Broadcasters doubled down on animated comedies as kids continued to seek an escape from COVID-19. Much like in June, Disney and Nickelodeon kept the renewals coming, while international broadcasters leaned on humor for several demos.
With back-to-school plans in flux, it makes sense for Disney+ to renew National Geographic’s educational series Weird But True! for a 13-episode third season. Launching August 14, kids entertainers Charlie Engelman and Carly Ciarrocchi explore surprising and interesting facts about the world. Shot both in studio and on various locations, the first two seasons mixed arts & crafts, facts and discovery. Produced by Nat Geo and Steve Rotfeld Productions, seasons one and two are already available on the streamer.
Nickelodeon giddied up for a second season of animated series It’s Pony. The kidsnet has greenlit an additional 20-episode run, which will premiere in North America in 2021, before it launching internationally. Revolving around a young girl and her friendship with a talking pony, season two will see the duo take on even more fantastical quests, from crashing a comic convention to battling a swarm of revenge-seeking flies. A ratings draw for Nick, It’s Pony debuted this past January and has become one of the top animated kids shows for two to 11s, following close behind SpongeBob SquarePants and The Loud House, according to Nickelodeon.
Looking for more drama, Cartoon Network (US) and Teletoon (Canada) have ordered a third season (52 x 11 minutes) of Total Dramarama from CAKE and Fresh TV. The animated comedy spinoff of Total Drama Island tracks toddler versions of the original characters. Aimed at six to 11s, the series premiered in 2018, and the new episodes in productions are scheduled to launch in Q2 2021. Created by Tom McGillis and Jennifer Pertsch, Total Dramarama is distributed internationally by London’s CAKE.
China’s Tencent Video has inked a deal with Russian animation studio The Riki Group and Beijing-based distributor Joy Culture Media for a fourth season of Riki’s The Fixies (pictured). The series is produced by Aeroplane Productions, which was recently acquired by Riki. The Fixies focuses on the misadventures of a young boy and his secret friendship with magical creatures who have smarts and skills to solve any problem. The show debuted on Tencent in 2015, and the 52-episode fourth season will be completed by 2022.
Pubcaster ABC Australia has ordered a second season of The Strange Chores from Ludo Studio and Media World Pictures. Aimed at eight- to 12-year-olds, the animated adventure follows two wannabe heroes and a spirited ghost as they master their monster-slaying skills by doing supernatural cleanup. The new season will have 26 x 11 episodes, and Toronto’s Boat Rocker Studios will handle global distribution. Season one (26 x 11 minutes) previously sold to Sony’s Pop (UK), CBC (Canada), Discovery Kids (LatAm) and Cartoon Network (Italy).