Thursday, April 21, 2016

Family Channel Canada To Premiere "The Other Kingdom" On 4/22; Producers Hope For Show To Have A Four-Season Run

Original DHX Media Press Release via



Toronto, 31 March 2016 – This spring, Family Channel takes viewers on a journey between two worlds with the premiere of the fantastical new series The Other Kingdom. The live-action comedy follows Astral, a fairy princess from the enchanted land of Athenia, who is torn between her rightful duty as heir to the throne and living the life of an everyday teenager in the mortal world. Created and executive produced by Thomas W. Lynch (Make It Pop), with Steven DeNure and Anne Loi also serving as executive producers, the series was filmed and produced at DHX Studios in Toronto. Bringing a dose of magic to Family Channel's must-see Friday Night lineup, the series debuts with two back-to-back episodes on April 22 at 6 p.m. ET/PT. The Other Kingdom is ushered in by the 2003 rendition of the fairytale flick Peter Pan at 4 p.m. ET/PT and immediately followed by new episodes of fan-favourite series Backstage and The Next Step.

Esther Zynn stars as Fairy Princess Astral in The Other Kingdom, premiering April 22 on Family.
Get a first look here; for artwork and series information, please visit

For 14-year-old fairy princess, Astral (Esther Zynn), living amongst the humans has always been her dream. So when she is given the chance to invoke her birthright and transform into an "Other" for 90 days, she jumps at the opportunity. Posing as an exchange student, Astral enrolls in high school where she befriends quirky outcasts Morgan and Devon, develops a crush on the cute Tristan and butts heads with ambitious go-getter Hailey. But, Astral faces a ticking clock and a stark choice as she uncovers an evil plot that threatens her homeland - she will have to choose between staying in the new world she's become enchanted by and protecting her kingdom before time runs out.

Following the premiere, Family will air two new consecutive episodes of The Other Kingdom Fridays beginning at 6 p.m. ET/PT. Episodes of The Other Kingdom will be offered on Family OnDemand as they become available weekly beginning April 23. To learn more about the exciting new series, fans can fly over to for show details, character bios and exclusive videos.

Part of an epic night of fantasy and flight on Family, The Other Kingdom is preceded by the feature film Peter Pan at 4 p.m. ET/PT starring Jeremy Sumpter (Friday Night Lights) and Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter franchise). On a quiet street in London, a mysterious flying boy and his fairy sidekick Tinker Bell pay a visit to Wendy, John and Michael Darling, whisking them away on a magical adventure to Neverland. Then, at 7 p.m. ET/PT, viewers won't want to miss a brand new episode of Backstage followed by The Next Step.

The Other Kingdom stars Esther Zynn as Fairy Princess Astral; Stratford-native Callan Potter as Tristan, Astral's crush; B.C.-raised Celina Martin as Astral's newfound friend Morgan; Kingston, Ontario's Taylor Adams as Devon, who hosts Astral on her student exchange; Richmond Hill's Josette Halpert as overachiever Hailey; Brampton-born Adam J. Peddle as Astral's half-troll cousin, Brendoni; and CJ Byrd-Vassell as British exchange student, Winston.

Family Channel offers the best in family television entertainment in a premium, commercial-free environment. Dedicated to celebrating family life and providing a daily vacation for children and their families, Family airs a unique mix of top-rated Canadian and acquired series, movies and specials. Family is also home to F2N - an entertainment haven for teens that features high quality programs after 9 p.m. Family Channel subscribers have access to Family OnDemand and Family Online at no additional cost, to see hit movies and series when they want them, where they want them. Visit us at

About DHX Television
DHX Television is comprised of Family Channel, Family CHRGD, Family Jr. and Télémagino, and is part of DHX Media Ltd., a leading creator, producer, marketer and broadcaster of family entertainment. Dedicated to celebrating family fun, DHX Television delivers best-in-class programming through premium subscriptions and its original production mandate, and creates and produces captivating in-market events that appeal to Canadian families. DHX Television is home to world-renowned series including The Next Step, Degrassi: Next Class and Teletubbies. DHX Media Ltd. has offices globally, and is traded on the NASDAQ and Toronto Stock Exchange.


Fans in the US can catch brand-new episodes of The Other Kingdom Sundays at 7pm/6c, only on Nickelodeon!

