Malory Towers, a new live-action series from King Bert Productions and DHX Media, has been greenlit by the BBC’s CBBC channel in the U.K. and DHX Television’s Family Channel in Canada.
Based on the book series of the same name by Enid Blyton, Malory Towers is set in the 1940s on the Cornish coast and follows 12-year-old Darrell Rivers as she leaves home for the first time to attend an all-girls’ boarding school. The series, which will be directed by Rebecca Rycroft (Evermore Chronicles) and Bruce McDonald (Creeped Out), is slated to premiere on CBBC and Family Channel in 2020.
Cheryl Taylor, head of content for BBC Children’s, said: “Malory Towers set the template for popular British boarding school stories and we’re delighted to bring this classic title to CBBC. Darrell Rivers is a truly iconic character—sparky, independent and a fierce warrior against injustice. She shone a bright light on the potential of all girls at a time when expectations were very limited. The books have inspired generations of young readers and we can’t wait for our audience to meet Darrell and her friends.”
Jo Sargent, executive producer at King Bert, commented: “It has been a pleasure working with Enid Blyton Entertainment over the past 12 months and King Bert is now delighted to be on board with DHX Media in order to bring this classic series to life. Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers universe is the perfect project for King Bert and the perfect show for today with such empowering female leads at the helm. Malory Towers is an adored series and we cannot wait for a new generation of audience to be equally inspired by its charms.”
Michael Goldsmith, executive producer at DHX Media, added: “We’re thrilled to add Malory Towers to our strong slate of live-action shows for kids and families. The enduring popularity of Enid Blyton’s novels illustrates that her stories are as relevant today as the day they were written. David Walliams’ team at King Bert Productions have done such wonderful work with children’s shows and period pieces that we can’t think of better collaborators to bring these novels to life on screen. With CBBC and Family Channel on board, we’re confident young viewers and families are going to love Malory Towers.”
In addition to Malory Towers, CBBC has also recently commissioned the new Three Arrows Media-produced Andy and the Band series. Further, CBBC has ordered more of The Dengineers from BBC Children’s In-house Productions that is returning with new spin-off episodes of The GarDengineers, in which green-fingered experts help children create special places in their gardens, and two more seasons of The Dumping Ground.
The new scripted live-action series Number One Newton Avenue and Andy’s Aquatic Adventures from BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit and the animated series Hushabye Lullabye are set for CBeebies, the BBC’s channel for younger children. New seasons of Justin’s House, Maddie’s Do You Know? and the preschool drama Molly and Mack also have been ordered.
Taylor said: “Malory Towers remains hugely popular with fans of all ages and we’re delighted to welcome mischievous Darrell Rivers and her pals to CBBC. We also feel privileged and proud to have such strong returners in the shape of Molly and Mack, The Dumping Ground and The Dengineers, as the quality of these series is exceptional. Several notable new formats including Let’s Go for a Walk, Number One Newton Avenue and Andy and the Band will ensure CBBC and CBeebies remain on sparkling form.”