ABC & Screen Australia have today announced new and returning ABC ME titles.
They are Gristmill’s The InBESTigators, a second season for Mustangs FC, live action comedy Hardball about a western Sydney handball champ, and animated comedy 100% Wolf, about an 11-year-old boy set to turn into a werewolf.
ABC Director of Entertainment and Specialist content David Anderson said: “The ABC is committed to telling funny, engaging and innovative Australian stories for children, created by some of our finest local creatives. These new programs deliver on the ABC’s strategy of focusing on high-quality and distinctive Australian content to inform, entertain and inspire children of all ages.
“Only the ABC offers so much extraordinary and relevant content across television and digital platforms, showcasing Australia’s amazing stories, settings and talent.”
Screen Australia Head of Production Sally Caplan said: “It’s vital that young Australians are able to see their country, their stories and hear their accent reflected on the screen, so we are incredibly proud to be working with the ABC on this significant slate of children’s programs.
“The characters in The InBESTigators, Mustangs FC, 100% Wolf and Hardball are distinctive and inclusive, and tell stories that are innovative and culturally significant. We have high hopes young viewers will connect with these tales and keep enjoying Australian content as they grow up.”
The InBESTigators – in production 2018
The InBESTigators blends the comic, tonal and stylistic DNA of Little Lunch with the great tradition of whodunnit. When Ezra Banks (11, aspiring entrepreneur), meets Maudie Miller (10, aspiring Columbo), he sees an opportunity to fill an obvious gap in the market: a detective agency run by children. Maudie and Ezra are joined by two other kids from grade five, Ava and Kyle. Ava brings the social skills and Kyle brings the athletic prowess. Each episode solves a mystery; clues are littered throughout, and the race is on to see if the audience can crack the case before Maudie.
Production credits: The InBestigators is a Gristmill production for ABC TV and Netflix.Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with ABC. Financed with support from Film Victoria.
Producers: Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope.
Commissioning Broadcasters: ABC & Netflix.
Financing Partners: Screen Australia, Film Victoria and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF).
Runs for: 20 x 30 minute episodes on ABC ME and the ABC ME app.
International Distribution: ACTF. The InBESTigators will debut on Netflix outside of Australia/New Zealand.
Hardball – in production 2018
Set in Western Sydney Hardball is a live action comedy series that follows fish-out-of-water Mikey and his two misfit mates, Salwa and Jerry. Their goal? Make Mikey the sweetest-bestest-acest handball champ Western Sydney’s ever seen. He’s got the most powerful strike in the world, if only he could make the ball land in the right suburb!
Production credits: A Northern Pictures production for ABC TV. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with ABC TV. Financed with support from Create NSW.
Creators: Matt Zeremes and Guy Edmonds.
Producers: Catherine Nebauer and Joe Weatherstone.
Financing Partners: Screen Australia, Create NSW and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF), Northern Pictures.
Runs for: 13 x 26 minute episodes on ABC ME and the ABC ME app.
100% Wolf – in production 2018
Freddy Lupin would be just like any other ordinary eleven-year-old boy… except he is neither ordinary nor simply ‘a boy’. He is eleven though… and also a werewolf! Or will be. On the night of his very first transformation, Freddy is set to turn into a strong and brave wolf like everyone in his family before him, but… shock horror! Freddy turns into an adorable POODLE!
Production credits: A Flying Bark production for ABC (Australia) and Super RTL (Germany) with international rights and distribution through Studio 100. Principal production investment from Screen Australia. Financed with support from Screen West and Create NSW.Producers: Michael Bourchier & Barbara Stephen.Commissioning Broadcasters: ABC and Super RTL (Germany).
Funding Partners: Screen Australia, Screenwest, and Create NSW.
Runs for: 26 x 22 minute episodes on ABC ME and the ABC ME app.
Mustangs FC Season 2 – in production 2018
Season 2 brings more complex relatable stories about real young women and their friendships, challenges and triumphs. There’s more of the Mustangs’ signature humour and heart, wrapped round stories about bullying, body image, sexuality, and the politics of moon cups, menstruation and mansplaining.
After getting to the finals last year but missing out on actually raising the trophy, the Mustangs are pumped and ready to get back in the game. Problem is – there’s a Ruby shaped hole in the team since she defected to the Wildcats, and it’s wobbling everyone. The girls don’t even know if they can win a single match without her, never mind the league cup.
Production credits: A Matchbox Productions production for ABC TV.
Principal production investment from ABC in association with Screen Australia. Financed with support from Film Victoria.
Producers: Amanda Higgs and Rachel Davis.
Financing Partners: Screen Australia, Film Victoria and NBCUniversal.
Runs for: 13 x 24 minute episodes on ABC ME and the ABC ME app.
International distribution: NBCUniversal Distribution.