NITV and ABC have jointly announced a second season of kid’s animation Little J & Big Cuz, which was nominated for a Logie in Most Outstanding Children’s Program category this week.
The series by Ned Lander Media, Media World and Blue Rocket sees Little J, Big Cuz and their friends, guided by Nanna and Old Dog, reflect Indigenous cultures and ways of learning through Little J’s world, centred around Nanna’s backyard and Ms Chen’s classroom.
It is written by Indigenous writers with voice talent including Deborah Mailman, Miranda Tapsell, Ningali Lawford, Aaron Fa’oaso, Ursula Yovich, and Shari Sebbens.
Miranda Tapsell said, “I had a wonderful time making the first series of Little J & Big Cuz and am excited that a second season has been announced. It’s really important for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids to see themselves reflected on screens, in positive and complex characters. I wish we had Little J & Big Cuz when I was growing up.”
Animation Director Tony Thorne said, “We are thrilled to bring Little J back and extend his world in another thirteen stories. Little J & Big Cuz set out to create a world on TV that Aboriginal kids across Australia could relate to, and it has proven to have really broad appeal. The carefully crafted stories, authenticity of voice and unique aesthetic has drawn kids in across the country, and it is tremendously exciting to be able to build on that success.”
NITV Channel Manager, Tanya Orman said, “Little J & Big Cuz is such a joyful and entertaining show with strong educational and social impact potential, and a program that NITV is proud to be involved in for a second season. To have a group of talented Indigenous practitioners, some of our country’s best storytellers, develop new skills in children’s television is a fantastic outcome for Indigenous screen practice as well.”
Head of Children’s and Education at ABC, Michael Carrington said: “Congratulations to the team from Little J & Big Cuz on their much deserved 2018 Logie nomination! The importance of creating relatable Children’s programming for Aussie Kids – whether they’re living in the city or the outback cannot be overstated. The ABC is very proud to partner with NITV on this breakthrough series, providing ABC Kids audiences insights into traditional Aboriginal culture, country and language.”
It will air on both platforms in 2019.
The new season, which will be broadcast on NITV and ABC Kids, with catch up on SBS On Demand and ABC iView, was financed with the support of Screen Australia, the Tasmanian Government through Screen Tasmania, Film Victoria, the Australian Council for Educational Research and the Australia’s Children’s Television Foundation.
Series one was loved by children across Australia. It dominated the audience share for five to nine year olds in its time slots, and reached into remote Indigenous communities through six language versions, with more Indigenous languages to come in season two.
The second season of this ground-breaking series goes into production in the 25th anniversary year of Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department, of which NITV has been an important long-term partner. The first series was supported through development by Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department and the Australian Council for Educational Research, and was based on an Indigenous perspective on the Early Years Learning Framework, to build engaging resources to help Indigenous kids transition into school.