“A Kind of Spark” Adaptation Premieres on BYUtv in U.S. on World Autism Awareness Day
10-episode series, based on the award-winning novel, made possible by 50% neurodivergent cast/crew
BYUtv, the home of inspiring family entertainment – available over cable, satellite and free streaming – announced the premiere date of its latest scripted series “A Kind of Spark,” a powerful live-action adaptation of the award-winning novel by neurodivergent author Elle McNicoll. Set in both the present day and the 16th century, “A Kind of Spark” tells the inspirational story of Addie, an autistic girl who fights for acceptance in her community. It will premiere on April 2 – World Autism Awareness Day – with the first two episodes airing on BYUtv at 8 p.m. ET/6 p.m. MT/5 p.m. PT and the first five episodes available to stream for free on the BYUtv app and at BYUtv.org.
For autistic teen Addie, every day is a challenge as she juggles school and friends with the added complexities of being neurodivergent. But when she discovers a centuries-old mystery within her town, Addie finds her voice and lets her light shine as she stands up for those who were persecuted for being different like her. “A Kind of Spark” celebrates the differences that make us unique and enrich our lives. While the series shines a light on the everyday lives of neurodivergent individuals, it also explores the timely and timeless themes of family unity, loyalty, faith in oneself, and hope in the face of insurmountable odds.
“Since its original publication in 2021, Elle McNicoll’s novel has resonated with audiences across the world, especially children, by celebrating the unique perspectives and differences that bring strength to our communities and families,” said Andra Johnson Duke, head of content at BYUtv. “The inspiring book was born from Elle’s own frustration with misunderstanding specifically of female autism. Serving as a writer for the production, she was able to oversee and consult on key decisions throughout the adaptation process. The result is an uplifting viewing experience, telling an empowering story of self-acceptance and sisterhood for all ages. With this series, we are committed to bringing Elle’s wonderful perspective and characters to life in a joyous way as we celebrate World Autism Month this April.”
Filmed in Knutsford, Manchester, the series is produced by 9 Story Media Group with BYUtv and BBC, with a commitment to building an authentic team in front of and behind the camera. Approximately 50% of the cast and crew are neurodivergent, including the series’ three leads who play the Darrow sisters: Lola Blue (“Addie”), Georgia De Gidlow (“Keedie”) and Caitlin Hamilton (“Nina”). The characters of “Addie” and “Keedie” are autistic while the character of “Nina” is neurotypical.
“A Kind of Spark” is produced by 9 Story Media Group in association with LS Productions, and executive produced by Gráinne McNamara (“Malory Towers”). It was created for television by Anna McCleery (“Free Rein”, “Secret Life of Boys”). Lead writers for the series are Anna McCleery and Elle McNicoll (“A Kind of Spark”, “Show Us Who You Are”) with Karissa Hamilton-Bannis and Vicki Lutas.
BYUtv is available across the country via cable, satellite and multiple digital media platforms. For a complete listing of BYUtv’s programming and to view full episodes, visit www.byutv.org or download the app. BYUtv streams for free with no subscriptions, in-app purchases or ads. The network is always streaming live, and past and current seasons are all available to binge.
BYUtv provides families more than 2,000 hours of uplifting and compelling programming they can enjoy together. The network’s content is trusted, contemporary and clean, yet clever and sophisticated enough to inspire children and parents alike. BYUtv’s diverse portfolio of original, co-produced and acquired content includes scripted and unscripted dramas and comedies, competition shows, concert specials and 700+ hours of live HD collegiate sports. BYUtv is available in approximately 40 million homes in every state of the country on DISH Network, DirecTV and more than 130 major cable systems. A digital pioneer, BYUtv was the first U.S. television network to stream all its content live and free of charge over the internet. Today, BYUtv has more than two million YouTube subscribers and two billion views and is available live and on-demand on multiple digital platforms at no cost, including Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox, Windows, digital apps for iOS and Android, and BYUtv.org. Based in Provo, Utah, BYUtv is part of BYU Broadcasting, which is owned by Brigham Young University.
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