The producer is making primetime series Planet Child for the broadcaster, a three-part series that has been in the making for two years. It will present a series of scientific experiments looking at the ways a new generation experience life across Britain and the world today.
The show, which will air later this year, is fronted by twin doctors Chris and Xand Van Tulleken, who present CBBC series Operation Ouch. It will observe children in Japan, Africa and America, living in locations as extreme as mega-cities and deserts and sets out to compare and contrast their development to children across Britain. It will explore risk-taking, independence, morality and gender awareness in a range of scenarios for kids between four and seven.
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The three-part series was commissioned by ITV’s Head of Factual Entertainment Sue Murphy and Factual Commissioner Nicola Lloyd and is exec produced by Chloë Solomon and Teresa Watkins.
ITV Studios Global Entertainment are distributing the series internationally and will launch it at Mip TV next week.
The Garden, which was set up by Magnus Temple and Nick Curwin, is now run by Temple as CEO with ex-BBC Films exec Nicola Hill as MD and former Channel 4 exec John Hay as Chief Creative Officer. It was sold to ITV in 2013.
The company makes series including C4’s 24 Hours in Police Custody and Channel 5’s Operation: Live in addition to the long-running format 24 Hours in A&E.
Xand Van Tulleken said, “It feels to me like it’s wildlife, but for people. You’re seeing children almost in their natural habitat. You’re seeing what happens if there’s no interference and that’s very lovely because we all might wonder how we would have behaved given a bit more freedom and anyone who’s a parent wonders what would happen if they stood back a lot further.”
ITV’s Lloyd said, “This is the first generation of children growing up in the technology age. It’s a long way from the stone age to the phone age, so it feels like the perfect time to take a bold look at the development of children in Britain and compare them to children in other cultures across the world. The results are fascinating and as a parent I’ll never look at my two year old in the same light again.”
The Garden’s Head of Popular Factual Chloë Solomon added, “Featuring children from around the world, the series offers an ambitious global perspective on the way we raise our children and, through a series of experiments with British kids, asks us to consider whether we are getting the balance right for this generation. From the jaw-dropping freedom offered to a Japanese seven-year-old as he travels across Tokyo alone, or the confident handing of a machete by a three-year-old in Namibia, the series explores how much children are capable of and what we can learn about growing up in modern Britain, from elsewhere.”
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