‘Mysterious Benedict Society’ Book-Based Kids’ Series Coming to Disney+

The series “The Mysterious Benedict Society,” based on the award-winning and bestselling book series by Trenton Lee Stewart, will be coming to Disney+ in 2021.

The series was originally developed for Hulu.

The show stars Emmy Award winner-Tony Hale (“Veep,” “Arrested Development”) in the titular role. The show also stars Kristen Schaal (“Bob’s Burgers,” “Last Man On Earth”), Ryan Hurst, MaameYaa Boafo, Gia Sandhu, Seth Carr, Emmy DeOliveira, Mystic Inscho and Marta Timofeeva.

The series follows a group of orphans, placed undercover at a boarding school known as The Institute, who must foil a nefarious plot with global ramifications while creating a new sort of family along the way.

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The original book, upon which the eight-episode first season is based, was named a Time magazine “Best Young Adult Book of all Time” and sold more than 3 million copies.

“‘The Mysterious Benedict Society’ is a beautifully executed adaptation of the celebrated and beloved book series. It’s original, clever and fun for the whole family, which makes it the perfect fit for Disney+,” said Dana Walden, chairman of entertainment, Walt Disney Television, in a statement. “One of the great benefits to creators working with our company is that we have a platform that’s right for every series and having seen the first few episodes of this show, there is no better home for it than Disney+.”

“Disney+ has established itself over the last year as the streaming home for a diverse slate of high-quality content featuring beloved franchises, stories and characters,” said Ricky Strauss, president, programming and content curation, Disney+ and Hulu, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to add ‘The Mysterious Benedict Society’ to Disney+ and know it will captivate our viewers’ imagination with exciting new worlds and capture the hearts of audiences of all ages.”

The show is produced by 20th Television, one of the Disney Television Studios.

FilmRise Picks Up Rights to Children’s Title ‘Lilly’s Light: The Movie’

AVOD streaming network and studio FilmRise has acquired worldwide distribution rights to the children’s musical adventure Lilly’s Light: The Movie.

The film stars Sherry Hursey (“Home Improvement,” Bring It On), and co-stars Mindy Sterling (“Austin Powers” franchise, “iCarly”), Philece Sampler (“Stanley”) and Fred Willard (Best in Show, Mascots).

Hursey portrays Lilly, a loving foster mom and the keeper of an enchanted lighthouse. With her spirited crew of kids, their exotic talking pets and zany friends, Lilly uses joy, love, laughter and song as her tools and shows everyone that life is full of possibilities.

Lilly’s Light: The Movie is a great representation of FilmRise’s move into the children’s space,” said FilmRise CEO Danny Fisher in a statement. “We are confident that this film will speak to parents and children looking for a unique program that promotes open minds and a world of possibilities.”

The title includes song contributions by Oscar-nominated and Emmy-, Grammy-, Tony Award-winning singer/songwriter Kenny Loggins and Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee Steve Dorff, who has written nine No. 1 film songs and 15 Top 10 hits.

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FilmRise is teaming up with Gathr at Home for a nationwide virtual theatrical release of Lilly’s Light: The Movie, kicking off with an at home screening premiere event Nov. 21 to coincide with U.N. International Children’s Day celebrations. The virtual premiere includes a live post-screening event with performances and special appearances by the cast and crew, including the film’s star and producer Hursey, co-star Sterling, Gregory Paul Martin (A Walk in the Clouds, Memoirs of an Invisible Man), San Diego Circus Center’s Jean Luc Martin, Rick Cowling (musical composer, “Modern Family,” “Phineaus and Ferb”) and Jordyn Curet (“Life Hacks for Kids”) plus a Q&A with children’s programming consultant Dr. Gordon L. Berry, as well as a special musical performance by Loggins and  Dorff. The film’s live and subsequent virtual theatrical screenings will also serve to raise awareness and funding for Lilly’s Fostering Hearts, a charity that raises awareness as to the needs of displaced, fostered and adoptable youth, Foster Care Counts and The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Apple TV+ to Be Home for ‘Peanuts’

Apple TV+ will stream “Peanuts” original series and specials, along with the classic specials.

New animated “Peanuts” originals coming to Apple TV+ include a second season of the Daytime Emmy-nominated “Snoopy in Space,” and new specials that will find the “Peanuts” gang marking Mother’s Day, Earth Day, New Year’s Eve and going back to school — all to be produced by WildBrain’s animation studio. The new series and specials join the previously announced The Snoopy Show, a new “Peanuts” 70th anniversary documentary film from Imagine Documentaries and WildBrain, and Peanuts in Space: Secrets of Apollo 10.

The original programs and new specials will also soon stream globally alongside iconic “Peanuts” specials, including A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. The Halloween special will begin streaming globally on Apple TV+ Oct. 19, and will be available for free from Oct. 30 until Nov. 1 on Apple TV+. Apple TV+ will launch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on Nov. 18, and the special will be available for free from Nov. 25 until Nov. 27. A Charlie Brown Christmas will stream exclusively on Apple TV+ on Dec. 4.

