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BBC orders diversity, entertainment for kids

Monster Court offers kids light-hearted justice

BBC Children’s in the UK has ordered a raft of shows focused on diversity and entertainment for its CBBC and CBeebies channels.

The pubcaster has commissioned Our Black History Heroes (31×2’) from The Playmaker Group, which profiles celebrated figures from the black community, including tennis player Serena Williams, civil rights activist Martin Luther King and nurse Mary Seacole.

Each two-minute film, which will air on CBBC, will feature animation and facts devised and narrated by children.

For CBeebies, BBC Children’s in-house production team will produce Colours (14×7’) celebrating 14 colours, looking at what they mean to small children and how they have significance culturally and historically.

In the entertainment space, CBBC will broadcast a 15×10’ series from DLT Entertainment called Monster Court. The show sees a monster puppet judge dish out light-hearted justice to children, for ‘crimes’ such as a mum who has an embarrassing crush or a sister who just won’t stop singing.

Also for CBBC, BBC Children’s in-house production team will produce Ricky Wilson’s Art Jam (10×15’), in which the musician and former art teacher, together with a celebrity mate, will explore how ‘art’ in the broadcast sense has inspired their lives and careers.

Cheryl Taylor

BBC Children’s will also produce in-house a new gameshow for CBBC called Would You Rather?, which will ask celebrity guests to make hilariously tough choices.

Also coming soon to BBC Children’s are The Toddler Club at Home for CBeebies, which moves from The Baby Club at Home; a second season of CBBC’s Celebrity Supply Teacher; and Mimi & Co, in which YouTuber Mimi Missfit tries out new things.

Cheryl Taylor, head of content for BBC Children’s, said: “We really want these new titles to bring some joy and hope to homes around the UK as we continue to navigate our way through disruptive times. Many familiar faces, along with some new ones, are sure to delight our young audience.

“These, coupled with so many diverse titles, reinforce our mission that BBC Children’s is here to reflect the lives of all children in the UK and to remind them that the future can be bright.”

In related news, CBBC and VoD service BBC iPlayer have commissioned a children-focused docuseries about the planet from the BBC Studios Natural History Unit.

Planet Defenders (working title, 6×24’) is a self-authored, self-shot docuseries featuring six devoted young environmentalists and filmmakers battling to protect the planet.

The programme will follow the six individuals as they explore wildlife habitats across the UK, India, Nepal and Kenya, introducing viewers to Scottish wildcats, sharks, bottlenose dolphins, Asian elephants, red pandas, penguins and much more.

Planet Defenders will be distributed by Fremantle.

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