When you picture a kid building a robot, is it a boy or a girl? If you still think it’s boys only, you need to check out "Annedroids," TVOKids’ new science-based CGI/live action adventure series for 6 - to 9-year-olds.
“I love playing a girl who puts most of her efforts in creating and acting on her curiosities rather than worrying about what’s trending and popular,” says Addison Holley, who plays Anne in the show.
Anne is an 11-year-old scientist who carries out experiments in her secret junkyard lab, with a little help from her human and android friends (robots she built herself).
Busting open the stereotype of the typical tween girl and encouraging girls’ interest in science and technology was an integral part of the development of the show, according to Sinking Ship Entertainment, the company that co-produced the show with TVO.
“(I think "Annedroids") will encourage girls to be less intimidated, and realize that it’s not just for boys, girls can build and invent just the same as boys can,” Holley says.
Holley stars alongside Jadiel Dowlin and Adrianna Di Liello, who play her two best friends, Nick and Shania. They help Anne and her robots complete their experiments which always lead to hijinks and misadventures.
“The coolest thing about Nick is how he is a team player, and is always willing to listen to everyone’s ideas in order to come up with solutions,” says Dowlin.
Di Liello says she really likes the empowered female characters in the show.
“What I like most… is that it goes against stereotypes that you usually see on children's shows,” she says. “The girls aren't silly and the boy doesn't always have to be the smartest one in the group. Anne is a scientific genius and Shania is the comedic relief and knows a lot about feelings.”
Helping Anne and her friends are her three androids; PAL, who is fascinated by everything and loves asking questions; EYES, whose ability to see things from all angles can get him into trouble; and HAND, who’s strong and dependable but a little bit clumsy.
Series creator and executive producer J.J. Johnson says part of why he went into kid’s production is that it’s a way to say something to your younger self.
“This show says a lot; it says that science is amazing, regardless of gender and that curiosity is the foundation of what it is to be a human being,” he says. “It says that failure is just a step towards getting the right answer and that regardless of your economic status, you can accomplish anything you want.”
Pat Ellingson, creative head of Children’s & Parents’ Media at TVO, says "Annedroids" is an engaging story, incorporating content from the Ontario elementary school curriculum, that helps kids to succeed in the key areas of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math).
“As Canada’s leading educational media provider it’s important that everything we do has a solid learning outcome,” she says. "Terms like hypotheses, scientific method, research and conclusion are embedded in every script. My favorite line in the series borrows from a Thomas Edison quote, ‘I didn’t fail, I just found another way to do it wrong.’”
“But the heart of the series is all about family,” she says. “In "Annedroids" all families are represented, including single moms, single dads, same sex parents, traditional parents, foster parents. We want all kids to see themselves reflected when watching TVOKids.”
Ellingson calls the Emmy-nominated Sinking Ship team “true innovators” when it comes to creating content on all platforms. Sinking Ship are also the creators of “This is Daniel Cook” and “Dino Dan,” which airs on TVO.
"Annedroids" premieres September 3rd at 6:30 p.m. ET on TVO.