#FIRSTLOOK: NIPPON TV’S “OLD ENOUGH!” COMING TO TVO
Blue Ant Studios has secured the coveted Canadian rights to the long-running Japanese unscripted hit Old Enough! from Nippon TV in Japan. Production on the first North American version of the show has begun and is set to air this September on TVO. Canadian comedy star and improv genius Colin Mochrie will lend his voice to the project as the narrator. The announcement was made jointly today at the 2024 Realscreen Summit by Matthew Hornburg, Co-President of Blue Ant Studios, Natasha Negrea, Head of Programming at TVO and Akane Alex Inoue, Global Format Licensing, Nippon TV.
Old Enough! is a heartwarming, unscripted series that follows toddlers independently running errands for the first time. While each episode focuses on the child’s task, the series will also explore each parent’s approach to raising their kids. On each adventure, the kids are always under the watchful eye of the show’s safety team. The highly sought-after format has been a ratings juggernaut and cultural phenomenon in Japan for over 30 years. Its popularity skyrocketed in English-speaking territories when Netflix streamed Nippon TV’s original series in 2022 in over 190 countries, and even Saturday Night Live tapped into the cultural zeitgeist with a skit that parodied the show.
“Old Enough! typifies the vision of our studio moving forward – entertaining and enlightening franchises – and we’re thrilled to be bringing the first North American version to audiences,” said Matthew Hornburg, Co-President of Blue Ant Studios. “This series is going to be an engaging, co-viewing experience for families, and children will definitely enjoy watching their peers find their independence when given the freedom to do so. It also explores themes of what parenting means from different cultural perspectives and in the modern age.”
“Independence is a key part of healthy childhood development. It begins with taking our first steps and flourishes through our appetites to learn and explore,” says Natasha Negrea, Head of Programming at TVO. “This exciting new version of Old Enough! showcases young kids discovering their delightful first moments of being independent.”
“It is such a joy to announce the Canadian adaptation of Old Enough!, our heart-warming factual entertainment format and global phenomenon,” says Akane Alex Inoue, Global Format Licensing, Nippon TV. “I am very proud that the passionate team at Blue Ant Studios has created a truly enjoyable version using the unique new camera style we developed together. We are delighted to show the world that children’s big adventures can be delivered in different cultures and hope for more international versions to follow.”
Matt Hornburg, Mark Bishop and Donna Luke from Blue Ant Studios are Executive Producers for the series. Stefanie Haist is the Supervising Producer. Mitch Burman (Undercover High, Extreme Babysitting) serves as Series Producer and Showrunner. For TVO, Natasha Negrea is the Head of Programming, Kirsten Hurd is the Commissioning Editor, TVOkids and Alexandra Roberts is the Commissioning Editor, TVO Docs. For Nippon TV, Naoko Yano and Akane Alex Inoue are Executive Producers. Kiyotaka Tokunaga (Masquerade) is the Chief Director and Ayaka Isshiki is the Producer for the original Japanese series. Tom Miyauchi (Sokkuri Sweets/Eye Candy, Mute it!) is the Format Producer and Yuko Nakano is the Flying Producer. Old Enough! was produced with the participation of the Canada Media Fund and in association with Rogers Sports & Media.