster book series. The 54 x seven-minute show will focus on kindness, empathy and instinct with animation produced by UK-based Karrot Animation and A Productions. It will premiere on the pubcaster’s CBeebies channel, and has been approved by China’s National Radio and Television Administration to air on Chinese broadcasters and digital platforms.

Tony Reed from the BBC will serve as an EP for the show alongside Boat Rocker’s Chapman Maddox and UYoung’s James Chen Gu. A portion of the pre-production on scripts, storyboards and design will be provided by UYoung, which is also handling distribution and licensing in China and South East Asia. While, Boat Rocker will distribute the series and manage global licensing, excluding those two territories.

Returning shows commissioned by BBC Children’s in-house productions for CBBC in 2019 include Classed Dismissed (season five), The Dog Ate My Homework (season seven), Can You Kick It (season two) and The Worst Witch (season four), as well as Hetty Feather (season six) for 2020. Returning shows commissioned for CBeebies in 2019, meanwhile, include Molly and Mack (season two), CBeebies Stargazing Special, CBeebies Christmas Show 2019, CBeebies Prom 2019, Amazing Machines (seasons two and three) and Yolanda (season two).

With files from Ryan Tuchow

About The Author
Elizabeth Foster is Kidscreen's Copy Chief & Special Reports Editor. Contact Elizabeth at efoster@brunico.com

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