DHX Media and King Bert Productions (Sick Note, The Midnight Gang, The Queen and I) announced its new live-action series, Malory Towers, has been greenlit by CBBC, the BBC’s channel for children aged 6-12, and DHX Television’s Family Channel.
Malory Towers is based on the book series of the same name by Enid Blyton. The series (13 x 30’) follows 12-year-old Darrell Rivers as she leaves home for the first time to attend an all-girls’ boarding school. Set in the 1940s on the cliffs of the Cornish coast, Malory Towers explores the nostalgic world of midnight feasts, lacrosse, pranks, and lasting friendships. For a contemporary audience, the show aims to be both aspirational and inspirational, telling the story of universal experiences include shifting cliques, FOMO, bullying, crushes, peer pressure, and self-doubt. The girls keep an eye on each other, connected by their shared experiences.
Production on Malory Towers begins this month in Toronto, and will shift to the UK in September. The series is expected to premiere in 2020.
“Malory Towers set the template for popular British boarding school stories and we’re delighted to bring this classic title to CBBC,” said Cheryl Taylor, head of content for BBC Children’s. “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, added, “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.”
An official Canada-UK treaty co-production, Malory Towers is adapted for television by Rachel Flowerday and Sasha Hails. Executive producers for DHX Media are Josh Scherba, Anne Loi and Michael Goldsmith, with Jo Sargent serving as executive producer for King Bert Productions. The series is produced by King Bert’s Grainne McNamara and DHX Media’s Angela Boudreault and will be directed by Rebecca Rycroft (Evermore Chronicles, So Awkward) and Bruce McDonald (Creeped Out, Heartland, Dark Matter).
DHX Media’s Goldsmith said the company is thrilled to add Malory Towers to its 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, he said. “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.”
DHX Media serves as international distributor for Malory Towers outside of the UK. Malory Towers was commissioned by BBC Children’s Head of Content Cheryl Taylor, and will be executive produced for the BBC by Amy Buscombe. The rights were acquired from Karen Lawler at Hachette Children’s Group, owners of Enid Blyton Entertainment and publisher of Malory Towers.