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Sky Kids orders tween drama

Ella Balinska in The Athena

Sky Kids in the UK has made its first drama commission for a tween audience with a live-action series about a young model studying at a prestigious art school.

The Athena (26×30′) comes from UK scripted firm Bryncoed Productions and will shoot in London this summer, wrapping at the end of August.

The series will be distributed internationally by ZDF Enterprises, the commercial arm of German public broadcaster ZDF, and will star UK actor Ella Balinska.

Due to air in spring 2019, its lead writer is Holly Philips, who also served as lead writer on Australian pubcaster the ABC’s drama Dance Academy 2 and created original series Nearly Famous for E4/Kudos.

The show follows the journey of a young model who, after her career implodes when she complains about a famous designer treating her like an object, joins an art school.

Lucy Murphy, head of kids’ content for the UK and Ireland at Sky, said: “It’s an ambitious project but we know our tween audience will love the characters and as they navigate that tricky transition to secondary school and will value the storylines of learning to be independent, friendships and finding their own voice.”

Bryncoed Productions founder and CEO Foz Allen was the originating producer of CBBC/ZDF/ZDF Enterprises’ Wolfblood, BBC’s The Dumping Ground, CBBC’s Hetty Feather and the BBC’s Harriet’s Army.

The commission comes after Sky Kids last week ordered festive 30-minute special Aliens Love Panta Claus from Tiger Aspect Productions, having previously collaborated on the series of shorts Aliens Love Underpants And….

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