Everything about Children’s Programming, eh?

Spring into March with My Perfect Landing, from the creator of The Next Step

From a media release:

Friendship, laughter and some amazing gymnastics are coming to Family Channel this March in the new series My Perfect Landing, premiering as a one-hour television event on Sunday, March 1 at 11:30 a.m. ET/PT. From the creator of the award-winning series The Next Step, Frank van Keeken, the family friendly drama stars real-life competitive gymnast Morgan Wigle as Jenny Cortez, a talented young gymnast who moves to a new city when her family gets the opportunity to run their own gymnastics club. Fans who can’t wait to vault right in can check out the My Perfect Landing YouTube Channel as exclusive video content, including cast video diaries, gymnastics tips and more, will be released beginning Friday, February 21!

The My Perfect Landing premiere kicks off Family’s amazing Free Preview for the full month of March, which includes an incredible line-up of series premieres, like Boss Baby: Back in Business and Holly Hobbie season 2; fan-favourites, like American Ninja Warrior Jr. and Boy Girl Dog Cat Mouse Cheese; and must-see movies, like The Peanuts Movie and The Fault in Our Stars – all of which and more are sure to make screen time, family time this March!

Filmed last summer in Toronto and Miami, My Perfect Landing centres around aspiring young gymnast, Jenny Cortez, and her family, as they move from Miami to Toronto to open their own gymnastics club. Despite the fresh start, Jenny’s mom won’t allow her to compete at a high-level out of fear she’ll injure herself. With a little encouragement from her new best friends, and some secret training with her Grandpa – a former competitive gymnast himself – Jenny decides to follow her dreams and live up to the legacy of her mother and grandfather.

In the series premiere, debuting on Family Sunday, March 1 at 11:30 a.m. ET/PT, Jenny’s mom loses her job and moves her two kids to Toronto to start a gymnastics club with her father. Jenny is happy to discover her new school has a gymnastics team. Jenny goes behind her mother’s back and tries out for the team, but the captain of the team feels threatened by Jenny’s talent and blackmails her into quitting. Following the one-hour premiere special, new episodes of My Perfect Landing will continue to air Sundays at 11:30 a.m. ET/PT beginning March 15.

My Perfect Landing also stars Tom Hulshof as Jenny’s brother, Joon Cortez; Helena Marie as Jenny’s mother, Whitney Cortez; Shawn Alex Thompson as Jenny’s Grandfather, Gus McIlroy; Jordan Clark (The Next Step), Francesca van Keeken (The Next Step), and newcomers Ajanae Stephenson, Natasha Zaborski, Holly Belbeck, Abby Stretch, Keira Still, Luca Assad, Osias Reid, Leonidas Castrounis, Parker Lauzon and Hailey Vynychenko. My Perfect Landing is produced by Beachwood Canyon Productions in association with Family Channel and is executive produced by Frank van Keeken, Yolanda Yott and van Keeken’s Beachwood Canyon Production team. Andrew Barnsley (Schitt’s Creek, JANN) and Ben Murray (JANN, Working the Engels) also serve as executive producers. International distribution is handled by WildBrain Ltd.

In addition to My Perfect Landing, Family’s March schedule is jam-packed with can’t-miss programming for the entire family, including: the series premiere of Boss Baby: Back in Business on Monday, March 2 at 5 p.m. ET/PT; the return of reality competition series American Ninja Warrior Junior on Monday, March 2 at 7 p.m. ET/PT; the season 2 premiere of the popular tween drama Holly Hobbie on Sunday, March 8 at 3:30 p.m. ET/PT; new episodes of Sadie Sparks weekdays at 4:15 p.m. ET/PT; episodes of Boy Girl Dog Cat Mouse Cheese continuing weekdays at 4:30 p.m. ET/PT; and popular movie titles like The Peanuts Movie, Kung Fu Panda, Charlotte’s Web, Over the Hedge, Open Season, Despicable Me and Shrek.

