ABC/Northern Pictures' Emmy Award-winning 'Hardball'.

French audiences will be treated to the second season of Hardball and film series DisRupted after they were sold to France Télévisions.

APC Kids negotiated the deal for the titles, both of which are distributed worldwide by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF), excluding France.

Produced by Northern Pictures in association with Screen Australia, Create NSW and the ACTF, Hardball season two will launch on the network in 2022, following the season one debut on Okoo.

The first season was also sold to the BBC (UK), NRK (Norway), RTE (Ireland), TVO (Canada), TFO (Canada), TVB (Hong Kong), RTP (Portugal), RTV (Slovenia), and SABC (South Africa).

Aimed at children aged 8-12, the second instalment picks up with life being great since Mikey won ‘Sasi-Wests-Hat’ handball tournament, but things get complicated with the end of primary school fast approaching, the arrival of new classmates who seem more like sporting superstar villains, and an important scholarship opportunity for Mikey that could break up the gang for good.

ABC ME stablemate DisRupted consists of films led by young Australian creatives with a disability, supported by producers from Sticky Pictures, CJZ, and LateNite Films.

Supported by ABC and Screen Australia’s DisRupted initiative, the projects explore universal themes including newly discovered independence, finding your own voice, the power of friendship, and the relationship of an individual to the world around them.

The films in the series have seen critical acclaim, winning the Representation of Diversity in Kids’ Programming award at the 2020 MIPCOM Diversify TV Excellence Awards and have been nominated for Best Work in the Primary Category at the 2020 NHK Japan Prize.

They are set to launch on Okoo November 18, and on France 4 from November 20 for the National School Harassment Day.

APC Kids managing director Lionel Marty said the company was pleased to be able to continue its successful partnership with the ACTF.

Hardball is an original, fresh comedy and after seeing a great reaction to the first season, we are confident that the second season will be highly anticipated by the show’s French fans.

“We are also very much looking forward to bringing French audiences the DisRupted trio of films which provide thought-provoking content for, and created by, talented young people.” 

ACTF executive producer Bernadette O’Mahony expected both titles to be well received in France.

“Hardball is a clever, warm, and funny series and it’s wonderful to see that audiences right across the globe love it as much as we do,” she said.

“The second series is full of new twists and turns and hilarious new characters, and we’re thrilled French audiences will get to enjoy more of the Block Street gang’s fun and crazy world.

“We’re also excited to see how French audiences respond to the DisRupted films, which challenge viewers to reflect on the experience of disability and the importance of accessibility and inclusion in a clever, funny, and entertaining way.”

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