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Netflix adds older-kid originals

Streaming service Netflix has commissioned seven series for older-skewed series, taking its overall children’s TV tally to 35 originals.

The shows are Lego Bionicle: The Journey of One, Lego Friends: The Power of Friendship, Buddy Thunderstruck, Las Leyendas, Dawn of the Croods, Glitter Force and Lost & Found Music Studios.

The Lego series are based on Lego toy lines and will debut in the first and second quarters of next year as four episode seasons, while Buddy Thunderstruck comes from Robot Chicken firm Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, and is an action-adventure series about a semi-truck racing dog and his albino ferret mechanic. A 12-episode season debuts in 2017.

Also interesting is Las Leyendas, which represents the first time Netflix has commissioned an animated original series from Mexico. Local animation studio Anima Estudios is producing the show, which debuts in 2017 as a 13-episode season and is based on a successful trilogy of children’s books about a reluctant hero boy who fights an inter-dimensional threat with a group of misfit friends.

Dawn of the Croods is based on the Croods feature film franchise, and will debut in all Netflix territories except Germany and Japan on December 24 of this year. Glitter Force debuts the previous week, following a tiny pixie and her team of preteen girls who fight an evil emperor, who has invaded their land. It comes from Saban Brands and will run 20 episodes, with a worldwide debut, except Asia, planned.

Finally, Temple Street Productions from Canada is producing Lost & Found Music Studios, in which a group of talented teenage musicians try to find a place in the world at a prestigious music studio. A 26x30mins show debuts in Q1 2016 in all territories outside Canada (where it runs on Family Channel), the UK and Ireland.

“Roughly half of our 65 million members around the world regularly watch kids content and with the addition of these seven diverse original series we are continuing our strong investment in kids programming,” said Andy Yeatman, director of global kids content for Netflix. “We know kids love Netflix and that’s in part because they never really outgrow us. We program and recommend new TV shows and movies from preschool through their teen years and into adulthood.”