The fourth and final season of the hit live-action drama Nowhere Boys, as well as the latest animated series from Cheeky Little Media and McAvoy Media’s factual series Teenage Boss are among ABC Kids’ new commissions for its 2018 programming slate.
Produced by Matchbox Pictures and financed by Screen Australia, the ABC and Film Victoria, Nowhere Boys season four will head into production next year and launch as a 13 x 26-minute season on ABC ME and the ABC ME app.
Another newly commissioned homegrown drama series destined for ABC ME and the ABC ME app in 2018 is Grace Beside Me from Magpie Pictures. Co-commissioned by ABC and Australia’s National Indigenous Television (NiTV), the 13 x 26-minute series is an adaption of the award-winning novel of the same name by author Sue McPherson. The series follows the ups and downs of Fuzzy Mac, a 13-year-old girl who discovers she can see ghosts and spirits. Funding partners on the program include NiTV, Disney Australia, Screen Australia, Screen Queensland and Create NSW.
Previously announced drama The New Legends of Monkey from See-Saw Films and Jump Film & TV is also included in the 2018 lineup. The ABC, TVNZ and Netflix co-commission will premiere on ABC ME on January 28 with an 80-minute triple episode telemovie. Immediately following the broadcast, the complete 10 x 24-minute series will head to the ABC KIDS iview and ABC ME apps.
For new animated shows, Spongo, Fuzz and Jalapeña (pictured) from Cheeky Little Media (Kazoops, Bottersnikes & Gumbles) has been greenlit for production as a co-commission by ABC KIDS, Disney Channel Australia and Foxtel. The 26 x 11-minute comedy for tweens is created by Cheeky Little’s David Webster, and is being produced in-house by the studio’s co-founder Patrick Egerton and Isla Curtis. Spongo, Fuzz and Jalapeña follows the adventures of three best friends who go to great lengths to break world records in a town full of crazy contests. The series, which has also received funding support from Screen Australia and Create NSW, will bow on ABC KIDS in 2019, followed by a secondary broadcast on Disney Channel Australia on Foxtel.
Previously announced animated series Bluey from Brisbane, Australia-based prodco Ludo Studio will head to ABC KIDS in 2019, followed by CBeebies Australia. The 2016 Asian Animation Summit Best in Show winner was co-commissioned by ABC KIDS and BBC Worldwide in July. Ludo’s animated series Strange Chores is also expected to launch in 2019.
As for documentary/factual entertainment, Teenage Boss (pictured) from McAvoy Media has been greenlit for production, as has My Year 7 Life from Princess Pictures. The former follows a diverse group of Aussie teenagers who have to take control of the family finances for a month. The latter is a video diary series featuring the lives of 10- and 11-year-old students as they transition from primary school to high school.
Other returning homegrown series to the broadcaster include Play School, Giggle and Hoot, What It’s Like, Good Game Spawn Point, Break the Future and News To Me. ABC has also commissioned a fifth season of Short & Curly, an ethics podcast for kids and parents produced by ABC Audio Studios and WNYC Studios.