Japanese pubcaster NHK, Discovery Kids Latin America and GMA come on board UK children’s live-action show The Worst Witch.
Barcelona-Mainz – July 6, 2019
NHK has licensed seasons 1 and 2 (1×58’ + 24×28’) of the stunning live action series for children The Worst Witch for its educational E-Tele Channel. NHK will produce the Japanese version of these finished episodes with a cast of well-known actors in Japan who are particularly popular with young audiences.
In separate agreements, Discovery Kids Latin America acquired the Pay TV rights of the first season (1×58’ +11×28’) for its Spanish and Portuguese feeds in the region, and GMA acquired the Free to Air rights of the first season for the Philippines.
The series The Worst Witch is based on the hugely popular children’s fictional works by Jill Murphy. It was produced by CBBC Productions in collaboration with ZDF, ZDF Enterprises and Netflix as an extravagant fusion of real life and CGI. This latest adaption of the British children’s classic already consists of 39 × 28′ episodes with the third season being in production.
The central character in The Worst Witch is ten-year-old Mildred Hubble, an ordinary girl who discovers she has the abilities of a witch. Despite her best intentions, she blunders from one disaster to the next because of her defining feature – clumsiness. Mildred is by far the worst student at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches, but still she never gives up. Thanks to her friends and to her cat, Tabby, she never loses her sense of humour and usually manages to resolve even the most hopeless of situations. The tumultuous exploits of the budding witch humorously exemplify the principle that “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again”.
Filming took place largely in the UK, although key exterior scenes of Miss Cackle’s Witches’ Academy were shot at Hohenzollern Castle in Germany. Prior to NHK, The Worst Witch was already acquired amongst others by Discovery Kids (Latin America), HRT, GMA (Philippines) and exploited widely for Home Entertainment in Germany (Universum Film, Amazon, Google Play, Maxdome, Itunes).
Christophe Goldberger, Managing Director at GoldBee: “Writer Emma Reeves has carved something modern and sophisticated out of Murphy’s classic work, reworking the story’s timeless fish-out-of-water conceit for a young audience growing up in a tumultuous age”.
Peter Lang, VP ZDFE.junior at ZDF Enterprises: “As the number one distributor of childrens’ live action programs, we are delighted to see this series enchant Japanese children in the very near future.”