Mercado on TV: Fantastic series First Day and MaveriX for kids, Oscars for adults


Emmy-winning First Day from Epic Films and Kojo Entertainment launches a second season

Many kids around the world first learn about Australia through TV shows, from Skippy to Bluey. However, kids TV is now left to the public broadcaster, who is making fantastic series like First Day (Thursday on ABC ME from Epic Films and Kojo Entertainment) and MaveriX (Friday on ABC ME from Brindle Films) for very different audiences.

MaveriX is a new action-packed series about a group of teenage dirt bike riders. Filmed at Alice Springs, it’s inspired by creator Rachel Clements, whose young son switched from a winning BMX career to the more dangerous sport of motor cross.

Alongside adult actors like Rohan Nichol, Jane Barber, and Luke Carroll, the up-and-coming younger cast includes Darcy Tadich, Tatiana Goode, Sebastian Tang and Tjiirdm McGuire. MaveriX screams authenticity and the outback location gives it a unique look.

While MaveriX runs for 10 episodes, First Day only gets four for its new season, meaning there are just eight episodes all up. Hannah (Evie MacDonald) is starting a new school year and hoping her classmates have moved on from her being the “transkid” but she’s kidding herself and has to navigate a different path.

AMC ME’s First Day
Top: ABC ME’s MaveriX

First Day has been sold to multiple international broadcasters, particularly CBBC and Hulu, and amongst its many awards, there’s an International Emmy and a Rose D’or. It deserves every accolade it gets, and along with MaveriX, it shows that Aussie kids are cool with diversity and inclusion. Wonderful.

Without any more federal quotas for kids TV, networks have totally abandoned the genre. Movies once reserved for the weekend, like Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Thursday on Seven), are now screening on school nights, because the network wants older eyeballs.

Reunion special Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return To Hogwarts (Binge) reminds us that the kids who first saw it in cinemas are now all grown up. Harry Potter is now perfect fare for that key advertising demographic every TV network still wants to have.

To be fair, kids don’t watch TV anymore, and they will probably binge MaveriX and First Day on iview. If the kids have gone, and the traditional TV audience keeps getting older, why aren’t they being catered for more?


The one question I keep getting asked is why TV and streaming services are not showing more classic films. Apart from 9GEM and Fox Classics, who have a limited library that is being repeated endlessly, there is a yearning for more nostalgia. Maybe we might get a black and white flashback during the Academy Awards (Monday on Seven).

Read other Mercado on TV columns here.

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