The BBC has bought both series of Nowhere Boys, ABC3’s teen action-adventure created by Matchbox Pictures’ Tony Ayres.
The show, which follows four mismatched teenage boys who cross over into another universe in which they were never born, will air on the Beeb’s kids channel CBBC.
The first series took the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award for best children’s TV drama and last night won a TV Week Logie Award for most outstanding children’s drama.
Production of the second series will begin in Melbourne in late June, produced by Beth Frey and executive produced by Michael McMahon. Peter Salmon is the set-up director and Craig Irvin, one of the writers on the first series, will be among the directors.
The young leads are Joel Lok (The Home Song Stories) as science nerd Andy, Dougie Baldwin (Upper Middle Bogan) as Goth Felix, Rahart Adams (Every Witch Way, Neighbours) as golden child Sam and Matthew Testro as alpha jock Jake.
In series two the boys return home but soon discover they aren't the only ones who crossed back into this universe.
Ayres tells IF, "We are thrilled that Nowhere Boys will be screened on CBBC. Originally we thought the series may skew a bit older than CBBC's target audience, which is up to age 12. But it became clear the show plays a bit younger than the leads, who are 14. Young audiences always aspire upwards.
"Sarah Muller, head of CBBC acquisitions and drama development, read the scripts early on and loved the show."
Muller said, "The story-telling and the young cast are superb and I know our audience will be on the edge of their chairs as they are taken through the fast-paced action. Increasingly we see that kids are demanding content with a strong episodic spine and Nowhere Boys certainly satisfies that need."
Ayres added, "The series has been a labour of love for the very talented team of writers, directors, crew and cast involved, and it’s a show we are all immensely proud of."
The show is sold internationally by Matchbox Pictures’ parent NBCUniversal and in Australia/New Zealand by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.
Series 1 was produced with the assistance of Screen Australia, ABC-TV, Film Victoria and NBCUniversal. Investors in series 2 are ABC TV, Film Victoria and the BBC.
Ayres has just locked his feature film Cut Snake, a thriller starring Sullivan Stapleton, Jessica De Gouw and Alex Russell, and he executive produced the comedy series Maximum Choppage for ABC2. He's also working on the US remake of The Slap, which playwright Jon Robin Baitz is writing and producing for NBC.