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Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, select Samsung and LG smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices, as well as at tv.apple.com, at $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. The Apple TV app will be available on Sony and Vizio smart TVs later this year. For a limited time, customers who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ for free. This special offer is good for three months after the first activation of the eligible device. For more information, please visit apple.com/tvpr.

Kids’ Series ‘Karma’s World’ Created by Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges to Stream on Netflix

A new CG animated series, “Karma’s World,” created by rapper, actor and producer Chris “Ludacris” Bridges will stream on Netflix.

The series for children ages 6 to 9 is a coming-of-age story about a young black girl finding her voice and using it to change her world. It was originally inspired by Chris’s oldest daughter, Karma, and is based on the interactive educational website of the same name created by Karma’s World Entertainment in 2009. The series follows 10-year-old Karma Grant, an aspiring musical artist and rapper with big talent and an even bigger heart. Smart, resilient, and deeply empathetic, Karma pours her soul into songwriting, channeling her feelings into rhymes with passion, courage and her signature brand of humor.

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The series will feature original songs that tackle issues such as self-esteem, body positivity, discrimination, creativity, expressing emotions, friendship, family, leadership and celebrating differences. Sound design and original music are created and supervised by Bridges and James Bennett Jr., and produced by Gerald Keys.

Executive producers include Vince Commisso, Cathal Gaffney, Darragh O’Connell, Angela C. Santomero, Wendy Harris and Jennie Stacey from 9 Story Media Group (“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Blue’s Clues”). The series is produced in partnership with 9 Story’s Oscar-nominated, Dublin-based studio Brown Bag Films and its Emmy Award-winning creative affairs group as well as Karma’s World Entertainment, Bridges’s production company.

“I’ve had a lot of accomplishments in my life, but everything that I’ve experienced seems to have led up to this point to where I can leave a legacy for all my daughters,” Bridges said in a statement. “‘Karma’s World’ is one of those legacies. I hope this series will show kids that there are many ways to overcome difficult situations. This show is going to move hip hop culture forward and show young girls that they have the power to change the world. This project has been a long time in the making and I can’t wait to bring Karma’s World to the entire world.”

“It has been an absolute privilege to work with Chris to bring his vision of Karma to life. Karma is a character who does not yet exist on kids’ TV,” 9 Story’s Santomero said in a statement. “She is a powerful, empowering role model who uses her words and music to bring about change in her community. Kids who watch ‘Karma’s World’ will be inspired to use creativity as a vehicle for self-expression, and the series furthers 9 Story’s commitment to creating diverse content for children that encourages them to find their voice and follow their dreams.”

‘The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special’ Addressing Racism to Stream on HBO Max, PBS Kids Oct. 15

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind “Sesame Street,” will address racism — and model how children can stand up to it — in The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special to stream on HBO Max and PBS Kids starting Oct. 15.

Designed as a co-viewing experience for children and families, the special will also debut on PBS stations the same day and will re-air throughout October and November on PBS stations and the PBS Kids 24/7 channel.

“‘Sesame Street’ has the ability to entertain children while explaining complex issues like no other program and equips families and caregivers with the support they need to have empathetic conversations,” Kay Wilson Stallings, EVP of creative and production at Sesame Workshop, said in a statement. “We believe that this moment calls for a direct discussion about racism to help children grasp the issues and teach them that they are never too young to be ‘upstanders’ for themselves, one another, and their communities.”

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The Power of We features Elmo and Abby Cadabby, who are joined by 6-year-old Muppet Gabrielle and her cousin, 8-year-old Tamir, as they learn how to become “upstanders” to unfair treatment based on skin — or fur — color. Current and former “Sesame Street” human cast members Alan, Charlie, Chris, and Gordon take part in the special alongside celebrity and musical guests Yara Shahidi, Christopher Jackson and Andra Day. The Power of We includes two new songs, “How Do You Know?” and “Listen, Act, Unite!,” the latter written and performed by Jackson and featuring Day.

Sesame Workshop has also created a companion guide for families and caregivers to use as they discuss the special with children, available at SesameStreet.org/PowerofWe.

Season Three of ‘Garfield & Friends’ Due on DVD Oct. 27 From PBS

The third season of “Garfield & Friends” will come out on DVD Oct. 27 from PBS Distribution.

Based on the beloved newspaper cartoon created by Jim Davis, the series includes animated adventures that star Garfield, his owner Jon Arbuckle and his dog friend Odie.

The DVD set features 18 episodes of escapades with Garfield and his friends getting into trouble and learning valuable lessons on two discs with more than seven hours of content. Viewers will watch as Garfield becomes a stowaway after Jon goes on a cruise in “Ship Shape,” as Garfield hosts a televised debate on why cats are better than dogs in “The Great Debate,” and more.

