NITV and Netflix co-commission ‘Eddie’s Lil’ Homies’ based on Eddie Betts book series

Eddie Betts with one of the characters from 'Eddie's Lil Homies'.

NITV and Netflix have announced their first co-commission, commencing production in South Australia on an animated television series based on children’s books by AFL legend Eddie Betts.

Eddie’s Lil’ Homies follows eight-year-old Eddie and his two best friends Lottie and Tal as they navigate the complex and often fantastical waters of childhood.

Their friends are their family and the playground is their universe, one where imaginary friends can be real, games of rock paper scissors can take on stupendous importance, and kindness, empathy and a good rap can help put anything right.

Betts produces with Sophie Byrne and wife Anna Scullie, with whom he co-authored the books. The series is being developed and financed with principal investment from the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF), along with production support from Coles and the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC).

Penning the episodes are Dave Woodhead, Yaraman Thorne, Ray Boseley, Lorin Clarke, and Julie Sam-Yue, while Mark O’Toole serves as story producer and executive producer alongside Bernadette O’Mahony, Netflix’s Nakul Legha, and NITV’s Marissa McDowell. Arthur Moody is the director alongside co-director Luke Jurevicius.

The project, which is inspired by Betts’ Eddie’s Lil’ Homies books My Kind and My People, is the first co-commission between NITV and Netflix.

The athlete-turned-author said the books were both a labour of love and an ongoing passion for him and Scullie.

“Seeing the enthusiasm for the books as I go around the country, and kids doing the raps on social media and asking us about more stories, were what pushed us to team up with Sophie Byrne and the ACTF to develop the animated series,” he said.

“To then have Netflix and NITV immediately see our vision for the series and come onboard to help us bring Eddie’s Lil’ Homies to life is really exciting. I can’t wait for the kids across the country to see it.”

NITV head of commissions Marissa McDowell said the channel was pleased to not only be able to continue its relationship with the ACTF but also welcome a new collaborator in Netflix.

“NITV continues to bring world-class, First Nations children’s stories to Australians,” she said.

“We are thrilled to continue our longstanding relationship with the ACTF following previous success with Barrumbi Kids and Thalu. We are also thrilled to be working with Netflix for the first time, and we hope that children come to love this brand-new series inspired by Eddie Betts’ wonderful books.”

Netflix ANZ director of content Que Minh Luu said the series would offer a “charming and fantastical look into the wonder of childhood”.

“As we deepen our local investment we continue to focus on stories and ideas that make Australian audiences feel seen, heard, and understood,” she said.