A new animated series from the creator of Doc McStuffins is headed to Netflix. Shadow and Act reports Chris Nee (Vampirina, Gaspard and Lisa) is bringing Ada Twist, Scientist to the streaming service next year. Nee will co-produce with none other than President Barack Obama (American Factory) and former First Lady Michelle Obama (Becoming) through their Higher Ground Productions. The show will be run by Kerri Grant (Elena of Avalor, Nickelodeon Presents History and Heritage).
“Chris, Kerri and their talented team are creating a series that goes well beyond entertaining kids; they are bringing to life stories that reflect the world we live in and inspire us to envision solutions to the challenges we face,” Melissa Cobb, Vice President of Original Animation, Netflix, said via Shadow and Act. “Ada is brilliant and funny and we hope she will ignite curiosity for kids around the world,” Cobb stated via Shadow and Act.
According to Shadow and Act, the series is based on the books written by Andrea Beaty (Sofia Valdez, Future Prex, Iggy Peck, Architect) with illustrations by David Roberts (Dirty Bertie, Suffragette). Ada is a young, superbly smart African American girl whose interest in STEM aids her in solving problems in her community.
“I’m thrilled to be partnering with Higher Ground to bring Ada Twist to the screen. As a fan of the books, I was taken with the diverse characters, striking designs, and vital message that science matters,” Nee said in a statement via Shadow and Act. “Plus, Ada fulfills my personal need to populate children’s television with strong girls who aren’t afraid to be the smartest kids in the room. Once Kerri Grant came on board to showrun, I knew we had the dream team to bring this special series to life,” Nee said via Shadow and Act.
According to Shadow and Act, season one will air in 2021 with 40 12-minute episodes. They’ll also have cameos from real-life scientists.
“It brings me immense joy to be a part of bringing Ada Twist to the screen. As a young, curious Black girl who grew up loving TV, I simply became accustomed to rarely seeing images that reflected me onscreen — and the ones that did, represented an anti-intellectual stereotype that led me to hide my own light under a bushel,” Grant said via Shadow and Act. “To be a part of bringing a show to kids that features a young, Black girl being unapologetically the smartest kid in the room, in a world as diverse and visually stunning as the one created by the book series’ author and illustrator, fills my heart to capacity. Working with Chris Nee, my old boss, and certified preschool TV hit-maker; and Higher Ground and their commitment to representation, dreaming big, and excellence, has been the alignment of so many stars, it’s truly a celestial event,” Grant said according to Shadow and Act.
“The Higher Ground team was inspired to produce Ada Twist, Scientist by President Obama and Mrs. Obama’s enduring commitment to young people, their education, and knowing no bounds or limits to dreams for their future,” Higher Ground Production team members Priya Swaminathan and Tonia Davis said, via Shadow and Act. “Chris and Kerri’s show will ignite kids’ imaginations. This is exactly the type of show Higher Ground was founded to create – powerful, meaningful storytelling for the whole family,” the duo said according to Shadow and Act.