The creator of “Doc McStuffins” has teamed up with the Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions to produce a new animated series for Netflix, Variety reports.
Chris Nee, partnered with Higher Ground Productions and illustrator David Roberts to produce a new animated preschool series entitled, “Ada Twist, Scientist.” The show brings to life a New York Times best selling book series that tells the story of 8-year-old Ada Twist, a young Black scientist who helps solve mysteries with the assistance of her two best friends, Rosie Revere and Iggy Peck. The aim is to “explore helping people through scientific discovery, collaboration and friendship.”
Nee has won a Peabody, Emmy, and Humanitas Prize for her screenwriting and production work on animated children’s series like “Doc McStuffins” and “Vampirina.” In 2018, she inked a multi-year deal with Netflix under her Laughing Wild production company banner. “Ada Twist, Scientist” is the first series under the overall deal.
Kerri Grant will co-executive produce and work as showrunner alongside Nee with Wonder Worldwide in tow as a producing partner. Dr. Knatokie Ford, a former senior policy advisor at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Alie Ward, a science correspondent for CBS’ “The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation with Mo Rocca,” are also joining the team as series consultants.
“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. 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.
“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. 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.
Higher Ground executive producers Priya Swaminathan and Tonia Davis said the team was compelled to get on board as a result of “President Obama and Mrs. Obama’s enduring commitment to young people, their education, and knowing no bounds or limits to dreams for their future. 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.”
Ada Twist, Scientist” will be compiled of 40 12 minute episodes. It airs on Netflix worldwide in 2021.