Mediacorp has unveiled the 2018 programming lineup for okto, which will feature Upside Down, its first original local sitcom for children.
Upside Down is scheduled to debut on January 10, 2018. The 24-episode comedy series features Singapore-style humor, and the story centers on a single parent named Antoine, his vain 60-year-old mother and his spunky 11-year-old daughter. Together they run an ice cream parlor that doubles up as a second home to a group of lovable children who are misfits in society.
The show will air every Wednesday and Thursday on okto at 6:30 p.m. Upside Down will also have webisodes of 3 to 5 minutes, specially created for Toggle. These online clips will be repurposed for social media platforms.
The local content pipeline also includes 12 new titles that have been given the green light under Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)’s PSB Contestable Funds Scheme (PCFS). The five info-tainment titles, four dramas and three short series will air on okto over the next two years starting in March 2018. They will provide more than 60 hours of original local children’s content for the channel.
Michelle Chang, lead for the English audience at Mediacorp, said, “One of Mediacorp’s key priorities is to encourage active learning and lifestyle in young people through content that is made available everywhere; on okto, on Toggle and through on-ground events such as the upcoming okto Kids Fiesta in January 2018, where families can come and experience their favorite okto cast, characters and sets.
“okto was repositioned as a dedicated channel for children and premium sports content in April 2017. From then to September 2017, viewership on okto saw a year-on-year increase of 12 percent. We’ve also received encouraging feedback to the channel’s main objective to promote an active lifestyle and learning among Singaporeans.”
Dorothy Lai, the director of public service media and assessment at IMDA, commented, “IMDA is happy to support Mediacorp to produce more children’s programs on okto that reflect Singapore’s culture and values, and resonate with our younger viewers. These stories will also be made available online through Toggle to better reach out to the younger generation, to keep them engaged as well as promote interest and learning.”