Emmy Award Winning Free Rein Adds Publishing
One of my favorite kids shows on Netflix is Free Rein. Its a wholesome single camera tween show about friendships, family, horses and adventures. The series is created and written by the hugely talented Vicki Lutas and Anna McCleery. Free Rein is executive produced by Rebecca Hodgson alongside Kate Little, Claire Poyser and Lara Olsen from Lime Pictures. The show won two Daytime Emmys in 2018 one for outstanding children's or family viewing series and the second for Outstanding Directing in a Children’s, Preschool Children’s or Family Viewing Program. The series was also voted Best New Kids Series by Kidscreen.
Tween shows can be challenging to extend into additional mediums as the core demographic has aged out of the key toy buying categories and girls get more into fashion brands. Free Rein, however, faithfully taps into the equestrian community and we saw an avid fan base growing for the series online. Vicki, Anna and Kate also shared lots of emails from girls who were incredibly passionate about the series. Knowing we had announced season 2 but the release wasn’t for several months I knew there was an opportunity for publishing. Developing additional Free Rein story lines in books, which is perfect for the tween demographic, would serve not only as bridge content but also feed the fans fervor for more Free Rein thereby sustaining interest leading into specials and season 2.
One of my favorite children’s publishers is Scholastic, and my long time colleagues also saw the opportunity in the tween favorite Free Rein. We agreed upon a deal and immediately began development with writer Jeanette Lane. Vicki and Anna agreed to speak with the writers and read over the manuscripts to ensure the integrity of the show’s tone and voice. Two books in the series have been published and the fans are enjoying exciting adventures in a new medium. With positive reviews by fans, GoodReads and YABooksCentral the books series if off to a good start and will be a great stocking stuffer for the holidays.
Huge thank you to all involved in bringing this project to life, your are horsesome!