As Hollywood basks in the streaming boom and burgeoning the era of premium television, kids, too, get to join in on the fun.
Unlike the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon multi-cam sitcoms that have dominated kids’ TV for decades, newer streaming series like Apple TV+’s “Puppy Place” and “Lovely Little Farm” function more like family dramedies. Avoiding that type of slapstick humor and over-accessorized costumes and sets, these series opt for a more naturalistic approach, oftentimes with serialized storytelling.
“Puppy Place” showrunner Andrew Green, who previously served as a co-executive producer on “Hannah Montana,” tells Variety: “Having worked in kids’ television for so long, you develop a certain rhythm, and Apple was like, ‘Let’s take a step back. Don’t think of it as a kids’ show, just think of it as a quality show that happens to have kids as the leads and stories about kids.’”
For “Puppy Place,” and many of the other shows in Apple’s family slate, there’s an active effort to veer from the laugh track-backed comedy that drove shows like “Victorious” and “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody,” and instead “find humor in the characters and situations and not rely on people falling into big coconut cream pies or things like that.”
Billy Macqueen, co-creator of “Lovely Little Farm,” says: “We’ve always thought it’s important to deliver primetime standard drama to 6 and 7-year-olds. If you can deliver it to the quality that they deserve, and adults will watch with them, it becomes a family show.”
Adds Macqueen’s creative partner Maddy Darrall: “This is quite a new thing for the American market, but we’re known in the U.K. for making dramas for under 8-year-olds.”
Macqueen and Darrall co-created…