Screen Australia committed $7.9 million in production investment to children’s content in 2018/19:
· $6.9 million for seven children’s TV programs with a total production value of $33.2 million
· $1 million for two children’s feature films with a total production value of $6 million.
The story of Bluey
Ludo Studio co-founders Charlie Aspinwall and Daley Pearson were immediately excited when Joe Brumm first showed them a one-minute pilot for a new children’s animation. Titled Bluey, it was about a loveable six-year-old Australian cattle dog whose vivid imagination takes her family and neighbourhood into a world of fun and games.
In May 2017, it received Children’s TV Drama Production Investment and launched on ABC KIDS in October 2018. Created by Brumm and produced by Emmy® Award-winning Ludo Studio for ABC KIDS, it was co-commissioned by ABC Children’s and BBC Studios.
It quickly became a nationwide hit and the most streamed show in ABC iview history with upwards of 100 million program plays. 1
In May 2019, a second season was announced by the ABC, with principal production investment from BBC Studios, in association with Screen Australia and Screen Queensland. A series of books and toys are also expected in late 2019, testament to the huge demand for everything Bluey.
Sally Caplan, Screen Australia’s Head of Content, said at the time that Bluey was a “phenomenon”.
“It’s been a long time since a local children’s show has made such an impact. The incredible success of series one is a testament to Ludo Studio’s ability to create uniquely Australian content with universal appeal that resonates with children and their parents.”
That universal appeal became particularly apparent when a month later, in June 2019, it was announced that Disney had brokered a deal with BBC Studios for the global rights to the first two seasons of Bluey for Disney Junior and the new Disney+ streaming service.
And it’s all produced out of and set in Brisbane – a clear case of taking Australian stories to the world.
DID YOU KNOW?
Other kids’ titles that went into production in 2018/19 include Little J & Big Cuz series 2, 100% Wolf, The Unlisted, Mustangs FC series 2, The InBESTigators and Itch.