"Super Sema" "Super Sema"

Youtube has announced a huge global slate of original programming for kids and families, amid an overhaul of the ways in which young viewers use its platform.

The announcement covers Super Sema, an animated series that will debut on March 8, as well as eight acquisitions and 25 further projects in development.

Here are the details of Youtube’s aggressive entry into kids’ programming:

  • Super Sema follows the title character, a young superhero girl, on her adventures through an African-futuristic world. Drawing on science and technology, she defends her village against Tobor, a villain powered by artificial intelligence.
  • The series is produced by a female-led team. It was written by four-time BAFTA winner Claudia Lloyd (Charlie & Lola, Mr. Bean, Tinga Tinga Tales) and directed by Lynne Southerland, the first female African-American director of an animated feature at Disney (Mulan II).
  • Super Sema is billed as “the world’s first African edutainment franchise” by Kukua, the London-based production company that created it. The franchise comprises apps and an existing Youtube channel, which saw its watch time increase by over 40% from 2019 to 2020. The new series will premiere on the channel.
  • Youtube has picked up eight series due to premiere in the latter half of 2021. They include the animated series The Eggventurers, The Guava Juice Show, Millie and Lou, and Supa Strikas: Rookie Season, as well as the hybrid The Workout Badges. Youtube’s blog post has more information on each one.
  • The 25 projects in development have not all been unveiled. But they will include the animated series Corpse Talk, in which a (living) interviewer will speak to a variety of long-dead historical figures in a late-night talk-show format.
  • This slate is one result of Youtube’s commitment to invest $100 million in original children’s content. The pledge was made in 2019, after the company was fined by the U.S.’s Federal Trade Commission and obliged to stop serving personalized ads on user-generated videos for children. The fund was meant to mitigate the resulting drop in revenue for many kids’ content creators.

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Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Associate Editor of Cartoon Brew.

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