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Asacha Media Group Producer, Stand by Me and Italian Public Broadcaster, Rai, Announce Covid-19 Themed Kids & Teen Drama

“JAMS”, Italy’s number one kids show, is returning for a Covid-19 themed special season

  • “JAMS”, Italy’s number one kids show, which is co-produced by award-winning production house Stand by Me and Italian public broadcaster Rai, is returning for a Covid-19 themed special season
  • The new production of “JAMS” will be Italy’s first TV fiction series to be filmed and released during the pandemic
  • Stand by Me and Rai are co-producing the award-winning show using new techniques to observe all health and safety protocols around Covid-19
  • Stand by Me is part of Pan-European content creator and producer, Asacha Media Group, which launched in April

Award-winning Italian production house Stand by Me (part of Asacha Media Group), and public service broadcaster Rai, today announced the return of Italy’s number one kids series “JAMS” for a special, Covid-19 themed season, launching in June. A further full-length series of the show has also been picked up by Rai and will air at a later date.

Created by Stand by Me’s Founder, CEO and Creative Director, Simona Ercolani, “JAMS” tells the story of Joy, Alice, Max and Stefano, four inseparable friends living typical, middle school lives. While each season sees the four taking part in exciting challenges featuring real-life celebrity guest stars, they must also overcome distressing events that severely impact one or more of their closely-knit group. The series is filmed using ‘constructed reality’, with the cast improvising from an outline of a script, creating spontaneous and authentic dialogue that resonates with young viewers.

Produced in consultation with Pediatric Hospital, Bambino Gesù, and Italy’s Ministry of Education, the first 10 x 25 minutes season of “JAMS” for Rai kids’ TV channel, Rai Gulp, broke new ground by tackling the issue of child molestation in a sensitive, informative and engaging way for young viewers. After breaking out as the number one series across all kids’ channels in March 2019, the show returned for a second daily prime time season of 20 x 25 minutes in March 2020, this time turning its focus to the issue of cyberbullying.

The latest 5 x 25 minutes special season, which launches on Rai Ragazzi (Rai Kids) and digital platform RaiPlay this June, will see the beloved protagonists’ lives turned upside down by the forced isolation that followed the outbreak of Covid-19. The four friends must adapt to their new reality, experiencing the world through their computers and mobile phones, while fighting to preserve their precious friendships. The show will feature season 2 guest star, X Factor finalist Martina Attili, who returns for an online singing contest that the four friends decide to enter from the confinement of their bedrooms.

The “JAMS” special is being filmed within a three-week timeline, while complying with all aspects of the Italian government’s wide-ranging Covid-19 safety measures. Three sets have been built to allow parallel filming, with no more than two actors on the same set at any time, while all observe social distancing restrictions. The Showrunner and Director work remotely via monitors connected to each set, allowing real time interaction with all the cast and up to four crews, in order to capture the spontaneity of the performances and improvisation.

Luca Milano, Head of Rai Ragazzi (Rai Kids) comments: “The hashtag of this new season of “JAMS” is #NeverBeenCloser, which not only refers to our protagonists in the show but is also intended for all the children and teens in Italy and elsewhere, who have been experiencing life in quarantine. Our mission is to be relevant and authentic for our young viewers, and we immediately supported Simona’s proposal to produce this extraordinary TV series, helping kids to feel a sense of community even when they cannot be together in the same place”.

Simona Ercolani, who in addition to her leadership of Stand by Me serves as Group Chief Creative Officer, Entertainment, Factual & Kids for Asacha Media Group, comments: “Our ongoing partnership with Rai for “JAMS” has resulted in some of Stand by Me’s best ever work. I want to pay tribute to the outstanding production teams and cast for this new series, all of whom have risen to the challenges of the current environment to deliver a genuinely inspiring show.”

Asacha Media Group Co-Founders, Gaspard de Chavagnac, Marina Williams (Co-CEOs) and Marc-Antoine d’Halluin (Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board and Chairman of Stand by me), jointly comment: “The resourcefulness and skill behind this latest production of “JAMS” underscores the impressive track record that Simona and her team at Stand by Me have built. We are immensely proud to have such a high standard of creativity and commitment within our newly launched group.”

“JAMS” is created by Simona Ercolani. The new special is season is written by Simona Ercolani with Angelo Pastore, Mariano di Nardo, Josella Porto and Elizabeth De Grassi. The series is Directed by Emanuele Pisano.

A further full-length season of “JAMS” has also been picked up by Rai, further details on which will follow in due course.

The show has won widespread industry acclaim, having picked up the 2019 Pulcinella Award for Best Live Action Series and the 2019 Content Innovation Awards for Best Live Action Kids Programme.

“JAMS” is distributed internationally by Rai Com.

Notes to Editor:

About Stand by Me

Stand by Me, was founded in 2010 by award winning Italian screenwriter, director and television producer, Simona Ercolani. The company is behind a significant slate of factual titles, reality series, kids programming and documentaries, including kids live action series “Sara & Marti”, which has had three seasons on Disney Channel Italy and was adapted into a theatrical feature film in 2019. Other hits include constructed reality series such as Italy’s number one kids show “JAMS” and “High Infidelity”, which has had over 180 episodes produced for Discovery. The company is also behind documentary series such as “Kids of Bambino Gesù”, the fourth season of which is in pre-production for RAI. Stand by Me is now part of the recently launched Pan-European Content Creator and Producer, Asacha Media Group.

About Asacha Media Group

Asacha Media Group is a multinational partnership of content creators and producers, with backing from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. Headquartered in Paris, Asacha Media Group’s business predominantly focuses on the growth in demand for non-English language scripted content from streaming platforms and European broadcasters. Asacha Media Group launched in April 2020 having acquired a majority stake in Italian production houses, Picomedia and Stand by Me and French production company Mintee Studio, with combined annual revenues of €50 million. Discussions are currently underway for further acquisitions in other key European markets. Asacha Media Group is co-founded by high-ranking media executives Gaspard de Chavagnac and Marina Williams, who lead the Group as Co-CEOs, and Marc-Antoine d’Halluin, who is Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board.