Netflix snaps up rights to The Worst Witch as tweens take centre stage
James R | On 01, Sep 2016
Netflix has snapped up the rights to CBBC’s reboot of The Worst Witch, as the streaming giant sets its sights on tween viewers.
Magical mayhem will meet routine school life in the new series based on the books by Jill Murphy. The show follows the ever-clumsy Mildred Hubble and her adventures as a student at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches. Complete with broomsticks, potions and spells, The Worst Witch stars Bella Ramsey (Game of Thrones) as Mildred, Clare Higgins (Doctor Who) as Miss Cackle and Raquel Cassidy (Downton Abbey) as Deputy Head, Miss Hardbroom.
Amanda Holden will also guest star as Miss Pentangle (pictured above). Miss Pentangle is the headmistress of Miss Pentangle’s Academy of Witches who visits Cackle’s Academy for a spelling bee competition.
The 12-episode series will be brought to life by Oscar-winning visual effects company Milk (Ex Machina) and is produced by CBBC Productions in collaboration with ZDF, ZDF Enterprises and Netflix. The series will be available to Netflix members around the globe in 2017, and in the UK and Germany after its premiere on ZDF and CBBC.
The acquisition is the first of two new live-action titles in Netflix’s growing fast library of original series for older kids. The second is the untitled Horse Mystery project.
Set in a stable on a beautiful island off the coast of England, the series follows an American teenager’s summer of adventure, friendship and intrigue. After finding a special connection with a dangerous horse named Raven, 15-year-old Zoe realizes a thrilling mystery is unravelling around her. The complex relationship Zoe develops with Raven gives her the strength to deal with difficult issues in her family, as well as the grit and motivation to master her riding skills and ultimately discover a passion for the sport.
The 10-episode series will also be available to Netflix members worldwide in 2017. Both shows will follow leading ladies as they deal with life’s challenges and learn how to channel the feeling of failure into empowering self-discovery.
“Our mission of creating stories and characters younger members can relate to, and even aspire to be, comes through in these projects,” says Andy Yeatman, Director of Global Kids Content for Netflix. “While set in very different contexts, both shows center around characters who are learning to deal with and overcome hardship, while also enjoying the journey and all its surprises.”
Other Netflix original series for tweens include Degrassi: Next Class, Project Mc2, Lost & Found Music Studios and Mako Mermaids: An H2O Adventure.