YouTube Originals announces global slate of programming as part of YouTube Kids and Families' $100 million commitment to new content
YouTube Originals today announced the premiere of a new animated series, “Super Sema,” the pick-ups of eight new shows including “Book Tube Jr.,” “The Eggventurers,” “The Guava Juice Show,” “Kid Correspondent,” “Lottie Dottie Mini,” “Millie and Lou,” “Supa Strikas: Rookie Season,” and “The Workout Badges,” plus 25 projects in development. This new global slate is part of the previously announced $100 million commitment to invest in the future of quality kids, family and educational programming.
Reflected in this new line-up, YouTube Originals Kids & Family has developed content goals in collaboration with experts across the globe in areas related to child safety, child development, and digital literacy — focused on producing shows that inspire kids’ learning and discovery of their unique strengths and passions while finding their own voice.
“Super Sema” is an animated series created by Kukua, and the first show of the new slate to launch — premiering March 8, on International Women’s Day. The African series, produced by a female-led team, features a young superhero girl named Sema and follows her world-changing adventures. Fueled by STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math), and set in an African-futuristic world, Sema, along with her brother MB, uses her “technovating” powers to save her village from the villainous Tobor and his army of mischievous Bongalala robots. A heartless artificially intelligent ruler, Tobor meets his match in Sema, who knows that with determination, creativity, and a helping hand from the amazing worlds of science and technology, anything is possible. “Super Sema” was written by four-time BAFTA winner Claudia Lloyd (“Charlie & Lola,” “Mr. Bean,” “Tinga Tinga Tales”) and directed by Lynne Southerland, the first female African-American director for Disney (“Mulan II”). The series will be available on the Super Sema YouTube channel, which has had its WatchTime hours increase by more than 40% year-over-year in 2020 vs. 2019.
Additionally picked up are eight new series set to roll out later this year and 25 projects in development. Details of YouTube Originals Kids and Family new content are as follows:
IN PRODUCTION (PREMIERING Q3/Q4):
Building on the success of “BookTube,” where viewers saw the world’s biggest authors (Michelle Obama, Malcolm Gladwell, Margaret Atwood) come together to discuss their books, “BookTube Jr.” will have the biggest children’s book authors who will talk about their books and their process. They will hear real kids' questions about their books and inspire them to continue their exploration of the author off screen. “BookTube Jr.” will launch on the YouTube Kids app.
From the producers of the popular GoldieBlox YouTube Channel, this new preschool animated series brings an eggs-citing machine building format featuring a zany cast of thrill-seeking egg characters. A wacky crew of eggventurers will jump into grand engineering adventures, building spectacular Rube Goldberg machines to help them overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. This dialogue-minimal show can be enjoyed by young viewers globally. “The Eggventurers” is produced by GoldieBlox, the media and entertainment company using storytelling to make STEM fun and empower young girls.
The Guava Juice Show
Imagine if YouTube superstar Guava Juice’s Roi Fabito was a cartoon character and he could do all the amazing things he wants and project his positive energy... times a million! In this animated series, Roi is 14 years old and he works with fellow teenager, Jenny, and a neurotic talking Guava at a curio shop where a magical bathtub transports them to parallel dimensions full of danger and fun. Using his signature enthusiasm, Roi helps everyone find something way more meaningful than the thing they were actually looking for. “The Guava Juice Show” is produced by Studio71 and Mainframe Studios.
From SoulPancake and the team behind the beloved Kid President brand, this school-age series centers around the next generation of kid journalists dedicated to making the world a better place and helping other kids develop the necessary skills to one day become more informed and involved grown-ups. The show follows up on a four-part election-themed special which premiered in October 2020 and explored topics like making tough decisions and working through disagreements in the broader context of the democratic process and November elections with guest appearances from "celebrity grown-ups" like Robin Roberts, Mandy Moore and Kristen Bell.
Lottie Dottie MiniThis preschool scripted learning series based on the wildly popular Brazilian kids’ channel “Galinha Pintadinha Mini” (Lottie Dottie Chicken Mini in English), follows the beloved chicken and a colorful collection of friends, while they navigate life lessons, learn fun activities, and enjoy beloved kids’ songs together. The series will be released in English, Portuguese and Spanish. “Lottie Dottie Mini” is from Bromelia Productions.
Millie and LouDeep in the forest lives Millie, a friendly, fearless young girl and her best friend Lou, a clever cautious little cat. Millie and Lou share the forest with exciting creatures, the Forest Folk, all based on mythical folklore. Together, these BFFs are on a magical mission to meet every single one. This enchanting preschool animated series delights in the magic of making new friends and finding common ground, no matter who you are or where you come from. “Millie and Lou” is directed by award-winning Evgenia Golubeva and produced by the BAFTA Award-winning Blue Zoo Animation Studio.
Supa Strikas: Rookie SeasonGo back in time with Shakes to find out how he made the world’s greatest soccer team, the Supa Strikas! This school-age prequel animated series will uncover some earth-shattering revelations for fans of the popular show and the pan-African team, including the mystery of Shakes’ missing father and how his biggest on-field nemesis was once his best friend. “Supa Strikas: Rookie Season” is produced by Moonbug Entertainment, the global entertainment company behind popular YouTube channels like Moonbug Kids and Little Baby Bum.
The Workout BadgesThe new series coming out of the UK teams up Hey Duggee with Joe Wicks of popular The Body Coach TV YouTube channel, whose at-home kids workout series have become a favorite for millions of families in lockdown. Together, Joe and Hey Duggee encourage their young audience to join them in different exercise routines. Each instructional video is guided by Joe and a group of school kids that “interact” with Hey Duggee animation. The show will feature animation of Hey Duggee characters responding to, and copying the exercise moves. The preschool series is a mix of live-action and animation, and is produced by BBC Studios.
FEATURED PROJECTS IN DEVELOPMENT (of the 25):
From the Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award-winning team of Believe Entertainment Group (“Dear Basketball”) and composer/producer Bill Sherman (“Hamilton,” “In the Heights,” “Sesame Street”) comes a road-tripping, original music series for kids and families. Each episode, hosted by best friends Lamb and Anne the Alligator, travels to a new location around the country, straight to the homes and cities of some of your favorite musicians, culminating in a new music video with positive messages and lessons.
A lethally entertaining, animated, comedy-led chat show, hosted by history-loving Adam, who is very much alive, although his famous guests are not! Based around the format of a late-night talk show, Adam will dig the dirt on some of the most famous, infamous and incredible figures in history, unearthing the unknown and surprising stories from these amazing characters. The diverse lineup of guests include Dr. James Barry, Amelia Earhart, Ching Shih, Cleopatra, Frida Kahlo and many more. This school-age series is produced by Tiger Aspect.
For the first time, some of YouTube’s recent kids & family Originals will also be available in additional languages in 2021. The scripted quarantine mystery series “Lockdown” — which was produced by Canada’s Sinking Ship Entertainment and received multiple accolades including the Prix Jeunesse International Award and a Content Innovation Award — will launch Spanish-dubbed versions of its 16 episodes. From SmartStudy, YouTube Originals’ first Korean animated title “Pinkfong Wonderstar,” will also roll out several new language versions throughout the year to join its previously released English and Korean editions, which have together captured more than 30 million views since launching in December 2020.
Also coming in 2021 is the previously announced “Onyx Family Dinner,” which is produced by pocket.watch in association with Shine Global and gathers the stars of the well known Onyx Family YouTube channel together for open discussions about what’s going on in the world over dinner, with weekly guests joining to broaden the conversation.