Animated preschool series “Ada Twist, Scientist,” based on the book series from author Andrea Beaty and illustrator David Roberts, is coming to Netflix. The series comes from Chris Nee and Higher Ground, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company.
The show centers on eight-year-old Ada Twist, a “young Black scientist who will explore helping people through scientific discovery, collaboration and friendship,” and solve mysteries with the help of her two best friends, Rosie Revere and Iggy Peck. Netflix will debut the kids program worldwide starting in 2021.
Kerri Grant is set to serve as showrunner, co-executive producer and story editor for the 40 12-minute episodes. Wonder Worldwide is a producing partner for the series.
“Ada Twist, Scientist” marks the first series to be announced under the overall deal between Netflix and “Doc McStuffins” and “Vampirina” creator Chris Nee and her production company Laughing Wild. The Peabody, Emmy, and Humanitas Prize-winning children’s television screenwriter and producer inked a multi-year overall deal with the streaming service in 2018.
“I’m thrilled to be partnering with Higher Ground to bring Ada Twist to the screen,” said Nee, who serves as executive producer. “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.”
Dr. Knatokie Ford, former senior policy advisor at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Alie Ward, a science correspondent for CBS’s “The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation with Mo Rocca,” are serving as series consultants.
“It brings me immense joy to be a part of bringing Ada Twist to the screen,” said 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.”
Added Higher Ground executive producers Priya Swaminathan and Tonia Davis: “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. 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.”