British kidsnet CBBC has commissioned an adaptation of the unscripted kids series Craft Party. Originally launched by Israeli prodco Nutz Production, the UK version is being handled by London-based Keshet Productions.
Keshet Productions is the UK production arm of Israeli producer/distributor Keshet International, which has a distribution agreement with Nutz Production’s parent company producer/distributor Ananey Communications Group.
The new 20 x 15-minute show (pictured) is set to be broadcast in two 10 x 15-minute series, and will center on a group of nine- to 12-year-old craft enthusiasts who create art and food for a party. Keshet International is going to be distributing the series internationally, and the first 10 episodes will debut on the British kidsnet on August 18, with the second half slated for the spring 2020, says a spokesperson for Keshet International. Based on the Israeli format Mesibat Yetzira, originally created by Bonit Ben Ami and Shirley Oran and produced by Nutz Productions (Greenhouse Academy), the series revolves around two girls who craft projects, which premiered in August 2017 on kidsnet Nick Jr. in Israel. The series has been thrice renewed, with the latest fourth season launching later this month on the channel.
Aimed at kids six- to 12-years-old, the new show is executive produced by Keshet Productions’ managing director of non-scripted content David Williams (Celebrity Showmance), with Nick Hutchings (Help! My Supply Teacher is Magic, Art Ninja) as series producer and writer alongside series director Matt Pothecary (Duck Quacks Don’t Echo).
The series builds on the UK’s tradition of crafting and DIY shows, while also improving and modernizing the format, says Williams. In the past, crafting series were formal, didactic and often featured adult presenters, says Williams, whereas Keshet wanted to take the more current YouTube style of the Israeli format and expand on it with something that would resonate with UK audiences.
Keshet began by emulating the Israeli format of having two girls talking to each other in a peer-to-peer setting, and bolstering the IP’s production value with more high-quality camera work. From there the company focused in on the demands of the BBC and the UK market and expanded the cast of characters to six, with diverse ethnic backgrounds and more of a gender balance in the hopes that the show wouldn’t skew more towards girls, and that kids from any background would be able to see themselves reflected in the cast, says Williams.
The crafts themselves are also designed to be on-trend, including some projects that bring in the popular slime craze, as well as some emoji and glitter-focused works, he adds. To help maintain authenticity that audiences have come to expect from YouTube videos, mistakes and mishaps aren’t going to be edited out.
While this is the first time the company has done a craft show, Willliams’ hope is that it marks the beginning of a longer-term play in the DIY category, with early plans already in the works for a “messier” and boy-skewing series. He also sees Craft Party as a stepping stone for Keshet as it works to get more involved in the kids and family market in the UK, he adds. The hope is that the series will help the company as it begins taking its experience creating content for older audiences and working with more studios to develop non-scripted IPs for kids, he says.
“There is absolutely demand for craft shows in the kids and family market,” says Williams. “We brought gloss to what is a no-adults, down-and-dirty craft show by kids and for kids. We now have this new talent with the kids and and I hope we can grow the show with them, and maybe more kids can join in the future. I hope that this show airs for many years like some of the iconic craft shows I grew up with.”