Watch out, Netflix, there’s a new kid on the Internet TV block: CBBC, who are launching its first ever online TV show, Dixi, in February.
Tackling issues of intrigue and deception in a fictitious social network, Dixi will be available exclusively across mobile, tablet and desktop platforms from Wednesday 24th February, with 30 webisodes scheduled across three weeks.
The channel’s first ever online comedy drama, the webisodes will be available in the form of daily vlogs which will be uploaded Monday to Friday, before and after school.
The show will be shot in a first-person “self style” and follows teenager Shari, who spends her life on Dixi – chatting, sharing pictures and posting videos. But one day, her page is defaced and her password is changed, prompting her to find out who hacked her social network profile.
It’s a bold move from CBBC, which tackles topical issues relevant to its audience, now surrounded by digital technology, online alter-egos and cyber bullying, while also engaging them away from the living room – a sign that on-the-go and on-demand habits are transitioning across from adults to younger viewers.
Patrick Healy, Head of Product for BBC Children’s, comments: “We know children’s media habits are changing and we must innovate to reach audiences whenever and wherever they are. By the new approach to release content across the day, Dixi is a great example of how rich online content can work across multiple platforms and at the same time help children and parents engage with important issues and continue their learning online.”
Alongside the exclusive webisodes, there will be interactive web chats and other content to both inform and engage viewers. CBBC and Kindle Entertainment have also created a mock version of the social network Dixi, which will be available from the CBBC website, and features the profiles from the characters that see them posting messages to and from one another.
Cheryl Taylor, Controller of CBBC, says: “It’s important to raise awareness about safety online and Dixi does this in an engaging, educational and entertaining way. To kick off, we’re releasing the Dixi website and a song to coincide with Safer Internet Day on 11 February. Titled IRL, the song highlights that everything you do online can have consequences in ‘real life’, a message that is central to the show.”
Melanie Stokes, Executive Producer for Kindle Entertainment, adds: “Most of the CBBC audience will be about to take the plunge into that very exciting and unchartered world of social media for the first time. With Dixi we want to really use the vernacular of those sites to dramatise the highs and lows that come with living life online.”