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CBC Gem original Detention Adventure Season 2 in production

From a media release:

Production is underway on the second season of CBC Gem original tween action-adventure series DETENTION ADVENTURE (10×11) from LoCo Motion Pictures and Broken Compass Films.  Filming in the Greater Toronto Area will continue until mid-February. Upon its initial launch in spring 2019, DETENTION ADVENTURE was CBC’s first-ever original kids scripted series for CBC Gem.  Season 2 is once again directed by showrunner Joe Kicak, and will be available to stream on-demand via CBC Gem later in 2020.

In Season 2, the DETENTION ADVENTURE crew – Raign (Simone Miller, Snapshots), Joy (Alina Prijono, Odd Squad), Hulk (Jack Fulton, Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments), and Brett (Tomaso Sanelli, Titans) – must join forces once again. This time, their adventure has them searching the historically rich town of Brantford for the lost fortune of its wealthiest former resident, Ignatius Cockshutt.

After a summer of defeat, being unable to make heads or tails of their new treasure map to Cockshutt’s fortune, the gang finds new hope when they meet Kelly (Lilly Bartlam, Paw Patrol), an enthusiastic fellow student with a passion for their town’s history. Unfortunately, their hijinks land them in a new form of detention: helping the head of Brantford’s Historical Society Miss Dumont (Sarah McVie, Workin’ Moms) plan the town’s annual historical re-enactment.

The group must follow clues that lead them through their town’s historic sites, learning more about the mystery of Ignatius Cockshutt and drawing nearer to their prize. However, a shadowy figure follows their every move, circumventing their plans and trying to beat them to their goal. Who is their mysterious adversary, and who will find the treasure first?

A CBC Gem original series, DETENTION ADVENTURE is produced by LoCo Motion Pictures and Broken Compass Films.  Created by Joe Kicak and Carmen Albano, executive producers are Lauren Corber, Joe Kicak and Carmen Albano, with producer Ryan West. The series is directed by Joe Kicak. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Programming; Gave Lindo is Executive Director, OTT Programming; Marie McCann is Senior Director, Children’s Content; and Zach Feldberg, Mélanie Lê Phan and Paige Murray are Executives in Charge of Production.

DETENTION ADVENTURE Season 2 is made with the generous support of the Shaw Rocket Fund, the Canada Media Fund, the Bell Fund, the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada.

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Marblemedia announces re-commission of All-Round Champion

From a media release:

marblemedia is delighted to announce that season two of All-Round Champion, its premium, unscripted kids and family series, has been greenlit and gone into production. This news comes ahead of the season one premieres of All-Round Champion on BYUtv in the US on 19th March and on TVO in Canada on 25th March. The series will also air on Canada’s Knowledge Network this summer.

Hosted by Canadian Olympian and World Champion hurdler, Perdita Felicien, All-Round Champion (11 x 60’) is an inspirational and feel-good challenge series that features ten of North America’s most celebrated young athletes competing in each other’s sports. Rising stars aged 12-15 from sports as diverse as swimming, golf, and gymnastics, test their abilities in a new discipline in every episode and score points based on skill, sportsmanship, and general improvement over the series. Each week, they’ll receive coaching from a major sporting star, such as American gymnast Alicia Sacramone Quin, who’ll help them overcome their fears and provide tips and help with technique. The non-elimination format sees all ten young sporting stars remain until the final episode when scores are added up and one athlete is declared the All-Round Champion.

In season two, also 11 x 60’, the focus has shifted to 10 winter sports, all different activities from season one. Featured celebrity guests include three-time X Games Champion Max Parrot (snowboarding), Olympic gold medal-winner Derek Parra (speed skating) and World Champion Sarah Hendrickson (ski jumping).

marblemedia acquired the format rights for a North American version of All-Round Champion from Beta Film. It was originally created by NRK in Norway, where, as Best I Mest, it was hugely successful, winning a Prix Jeunesse as well as an International Emmy Kids Award for Non-Scripted Entertainment.

All-Round Champion is a marblemedia production for BYUtv, TVOKids and Knowledge Network. Producers are Matt Hornburg, Mark Bishop and Steve Sloan from marblemedia; Michael Dunn, Andra Johnson Duke and Jim Bell from BYUtv, and Marney Malabar from TVO.

