Aircraft Pictures' Anthony Leo talks about why the live-action original series is resonating with tweens and teens, and how it cut through the SVOD clutter.

Ruby Jay ~ Holly Hobbie ~Hulu

Talk about a rural advantage. When Toronto’s Aircraft Pictures and LA’s Cloudco Entertainment first approached US streamer Hulu and DHX TV’s Canadian net Family Channel with a live-action Holly Hobbie series for tweens and teens that’s set in a small country town, the broadcasters weren’t specifically looking for a rural-set show.

But according to Aircraft producer Anthony Leo, Holly Hobbie‘s setting became a differentiator that helped the show stand out from others in the pitching process, and led to commissions from both broadcasters. Now, after the series’ US launch last November and its Canadian premiere in January, Hulu and Family Channel have ordered a second 10 x 22-minute season.

“Although music is involved quite heavily, the series is not about a girl trying to be a huge star,” says Leo. “It shows kids that they don’t have to aspire to leave town and go to the big city to achieve their dreams.”

Produced by Aircraft (The Breadwinner) in association with Cloudco (formerly American Greetings Entertainment) and Wexworks Media (D.N.Ace), Holly Hobbie follows a tween singer-songwriter (Ruby Jay) who saves her grandmother’s small-town café by launching open mic nights and performing original songs. The series is inspired by American Greetings’ classic girls’ character brand from the ’70s and ’80s.