British commercial network ITV has commissioned a blue chip series on global childhood development from UK prodco The Garden Productions.
Planet Child (3 x 60 minutes), made over two years, will present a series of scientific experiments that seek to shed light on how the new generations are experiencing life in Britain and around the world today.
With an eye to risk-taking, independence, morality and gender awareness, the series will unpack what we know about childhood development in the 21st century through examination of children in Japan, Africa and the U.S. The children are observed without parental supervision to get a clear sense of what they’re capable of in unique experiments led by twin doctors Chris and Xand Van Tulleken.
The series is produced by The Garden, part of ITV Studios, with Chloë Solomon (pictured), head of factual, and Teresa Watkins serving as executive producers. Planet Child was commissioned for ITV by Nicola Lloyd, factual commissioner, and Sue Murphy, head of factual entertainment.
ITV Studios Global Entertainment is distributing the series internationally. No release dates have yet been set.
“This is the first generation of children growing up in the technology age” said Loyd in a statement. “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.”
“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,” added Solomon.
“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.”