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Scott Brothers Entertainment partners with Sinking Ship Entertainment on animated pre-school series Builder Brothers’ Dream Factory

From a media release:

Sinking Ship Entertainment and Scott Brothers Entertainment are pleased to announce a deal to co-develop a new preschool animated series, Builder Brothers’ Dream Factory, based on HGTV stars and New York Times bestselling authors, Drew and Jonathan Scott, or as they are most commonly known, the Property Brothers. The series will be distributed by Sinking Ship Entertainment’s growing distribution arm.

Builder Brothers’ Dream Factory centers around 10-year-old twins, Drew and Jonathan. A pair of regular kids whose extraordinary imagination, creativity, grit and heart – coupled with a big dose of “twin-spiration” – help solve problems in their neighborhood by dreaming big…..really big…sometimes too big! Along with their dog Moose and best friends Mel, Cee-Cee and Aiden, the Builder Brothers navigate the highs and lows of trying to make the world a better place – one big dream at a time.

Though it’s a character-driven comedy series at heart, the series doesn’t shy away from real kids’ issues and what they go through in navigating life’s ups and downs. It encourages kids to share their ideas, dream big, and not to be disheartened. That element of resilience and problem-solving is what sets the show apart.

About Sinking Ship Entertainment Inc.
Sinking Ship Entertainment is an award-winning production, distribution and interactive company specializing in family and kids’ live action and CGI blended content. Since opening its doors in 2004, Sinking Ship has produced over 500 hours of content, and through their globally recognized in-house distribution division, has sold to over 200 countries internationally. In 2019 they set their sights on growth and launched a new animation series division. The company has rapidly earned a global reputation for high quality, ground-breaking original series and companion interactive experiences. Overall, Sinking Ship has won 17 Daytime Emmy® Awards and a variety of other international awards including Canadian Screen Awards, Youth Media Alliance Awards, Fan Chile Awards, Parents Choice Awards, the Shaw Rocket Prize, and the Prix Jeunesse International. In addition to production, Sinking Ship operates a cutting edge VFX and Interactive Studio, creating multi-platform digital experiences and interactive content for audiences around the world. The Toronto-based company is home to over 175 shipmates. www.sinkingship.ca.

About Scott Brothers Entertainment.
Scott Brothers Entertainment (SBE) is a multifaceted production company that strives to develop cutting-edge entertainment by combining years of experience in film, television, and digital media. Winner of the Most Innovative Producer of the Year Award at the 2019 Banff World Media Festival, SBE is the brainchild of co-founders Drew and Jonathan Scott and has evolved from start-up to competitive content creator with a laser-sharp focus on innovation, expansion, and working with like-minded partners. For more information, visit www.sbentertainment.com.

About Drew and Jonathan Scott
Entrepreneurs, authors and twin television personalities, Drew and Jonathan Scott are co-founders of Scott Brothers Global, which includes Scott Brothers Entertainment, the home furnishing company Scott Living, and the design-inspiration e-commerce platform, Casaza. Best known as the hosts of multiple top-rated HGTV series including the Emmy-nominated and Canadian Screen Awards-winning Property Brothers and Brother vs. Brother, among others, Drew and Jonathan’s shows are enjoyed by millions of viewers in over 160 countries. Dream HomeIt Takes Two: Our Story, and their children’s lit series Builder Brothers are all New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers. In 2017, the brothers were named Habitat Humanitarians, the highest recognition offered by Habitat for Humanity. Most recently, they launched a top-rated mobile game, Property Brothers Home Design, and a quarterly lifestyle magazine, Reveal, published by Meredith Corporation. For more information, please visit thescottbrothers.com or follow @MrSilverScott and @MrDrewScott.

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CBC’s preschool Kingdom Force embraces diversity and teamwork

Matt Fernandes has made a career out of connecting with the preschool crowd. Whether it’s the adventures of Dot, a spunky eight-year-old tech whiz, or Top Wing, about four young birds helping their community, his shows captivate and educate.

