The fourth and final series of Nowhere Boys, an observational documentary on teenagers who take charge of the family’s finances for a month, and an animated series about the adventures of a six-year-old cattle dog are among the highlights of the ABC’s children’s slate for 2018.
Among the new offerings are animated series Spongo, Fuzz and Jalapeña, My Year 7 Life, a prequel to My Year 12 Life, and Indigenous drama Grace Beside Me, co-commissioned by NITV.
The slate includes the previously announced The New Legends of Monkey from See-Saw Films and Jump Film & TV and Ludo Studio’s paranormal comedy Strange Chores.
ABC head of children’s Michael Carrington said: “We want to showcase the lives of Australian kids and their stories on their ABC and we’re thrilled to be offering them inclusive content that is compelling, funny and true to our distinct Australian culture.”
In Matchbox Pictures’ teenage fantasy action adventure Nowhere Boys Luke, Nicco, Heath and Jesse reunite to battle chaotic forces unleashed on Bremin, intent on dividing them. The producers are Beth Frey, Tony Ayres and Michael McMahon.
Netflix bought international rights to the first three series with an option on the fourth.
Produced by McAvoy Media’s John McAvoy and Simon Steele, Teenage Boss will follow maths teacher Eddie Woo as he mentors teenagers who assume responsibility for their family’s budget for a month. The ultimate goal is to teach the teens and their families how to spend the money in a balanced way, without running out. It’s based on Norwegian public broadcaster NRK’s successful international format.
Aimed at pre-schoolers, Ludo Studio’s Bluey will follow a six-year-old cattle dog whose wild imagination turns ordinary moments into wild adventure. The producers are Daley Pearson and Charlie Aspinwall.
Cheeky Little Media’s David Webster and Patrick Egerton will produce Spongo, Fuzz and Jalapeña, which follows three best mates in a town whose stadium plays host to a parade of weird and wonderful world championships. It will premiere on ABC Kids in 2019 followed by a secondary broadcast on Disney Channel Australia.
Through video diaries in My Year 7 Life, kids aged 10 and 11 will share firsthand accounts of the changes as they make the transition from primary school to high school, produced by Princess Pictures’ Laura Waters and Karla Burt. The ABC will offer a sneak peak of episode one at 4.35 pm on December 14 and the full series starts in February.
Magpie Pictures’ Dena Curtis and Lois Randall are producing Grace Beside Me, which follows 13-year-old Fuzzy Mac who discovers she can see ghosts and spirits.
The New Legends of Monkey will launch on ABC ME with a triple-episode telemovie on Sunday January 28, after which the entire series will be available on ABC iview and the ABC ME app. The remaining seven episodes will broadcast daily at 6pm with the finale on Sunday February 4.
The Strange Chores is a blend of coming-of-age story about three best friends and paranormal comedy, produced by Pearson, Aspinwall and Colin South. Charlie and Pierce are two teenage wannabe warrior-heroes who, together with spirited ghost girl Que, master the skills they need to replace an ageing monster slayer by doing his strange, supernatural chores.
The ME TV-producedWhat It’s Like series continues next year, providing a story-sharing platform for young people from groups who have previously been deprived of an equal space in the media landscape. It embraces diversity, inspires empathy and encourages young marginalised voices to speak up.