Streaming giant Netflix has announced that it will launch seven new children’s series beginning December 2015 through 2017.
The first of these programs is Glitter Force, which will premiere it’s twenty episode first season on December 18, 2015 in all territories except Asia. In a press release announcing the programmes Netflix described the series plotline: “When the magical kingdom of Jubiland is invaded by an evil emperor and his band of fairytale villains, a tiny pixie named Candy recruits five preteen girls to form the powerful team of the Glitter Force to help defend Earth from becoming the next target. These fabulous friends transform from ordinary school girls into super powered cool girls. Defending the Earth from fairytale villains isn’t an easy job, but the Glitter Force proves that nothing is more powerful than friendship.”
Following soon after is Dawn of the Croods on December 24, 2015 in all territories except Germany and Japan. Based on the Academy Award nominated 2013 film The Croods, the show will follow returning characters Eep, Grug, Thunk, Ugga, Sandy and Gran who “are back and funnier than ever in this all–new family sitcom. Follow everyone’s favorite family as they meet new friends, outrun new creatures and encounter ‘firsts’ the world has never seen – such as school, slumber parties, hiccups and elections. The Croods are discovering them all.” The series joins All Hail King Julien! (based on Madagascar), The Adventures of Puss in Boots (based on the Shrek franchise and it’s Puss in Boots spin off), DreamWorks Dragons (based on How to Train Your Dragon) and the upcoming The Mr Peabody and Sherman Show (based on Mr Peabody and Sherman, and premiering this coming Thursday) as the fifth Netflix exclusive series based on DreamWorks animated films.
Lost & Found Music Studios will launch with 26 episodes in the first calendar quarter (January – March) of 2016 in all territories except Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland. Produced by Temple Street Productions, the show “is a series about a group of talented teenage musicians who struggle to find their authentic sound and place in the world as they hone their craft at a prestigious music studio. In each episode, young artists navigate the ups and downs of the music industry, as they find their way to love, inspiration, and redemption. After all, the next hit song could be just one heartbreak away.”
Also in the first calendar quarter of 2016 is LEGO Bionicle: The Journey to One which is produced by The LEGO Group and is “based on its popular LEGO Bionicle franchise and line of buildable action figures. The new storyline takes place on the mythical island of Okoto, where the forces of darkness are on the move and the evil Makuta is working to cast the world into darkness. The desperate island inhabitants enlist six heroes – called the Toa – to help save their beloved island. Only when the heroes are united, will they be able to battle the forces of evil, defeat Makuta and save Okoto.” It’s four episode debut season will launch without territorial restrictions.
LEGO Group is LEGO Friends: The Power of Friendship, which will feature “characters from the popular LEGO Friends line of construction toys. This series will follow the adventures of five best friends – Stephanie, Emma, Olivia, Mia and Andrea – around their hometown Heartlake City. From summer camp to the basketball court, saving their webcast or helping take care of a friend, the zany antics, adventures and missteps are made all the better by having their best friends by their side.” The four episode first season will not have any territorial restriction when it launches in the second calendar quarter of 2016 (April – June).
Buddy Thunderstruck, meanwhile, will release sometime in 2017 with a 12 episode first season. The programme “is an action-comedy, stop-motion extravaganza that follows the adventures of a semi-truck racing dog named Buddy and his albino ferret mechanic. It all goes down in race-obsessed Greasepit, a place chock full of larger-than-life characters and nitro-burning, gear-slamming, tire-squealing, fish-tailing good times.” The series will not have any territorial restrictions when it launches.
Finally, Las Leyendas (The Legends) will premiere it’s first thirteen episode season worldwide in 2017. It marks the first time a Netflix series will be produced in Latin America and it is based on a trilogy of children’s films produced by Anima Studios: La Leyenda de la Nahuala (The Legend of Nahuala), La Leyenda de la Llorona (The Legend of La Llorona) and La Leyenda de las Momias (The Legend of the Mummies). Taking place in the 19th century, the series “centers on Leo San Juan, a reluctant but heroic teen boy with the ability to communicate with ghosts and monsters. One day, Leo’s hometown vanishes into another dimension, prompting Leo to join forces with a phantasmagorical group of misfits in order to defeat Quetzalcoatl, an inter–dimensional entity who has sought to conquer the universe for centuries. Leo and his fantastical friends travel on a magic ship across time to the most famous and mystical places on Earth to fight off the evil forces that threaten the welfare of all.”
Netflix also announced a premiere date for the third and final season of Hemlock Grove. Produced by Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, The Green Inferno) the horror series will conclude it’s run with ten episodes on Friday, October 23, 2015. All episodes will be available at 12:01 am. According to a press release announcing the date, the series will come “to a riveting and deliciously disturbing conclusion. As the town’s grim secrets continue to unravel at an alarming pace, Olivia (Famke Janssen), Roman (Bill Skarsgard), Peter (Landon Liboiron) and Shelley (Madeleine Martin) are introduced to mysterious new people while facing dangerous and unexpected obstacles. As enemies both foreign and familial close in, Peter and Roman learn that in order to prevent the ‘end of days,’ they will both need to sacrifice their humanity and release their true inner monsters.”
The series, based on the 2012 Brian McGreevey novel of the same name, premiered back in 2013 as part of Netflix’s big push to get into original programming along with House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and the revival of the cult hit comedy Arrested Development. Hemlock Grove achieved nowhere near the same level of public mindshare and critical acclaim as it’s brethren however, earning scathing reviews and very little buzz. It’s worth noting what Hemlock Grove indicates for other Netflix programming. It’s the first major Netflix original series to end since the streaming giant committed to original programming and while Netflix doesn’t announce viewer numbers it’s probably one of the more unsuccessful. The fact that Netflix gave the programme a final season rather than cancel it outright seems to indicate that the company is willing to give it’s shows endings even if they want them gone. It’s a welcome change from the more cutthroat nature of broadcast television and, to a lesser extent, cable, but Netflix has more invested than other networks. People are far more likely to watch an old show with an ending than one that just stops and so giving Hemlock Grove a final season it ensures that it remains a potential money maker indefinitely.