Now Fernandes has got a new project, Kingdom Force, and has the Avengers franchise to thank for it.

“I was in a toy store, and I saw this boy with his mom and he was begging her for Avengers toys and Transformers toys,” Fernandes says. “It dawned on me, ‘You know what? This boy wants these toys, but I bet you he’s never watched the movies because he’s too young. Those movies are not for him, but the toys were.'” The result? Kingdom Force.

Premiering Saturday at 9 a.m. on CBC, the 26-episode first season follows five animal heroes as they protect the citizens of five unique animal kingdoms. Wolf Luka, ape Dalilah, cat Mittens, polar bear Norvyn and badger TJ are from different communities but must work together to take down baddies, sometimes as a combined robot named Alpha-Mech.

We spoke to Matt Fernandes about Kingdom Force, how it came about and what he wants kids and parents to learn when they tune in.

Where did the idea for Kingdom Force come from in the first place?

Matt Fernandes: I was in a toy store, and I saw this boy with his mom and he was begging her for Avengers toys and Transformers toys. And it dawned on me, ‘You know what? This boy wants these toys, but I bet you he’s never watched the movies and he’s too young. Those movies are not for him, but the toys were.’ I realized that there was a gap where these kids were going from, say, Paw Patrol or Bob the Builder and making this leap all the way to Avengers, which is a steep climb. I felt like there was a space in between and they were missing a hero that had all the sort of same, high stakes and thrills and spills and rough and tumble that was for them.

I’m a huge 80’s fan, so I put in some 80’s nostalgia in some of the shows. The other thing I really wanted to speak about was diversity. In the show, there are five different kingdoms that have their own history, their own culture their own way of doing things, and they’ve all sort of lived separately. Kingdom Force is a hero from each kingdom who have come together to create a hero for all kingdoms. It really is about unity, strength through unity and strength through diversity. This is sort of the main theme of the whole show and something that I wanted to attack. I combined those two needs into Kingdom Force.

Teamwork and diversity are very top of mind right now. It’s really poignant.
MF: Absolutely. Different cultures coming together to work for one goal for the good of everybody. We lean into that and that was something we really wanted to speak about and I think comes through in our show.

It certainly comes through in the first episode, even though they don’t always get along.
MF: That’s right. Not all of them are always going about a problem in the same way, and there is conflict within the team. But ultimately, there is a resolution and they learn how to work together. It’s not like everybody’s all happy-go-lucky all the time and always on the same page. We actually show a bit of that conflict. But in the end there’s this big learn that being together or taking, both of their strengths combined, they’re stronger.

Was it always the idea to have five animal heroes?
MF: It was always five, but the original designs were actually all five cats. We had a lion and a cheetah and a panther and it originally was called Big Cats. Then slowly, over time, as we developed it, we realized it would be stronger to make it, really vastly different animals and really lean into the culture of those animals and it made the diversity just a little more rich.

You’ve made a career out of working in this genre. What are some of the specific challenges that you face that may be a primetime drama doesn’t? Is education a big part of it?
MF: I would say yes, absolutely. Some shows are lean a little bit heavier on curriculum, some don’t, but, that’s something that really important that you’re giving them big sort of life lessons. Moral lessons are really important.

But the other biggest challenge is they’re a brutally honest audience. You need to grab their attention immediately or else you’ve lost them forever. But if you do get their attention, you have a fan forever. They don’t have the patience to sit through five episodes before you get into the plot, you really need to grab them right away. And that’s, it’s such a visceral response for kids.

You mentioned the 80s earlier. What were the shows that made an impact on you when you were growing up?
MF: I mean I was right in the heart of G.I. Joe, the golden era; there was sort of all lots of animé when I was a kid as well. For me that was the religion, right? Saturday morning cartoons, from six in the morning til noon, that was my day. That was my time. That’s probably had a huge influence on why I’m doing the things I’m doing now.

Kingdom Force airs Saturdays at 9 a.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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