The collection also includes the animated shorts of Davis’ other comic strip, “U.S. Acres,” which features a group of barnyard animals.

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Apple TV+ Bowing Kids’ Series ‘Doug Unplugs’ and ‘Stillwater’ This Fall

Apple TV+ will release two new kids’ series, “Doug Unplugs” and “Stillwater,” globally this fall.

“Doug Unplugs,” premiering Nov. 13, is from DreamWorks Animation and based on Dan Yaccarino’s “Doug Unplugged” book series. It follows a young robot named Doug who senses there’s more to life than just the facts. While other robots plug in for their daily download, curious Doug unplugs and journeys into the human world, and with his best friend Emma, experiences its wonders firsthand.

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“Stillwater”

“Stillwater,” premiering Dec. 4, is based on the Scholastic book series “Zen Shorts” by Jon J Muth and is produced by Gaumont and Scholastic Entertainment. It centers on siblings Karl, Addy and Michael, who are typical kids with typical kid challenges — meaning that sometimes even the smallest things can feel insurmountable. Fortunately for these three, they have Stillwater, a wise panda, as their next-door neighbor. Through his example, stories and gentle humor, Stillwater gives the children a deeper understanding of their feelings as well as tools that help them face their own day-to-day challenges.

Also, following it 18 Daytime Emmy Award nominations and win for Outstanding Children’s or Family Viewing Programming, “Ghostwriter” will have its second season premiere on Apple TV+ Oct. 9, and the second season of “Helpsters” will premiere Oct. 16. Both series hail from the makers of “Sesame Street.”

‘Arthur: The Ultimate Friendship Collection’ Coming to DVD Aug. 11 From PBS

PBS Distribution Aug. 11 will release Arthur: The Ultimate Friendship Collection on DVD.

The three-disc collection features more than 10 hours of friendship-themed Arthur episodes in a 48-episode compilation. In the collection, children will watch as Arthur learns how to work with teams, look out for friends and family, and navigate the everyday situations that Arthur and his friends find themselves in.

Arthur plays on a baseball team, Muffy temporarily stays with her friend, Francine, where she has to share a room (and even eat leftovers), Buster returns home after a long exotic vacation, and Arthur gets nervous their friendship won’t be the same.

Arthur, Francine, and Buster must complete a report on ancient Rome in “Team Trouble.” Will they be able to work together to complete the school assignment? Then, in “D.W., Bossy Boots,” D.W. loves to get her own way. Can she learn how to be nicer to her friends to continue playing with them on the playground?

‘The Swan Princess: A Royal Wedding’ Available to Rent at Redbox and Buy on Digital Aug. 4 From Sony

The animated fairytale The Swan Princess: A Royal Wedding will be available to rent from Redbox and buy on digital Aug. 4 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In the tenth installment of the “Swan Princess” series, viewers join Princess Odette, Prince Derek and their royal friends as they set sail for another magical adventure in the enchanted land of Cathay. Princess Odette has been called by the beautiful and kind Princess Mei Li who is planning to marry her one true love, Chen. Upon Odette’s arrival she quickly discovers that everything is not as it should be. And not everyone is who they should be. The evil sorceress Fang has once again cast an evil spell, launching a plan to marry Chen herself. With the wedding quickly approaching, it is up to Mei Li’s loving brother Prince Li along with Princess Odette and the rest of her royal friends to break the curse so the real Princess Mei Li can marry Chen and live happily ever after.

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‘PBS Kids: 15 Pet-tastic Tails’ and ‘Berenstain Bears’ DVDs Available in May From PBS

The DVD titles PBS Kids: 15 Pet-tastic Tails, with multiple episodes from popular PBS shows, and a third volume of “The Berenstain Bears” are available in May from PBS Distribution.

The 15-episode PBS Kids: 15 Pet-tastic Tails features episodes from “Arthur,” “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Molly of Denali” and “Nature Cat,” among others. Kids learn about responsibility, compassion and caring for others with stories on everything from dogs and cats to hamsters and turtles. In “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” Daniel and his classmates release their classroom pet named Ducky after he’s grown too big in “Duckling Goes Home,” and in “Wild Kratts,” Chris and Martin unpack from an adventure, only to discover a wolf pup in their bag in the “Little Howler!” episode. “Winter Champions,” a special bonus episode from “Molly of Denali,” is also included.

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In The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Vol. 3 children join Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Sister and Brother for more adventures. When Sister must write about a bear she admires the most for a school project in “The Giddy Grandma,” she quickly learns just how many awards and trophies Grizzly Gran won in her younger years. Then, in “Car Trip,” the cubs are excited about going on a family trip — until they find out the destination isn’t Grizzlyland, but instead a tour of Bear Country’s national parks.

Finally, the cubs are sad when they hear that their friends down the street are moving away in “Moving Day.” Brother and Sister learn about the positive side of moving — new adventures and new friends.