ABC’s Hardball scores sweet-as Emmy Award

ABC ME series Hardball has won an International Emmy Kids Award celebrating the best children’s content from around the world.

The lively story of fish-out-of-water Mikey and his dream to become the sweetest-bestest-acest handball champ in Western Sydney was the only Australian recipient of the global awards, winning the Kids: Live-Action Emmy ahead of The Walt Disney Company’s Juacas, South Korea’s Extraordinary You and Dropje from the Netherlands.

The win came a day after ABC Children’s short film And Then Something Changed and ABC political drama Total Control received MIPCOM Diversify TV Excellence Awards for demonstrating the positive impacts of diversity and inclusion across the global media landscape.

In June, Hardball, produced by Northern Pictures for the ABC, in conjunction with the ACTF, Screen Australia and Create NSW, also won the Prix Jeunesse International Award for best fiction program for 7-10-year-olds and the Rockie Award for the Best Children & Youth Fiction Series at the Banff World Media Festival in Canada.

Libbie Doherty, ABC Head of Children’s Production, said Hardball’s Emmy Award recognized the world-class standard of Australian kids’ content. “Congratulations to Hardball creators Matt Zeremes and Guy Edmonds, executive producer Catherine Nebauer and series producer Joe Weatherstone for their outstanding win at the International Emmys. At the heart of Hardball is Australian creative excellence, which has again been recognised on the international stage.

“The ABC is proud to be the home of Australian children’s content and to support Australian children’s producers to excel and inspire and entertain audiences around the world.”

Catherine Nebauer, Head of Kids & Scripted at Northern Pictures, said: “Right from the start when show creators Matt and Guy first pitched in the idea there was something unique that was appealing, and so it continued. Everyone responded immediately to this charming but heartfelt series from our wonderful partners at ABC ME, ACTF and our funding bodies, Screen Australia and Screen NSW, and the collective team that came together to bring Hardball to life.

“At a crucial point in the kids’ industry in Australia, this win further seeds that we as an industry produce exceptional stories that are uniquely Australian and which resonate with the global audience.”

Hardball is available to watch now on ABC iview.

This is the second time this year that the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has presented Kids Emmys, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, ABC Kids’ Bluey, Australia’s most popular children’s television show, was awarded the Kids: Preschool Emmy Award.

Programs nominated for the latest International Emmy Kids Awards spanned 10 countries: Australia, Brazil, Finland, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

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