To celebrate Family Channel Canada starting to premiere and show The Other Kingdom Fridays from at 6:00pm (ET/PT) from 22nd April 2016, the Toronto Star has unveiled a magical interview with Thomas W. Lynch, the creator and executive producer of the brand-new fantasy television series, which you can read below! In the interview, Thomas reveals how he came up with the idea of the show! The article also reveals that producers are hoping that the series will have a four-season run!:

A fairy princess with real-world teen problems

The Other Kingdom aims to avoid standard tropes by turning its otherworldly heroine into a high school student.

Esther Zynn and her cast mates in The Other Kingdom.

When it comes to princesses in television and film, there isn't exactly a shortage of figures for young girls to look up to. Role models who go beyond the stereotypical "get the prince" plot, however, are fewer and farther between.

That's where executive producer Tommy Lynch and his latest Family Channel series, The Other Kingdom, come into play.

Lynch has plenty of experience casting a wilful, heroic light on young women thanks to previous series such as The Secret World of Alex Mack, not to mention decades of experience on tween series like South of Nowhere, The Troop and Kids Incorporated.

In this latest series, which premieres April 22 after an earlier start on Nickelodeon in the U.S., he's aiming to merge a princess with real world problems of the epic, teenage sort.

Princess Astral (Esther Zynn) is a fairy princess from Athenia. After spying on a cute boy she likes, Tristan (Callan Potter), Astral decides to leave her kingdom for Earth and experience everything a typical high school student would. Unfortunately, once she's there, she has just 90 days to decide if she wants to leave her fairy roots behind forever, or return home and rule the roost of mythical creatures.

It's a pretty tall order for a 15-year-old girl with heightened, fairy emotions.

"It's the story of a girl coming to age in a fish-out-of water situation, a new high school," Lynch says. "The best part is she comes to Earth because she sees a cute boy, but that becomes less important as she becomes her own independent woman to the fairies. She's a little more human (than other princesses). She is magical with powers, but my fairies feel a lot.

"Her emotional register is really strong, which conventionalizes her character a lot. She always has to remember her great quest isn't being a princess; her great quest is, 'Am I going to go home and become a queen or am I going to stay here and become a human?' It's a great dichotomy."

As the series unfolds weekly with back-to-back half-hour episodes Friday nights at 6 p.m. (20 episodes have been ordered to date with the hopes of a four-season run), Lynch aims to move away from the surreal aspect of it all and dig into larger themes such as the merging of environment and technology. He's also keen to explore something he thinks every kid in the world can relate to: feeling as though they have a big secret.

"Athenia is a fun way to get into another world, but the base of it is the adventure of a young girl in a new environment with this great secret," Lynch says. "Every kid in my audience feels they have a great secret and so they can see how she deals with hers."

The producers looked at more than 800 young girls for the lead role, but Zynn had the innocence Lynch wanted, along with a quiet strength that sold him on her being able to rule a hypothetical world. She was one of the finishing touches on a world he originally envisioned while working on the set of Make it Pop in Toronto, on the same location where Degrassi films.

On a February day he was looking at the indoor garden in an atrium surrounded by snow outside and his first thought was, "I wonder if all the fairies are cold." Setting the series with a female lead was pretty much a no-brainer for the prolific producer.

"This isn't a love story, but one of a young girl becoming a strong, teenage woman. My female characters are so good to write," he says. "Girls are smarter than boys; I have five brothers, two sisters and four sons, so I have great experience at how dumb boys can be. Girls are smart. And they're just fun to write for."

Especially when they also happen to be princesses.

The Other Kingdom's main cast

Princess Astral (Esther Zynn)
A headstrong fairy who wants to know more about the human race, she ignores her parents' pleas to stay in Athenia to live alongside humans and experience all life has to offer, even if it means giving up her own roots.

Tristan (Callan Potter)
A popular high school kid and gymnast who catches Astral's eye unknowingly. Down to earth and unassuming, Tristan finds himself the object of at least a couple of girls' affections over the series.

Hailey (Josette Halpert)
An aspiring future school president and prom queen, Hailey quickly becomes a rival to Astral when they both develop feelings for Tristan. As a mean girl of sorts, she's not above doing whatever it takes to get what she wants.

Morgan (Celina Martin)
Someone who stays on the fringe of the popular crowd but is dying to fit in, Morgan is best friends with Devon, the son of Astral's host family. She also knows more than she lets on and eventually becomes great friends with the leading lady.

Devon (Taylor Adams)
A somewhat grumpy teen with a unique perspective on the world, Devon's family takes in Astral when they believe her to be an English exchange student. Although he has reservations about his family's new addition, he eventually changes his tune.

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