Produced by Chris Nee and President Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions, the show is based on a series of best-selling books by the same name and will include real scientists to inspire young viewers.
Netflix has just announced Chris Nee and Higher Ground Productions’ animated preschool series, Ada Twist, Scientist, based on the best-selling book series by author Andrea Beaty and illustrator David Roberts. Kerri Grant serves as showrunner for the 40 x 12-min episode series, which will debut globally starting in 2021. Wonder Worldwide (The Christmas Chronicles) also serves as a producing partner for the show.
The series introduces Ada Twist, a pint-sized scientist with a giant-sized curiosity, who aspires to discover the truth about absolutely everything. She explores helping people through scientific discovery, collaboration, and friendship. Eight-year-old Ada goes on adventures of with her two best friends, Rosie Revere, and Iggy Peck; with their help she unravels and solves mysteries for her friends and family. But solving the mystery is only the beginning, because science is not just about learning how and why and what, it is about putting that knowledge into action to make the world a better place.
“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,” commented Nee. “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.”
The project marks the first series announced under the overall deal with Peabody, Humanitas and Emmy Award-winning children's television creator Chris Nee (Doc McStuffins, Vampirina) and her production company Laughing Wild.
The series is produced in partnership with President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions (American Factory, Crip Camp, Becoming), which is dedicated to powerful storytelling that promotes greater empathy, understanding and connections between people, and lifts up new, diverse voices. The series will include real scientists to inspire young viewers.
The series is executive produced by Mark Burton (Water, Tallula, The Indian Detective); Tonia Davis and Priya Swaminathan (American Factory, Crip Camp, Becoming); author Andrea Beaty; and illustrator David Roberts.
Series Consultants are Dr. Knatokie Ford (former Senior Policy Advisor at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy) and Alie Ward (The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation with Mo Rocca, Brainchild)
“It brings me immense joy to be a part of bringing Ada Twist to the screen,” added Grant. “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."
"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,” noted Swaminathan and Davis in a joint statement. “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."
“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,” concluded Netflix VP, original animation, Melissa Cobb. “Ada is brilliant and funny, and we hope she will ignite curiosity for kids around the world.”