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YouTube Originals Announces Expansion of Kids’ Series Slate

YouTube announced earlier today an expansion of their slate of Kids & Family offerings through to 2023 — with collaborators like popular YouTuber Joe Sugg and the Headspace meditation app. (Talk about an eclectic collection.) Describing the new additions as “diverse” and “global,” YouTube says the projects form part of their “previously announced $100 million commitment to invest in the future of quality kids, family, and educational programming”.

A bulletin from YouTube reads:

“Building on the tremendous success of the slate from the Kids Fund with approximately 330M lifetime views – garnering 18 esteemed awards and nominations (winning a Prix Jeunesse, Webby Award, Content Innovation Award and an Emmy and NAACP Image Award nomination) – and presenting one-third of its total content in multiple languages, YouTube Kids & Family has made a global impact with its Originals and looks to meet this year with even more production of quality kids programming.”

Premiering May 13 is Corpse Talk, an animated series based on the graphic novel of the same name. Sugg voices Adam, a history buff and talk show host who every episode is visited by a famous, deceased, figure from history including Mozart, Ching Shih, Cleopatra, Josephine Baker, Ibn Al-Haytham. According to the synopsis he will “dig up the dirt on some of the most famous, infamous and incredible figures in history, unearthing the unknown and surprising stories from these amazing characters.”

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The Guava Juice Show is set to premiere on June 4, and will follow 14-year old Roi (Roi Fabito), his best friend Jenny (Bethany Brown) and talking guava fruit named Guava (Adrian Petriw) travelling to parallel worlds and dimensions via a multiverse-hopping magical bathtub. On June 17, the Lupita Nyong’o produced series Super Sema will premiere its second season, which follows the young titular superhero “as she uses her technovation skills to change the world and help protect her town of Dunia from the villainous robot Tobor.” On July 15, competition series The Big Tiny Food Face-Off will feature young chefs competing to make very real, very tiny dishes in hopes of taking home a tiny trophy.

There will also be a host of new programs for the preschool age crowd, including Buster’s BIG Halloween, a Halloween special featuring characters from the beloved series Go Buster on an adventure to find the missing town pumpkin. The Eggventurers, an innovative engineering series aimed at a young demographic, will see egg characters building Rube Goldberg machines as a way to solve problems. Jam Van is a musical series hosted by best friends Lamb and Anne the Alligator traveling the country and visiting famous musicians and celebrities. Finally, Tab Time will see actress Tabitha Brown teaching children “how to live their best life.”

YouTube has expanded their offerings out into 2023 and beyond. Next year will see the arrival of a partnership between Lily Singh and the medidation app Headspace for Mindful Adventures of Unicorn Island. The synopsis reads:

In each episode, young Lilly is transported to Unicorn Island, a colorful wonderland where life’s struggles manifest in fantastical ways. With the help of her imaginary friends, Lilly learns new mindfulness activities to overcome her troubles and brings those skills back to the real world to deal with her real problems. The school-age series is produced by Headspace’s multi-platform production studio, Headspace Studios and Unicorn Island Productions.

Further out and in development are The Magic Cookbook, a school-age cooking show that blends fantasy and reality. The synopsis reads:

From executive producer Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Leonardis, and from Nobody’s Hero and ITV America, “The Magic Cookbook” is a high-concept, hybrid school-age cooking show that blends fantasy and real-life elements for an all-encompassing experience. Through the thousands of recipes that exist across the world, there is ONE cookbook that contains EVERY recipe. This special cookbook will transport its reader to any restaurant in the world at any moment in time. In each episode, we meet a young aspiring chef who wants to create a truly incredible meal for a particular person or event. As our young gastronome seeks the perfect recipe, they arrive at the bookstore where the Owner (Whoopi Goldberg) allows them to search the Magic Cookbook and then travel across time and space to learn more about the dish and its recipe, culture, and history, before returning to prepare the actual meal in the real world.

Also in development is The Ann Ziety Show, an animated comedy. Read the synopsis below:

Created by GraveRobber Productions, “The Ann Ziety Show” is an animated comedy series for school-aged kids and tweens that follows the soap opera adventures of preteen Rachel (Grammy Award-nominated singer/songwriter Julia Michaels) and her imaginary frenemy Ann Ziety (Golden Globe Award-winning actress Gina Rodriguez) using humor and empathy to destigmatize the conversation around mental health. Each episode explores how kids deal with anxiety and presents specific coping skills, like imagining your safe space, accessing your inner wisdom, opposite action, and remote control.

Additionally, the YouTube-first Bob the Train Preschool franchise will be returning, as Bob “navigates the challenges, fun and excitement of Toot Town through songs and lessons on perseverance, self-help, and friendship.” Meanwhile Maddie’s Urban Jungles will provide school-age children with an urban wildlife discovery series from zoologist Claudia Zenkert and filmmaker Brady Valashinas.

Each of these series is available on their respective YouTube channels. Check out a reel of the shows here:


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