NITV has commissioned its first scripted live-action series, Grace Beside Me.
In an Australian first, the series consisting of 13 x 26-minute episodes will be screened on three networks. Grace Beside Me will premiere on NITV, followed by a secondary broadcast on the ABC, and a third release on subscription TV channel Disney Australia.
Adapted from the award-winning novel by Sue McPherson, Grace Beside Me follows Fuzzy Mac, whose life is turned upside down when, at the age of 13, she discovers she can see ghosts and spirits. But all she wants is to fit in and have fun with her mates. It’s hard enough navigating the highs and lows of becoming a teenager while living with your eccentric Nan and Pop without also having to deal with needy ghosts, mischievous totems and cantankerous ancestors.
Tanya Orman, channel manager, NITV, said: “This is another hugely exciting step for NITV and testament to the beauty and depth of our storytelling. Our goal is to create award-winning children’s content that speaks to a new generation, and this is truly unique storytelling from the world’s oldest storytellers for Australian children. The story of Fuzzy Mac is told with warmth, humour and pathos by the best of our Indigenous screenwriters.”
Grace Beside Me is produced by Lois Randall (The Gods of Wheat Street, Nan and a Whole Lot of Trouble) and Dena Curtis (8 MMM Aboriginal Radio, Nan and a Whole Lot of Trouble) with direction by Beck Cole (Black Comedy, Redfern Now, The Warriors) and Adrian Russell Wills (Wentworth, Redfern Now, The Warriors).
Writers include Danielle MacLean (Little J and Big Cuz, Double Trouble, Blown Away), Jon Bell (The Gods of Wheat Street, Cleverman), Sue McPherson (Grace Beside Me, Nan and a Whole Lot of Trouble), Briar Grace-Smith (Being Eve, Kaitangata Twitch), Adrian Russell Wills (Redfern Now, Ready for This), Tristan Savage (Gubbament Man, Un-Australian) and Erica Glynn (Little J and Big Cuz).
Grace Beside Me is a Magpie Pictures production, developed with the assistance of NITV, the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department, Screen Qld, the ABC and Screen NSW.
The series is currently in pre-production and will commence filming in early 2017.