UK pubcaster BBC Children’s has commissioned a 13 x half-hour live-action adaptation of Enid Blyton’s classic book series Malory Towers (pictured) for British kidsnet CBBC, and ordered four brand new series for its preschool channel CBeebies.
Co-commissioned by BBC Children’s in association with DHX Television’s Canadian network Family Channel, Malory Towers follows the life of 12-year-old Darrell Rivers at an all-girls’ boarding school. Though it’s set in the 1940s, the series will be modernized using themes like FOMO and bullying.
UK-based King Bert Productions (The World’s Worst Children) is co-producing alongside DHX Media. The series is being adapted for television by Rachel Flowerday and Sasha Hails. Josh Scherba, Anne Loi and Michael Goldsmith are executive producing for DHX, with Jo Sargent for King Bert and Amy Buscombe for the BBC. Production will begin this month in Toronto and continue in the UK in September. Malory Towers is expected to premiere on CBBC and Family Channel in 2020.
DHX is handling international distribution excluding the UK. The rights for the novels were acquired by Malory Towers publisher Hachette Children’s Group, which also owns Enid Blyton Entertainment.
Cbeebies, meanwhile, will launch two new shows from children’s presenter Andy Day—Andy and the Band and Andy’s Aquatic Adventures. The former is a 15 x 15-minute mixed media musical show starring Day as the leader of a band of socks. It’s produced Three Arrows Media (Treasure Champs) in association with Ninja Pig Productions. Executive producing for both prodcos are Jon Hancock, Dave Hallam, Tamsin Skan and Jon Turner.
The latter is a 30-episode live-action educational series produced by BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit that charts Day’s worldwide marine experiences. The show EPs are Alex Griffiths (NHU) and Henrietta Hurford-Jones (BBC Studios).
Additionally, Number One Newton Avenue is a new math-focused live-action series for CBeebies. The 10 x seven-minute program teaches preschoolers how to solve everything from simple equations and counting to sequencing, ordering and geometry. The in-house production is developed by BBC Children’s Vanessa Amberleigh.
Rounding out the live-action content for CBeebies is Let’s Go for A Walk, a 30 x 15-minute series starring presenter Hamza Yassin that aims to get kids outdoors and appreciating nature. It is produced by Hello Halo and executive produced by Terri Langan.
On the animation side, Hushabye Lullabye is a 10 x three-minute musical show by Maramedia that features a lovable alien named Dilly Dally that helps puts children to sleep. Simon Parsons is executive producing.