Aussie and UK kids producers win big at the International Emmy Awards

London's Magic Light Pictures took home its fourth trophy, but producers from down under swept the rest of the categories for children's programming.
November 21, 2023

The International Emmys announced and celebrated its 2023 winners last night in New York, handing out three awards for children’s programming. 

The UK’s Magic Light Pictures took home this year’s Kids: Animation prize for The Smeds and the Smoos (pictured, 27 minutes), a holiday special that BBC One premiered last December. Based on a book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, this twisted take on a classic love story stars two aliens who fall in love and leave their planet to get away from their warring clans. This kicks off an intergalactic search that forces both families to set aside their differences and work together. Magic Light is on a winning streak with its animated specials, which have won three previous International Emmys: Room on the Broom (2014), Revolting Rhymes (2018) and Zog (2020)

The award for Kids: Factual & Entertainment went to Built to Survive, which premiered on ABC Australia in July 2022. Phil Breslin (First Weapons) hosts this 10 x 26-minute live-action series in which he gets up close and personal with animals that thrive in Australia’s harshest and most extreme environments. A co-pro Breslin Media, Built to Survive is Sydney-based Butter Media’s (Outback Wrangler) first kids series, and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation distributes the show globally.

Fellow Aussie studio Fremantle and NewBe in Amsterdam won the Kids: Live Action Emmy for Heartbreak High. In this Netflix show for tweens/teens, high-school student Amerie becomes an outcast on campus when her graffiti reveals everyone’s hook-ups. Netflix premiered the eight x 50-minute series worldwide in September 2022, and has renewed it for a second season. 

The International Emmy Awards recognizes excellence in television produced outside of the US. 

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