Out There (2003 TV series)

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Out There
Created byWillie Reale
Directed byJulie Money
Opening theme"Doin' What I Do"
Country of origin
  • United States
  • Australia
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes26
Executive producers
  • Essie Chambers[1]
  • Claire Henderson
  • Liz Nealon[2]
  • Michael Bourchier
  • Kurt Mueller
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time24 minutes
Production companiesSesame Workshop
Noggin LLC
Original networkNoggin (The N)
Original releaseMay 23, 2003 (2003-05-23)[3] –
July 1, 2004 (2004-07-01)

Out There is a drama television series produced by Sesame Workshop and Noggin LLC for the Noggin channel.[4] It aired as part of Noggin's nighttime programming block, The N. When the show started development, Sesame Workshop co-owned Noggin, and Out There was launched as a tween-oriented project for the network. The show was written, produced, and commissioned in New York, and it originated as an entirely American series with a storyline set in New York.[5] During development, it became an American-Australian co-production (then titled Two Down Under), and filming took place mostly in Australia.

The show's plot mirrors its co-development between the United States and Australia. It follows the trials and tribulations of an American high school boy named Reilly (Douglas Smith), who moves to Australia from Connecticut as his father flees the authorities. He stays with his aunt and uncle, who are the owners of a nature reserve and veterinary clinic. Reilly befriends his co-worker Aggie (Jade Ewen), a local boy named Miller (Richard Wilson), and the girl next door, Fiona (Molly McCaffrey).

The series premiered on Noggin on May 23, 2003, as the inaugural show of a scheduling event called "Summer in The N."[3] The first four episodes were shown as a two-hour series premiere,[3] and the remainder of the first season aired on Fridays at 9 p.m. in June and July 2003.[6] The show ran for two seasons and 26 episodes in total. It aired its final new episode on July 1, 2004, with reruns continuing throughout the year.


The show's concept was developed by Sesame Workshop and Noggin, both headquartered in New York. The show's plot started out as a "purely North American concept set in New York,"[5] without any Australian elements. It began production when the Noggin channel was co-owned and jointly operated by Nickelodeon and Sesame Workshop.

When the show was pitched to potential broadcasters overseas, two buyers—the ABC in Australia and the BBC in Britain—wanted to see the story regionalized so that it would appeal to viewers in their respective regions.[5] The crew "went back to the drawing board"[5] and revised the concept, turning the main character Reilly from an average American into an American displaced in Australia. The character of Aggie was added to hold appeal to British audiences.[7] Both the ABC and the BBC provided funding for the show.[7]

The show was first announced under the working title Two Down Under,[8] which refers to two outsiders moving "down under" to Australia. The show aired as part of The N, a nighttime block on the Noggin channel for tween and teen-oriented shows.[9] The show was specifically aimed at 9- to 13-year-olds,[10] and it was marketed as a "tween drama."[11]

According to executive producer Claire Henderson, accurately representing the American and British characters was easy, while faithfully depicting Australia was more difficult. She said, "Now this actually naturally worked with Reilly being the American and Aggie coming over from Britain. But you have to make sure also that Australia is represented as something that Australian kids can relate to and not some sort of false identity that might suit the other partners."[7]


In the series, Reilly moves from Greenwich, Connecticut to work with his aunt and uncle, Ellen (Genevieve Hegney) and Jonathan (David Roberts) in Australia. He is joined at the clinic by a girl named Aggie Thackery (Jade Ewen), an intern from England. She is initially annoyed at his stubborn demeanor, but grows to like him. Reilly also makes friends with an eccentric local boy, Miller McKee (Richard Wilson), and the girl next door, Fiona McDaniels (Molly McCaffrey), who both work at the clinic. In the first season, Miller is repeatedly turned down by Aggie, who does not yet return his strong feelings for her.

In the second season, Reilly returns to America and is not seen for the remainder of the series. A supposed intern from Texas named Tom (Cody Kasch) arrives, hoping for a "new start," only to be discovered as a fraud and almost sent back to America. This season also adds three new supporting characters: the captain of Aggie's Netball team, Alice (Ashleigh Murray), who has secret affections for Miller, Gregor Krauss (Sean Kennedy), Aggie's short-lived love interest, and Miller's newfound stray dog, Hendrix.





The series was nominated for several Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards. Director Stephen Maxwell Johnson's direction of the episode "Reilly Had A Little Goat" was nominated for Best Direction in 2003, and the series was nominated for Best Children's Television Drama in both 2003 and 2004, and won in 2003. It was nominated for a Logie Award in the Most Outstanding Children's Program category in 2004 and 2005, winning in 2005. A script for one of the episodes was nominated for a Writers Guild of America award in 2004.[12][13]


  1. ^ Clarke, Emily (January 31, 2006). "The N Names Chambers VP of Development". Broadcasting & Cable. Future US. Chambers joined Noggin at the network's inception in 1998, developing and overseeing production on series such as ... Out There
  2. ^ Stewart, Lianne (February 1, 2005). "People in New Jobs". Kidscreen. Brunico Communications.
  3. ^ a b c "Summer Sizzles in The N". PR Newswire. Cision. May 8, 2003. Archived from the original on August 19, 2016.
  4. ^ "Douglas Smith". TVNZ. 2006. Archived from the original on September 30, 2020. Series regular for 'Out There,' the television project for Sesame Workshop and Noggin
  5. ^ a b c d Connell, Mike (March 1, 2002). "UpNext: What's developing in kids production". Kidscreen. TDU started out as a purely North American concept set in New York.
  6. ^ "ABC Family faces an uphill battle in the tween market". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. May 22, 2003. The N also is growing its lineup ... The hourlong 'Out There' will then air Friday nights at 9.
  7. ^ a b c "Curator's notes: Out There, Two Down Under". 2003.
  8. ^ Godfrey, Leigh (September 12, 2002). "Sesame Workshop Brings New Street Format to Mipcom". Animation World Network.
  9. ^ Applebaum, Simon (February 19, 2003). "Noggin, Sesame Are Out There". Multichannel News. weekly drama to 'The N,' Noggin's evening offering, this spring
  10. ^ Scally, Robert (2002). "NATPE Not for Licensing?". License! Global.
  11. ^ "German presale for Sesame's first tween drama". C21Media. August 10, 2002.
  12. ^ Johnson, Stephen Maxwell (12 May 2021). "High Ground – Director Stephen Maxwell Johnson" (Audio (16 min.) + text). Film School Radio (Interview). Interviewed by Kaspar, Mike. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  13. ^ "Out There". IMDb. Retrieved 19 April 2022.

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