Life With Derek Wins Shaw Rocket Prize for Best Children's' Programming
The show - a half-hour comedy about a blended family that's forced together two wilful teenagers - took the $50,000 prize at a ceremony held Wednesday night in Toronto. The prize recognizes the best show for children aged 12 and younger and is voted on by nearly 700 students in Grades 4, 5 and 6.
"Life with Derek," along with "Johnny Test" and "Roll Play," were three finalists chosen by an international panel of TV industry insiders.
The live-action series, produced by Toronto's Shaftesbury Films, airs on The Family Channel in Canada and in 140 countries worldwide.
"There's something about 'Life With Derek' that feels very real," Shaftesbury's Christina Jennings said Wednesday.
"In a world where children are adopted and families have broken and there are blended families - it's their world, and it feels real. We are just so proud of it because it's not only a hit in this country, it's a hit around the world."
Ashley Leggat, who plays Casey in the show, agrees. "When we started, I don't think anybody thought it was going to do as well as it's done. It's insane. I never expected that in a million years," she said.
"But there are so many kids going through the same situation and it's not sugar-coated; we don't pretend to be one big happy family where everyone gets along all the time. These are real problems that real kids face every day."
"I really liked 'Life with Derek' because the story was clear and balanced," said one student juror. "The lighting and camera were perfect, I think the house they chose was perfect. The camera movement was awesome and the music was great!"