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Series: Hi-5

The latest incarnation of the cast.

"Five in the air, let's do it together..."

Hi-5 is an Australian children's television series transmitted on the Nine Network, currently airing on Channel Nine's sister digital channel Go!. It was created by Helena Harris (who also created Bananas in Pyjamas) after she found that her children had outgrown Bananas but still needed viable entertainment that satiated their capacity for learning. After teaming up with co-producer Posie Graeme-Evans, pre-production began in 1998 and the show debuted a year later.

The concept of the show revolved around five presenters — three females and two males with backgrounds in singing, dancing and acting. Within a thirty-minute episode, each of the presenters would have their own segments which displayed their "expertise" (for example, Kathleen from the original series dealt with the logic-based segments in the show whereas Charli would demonstrate movement and motor skills) but would ultimately band together to perform a few songs and stories. Each episode would also have some kind of theme (such as animals, friendship or music) but the songs performed did not necessarily have to demonstrate the episode's subject.

The show is very popular with the under-ten set and in its thirteen-year existence won five ARIA awards for "Best Children's Album" and three consecutive Logie Awards for "Most Outstanding Children's Preschool Program".

Not to be confused with a Friending Network of the same name.

Tropes:

  • Edutainment Show
  • Excited Kids' Show Host: All of the presenters fit this trope.
  • Long-Runner Cast Turnover: Especially in recent years. While the first incarnation of the cast had members staying for close to a decade, members now seem to change every three years. Perhaps they know about the Doctor Who rule?
  • Meaningful Name: The show is named for its five exuberant presenters, and the act of giving a "hi-five".
  • No Fourth Wall
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Kathleen/Sun/Fely/Dayen's Hand Puppet friends Chatterbox (or just 'Chats') and Jup Jup. Chats is a Totally Radical jack-in-the-box (who's been known to talk a lot), while Jup Jup is an Ugly Cute ... thing.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Though a few members of the cast left the show to "explore other options" (read: fear of being typecast), Kathleen de Leon Jones left because of her pregnancy and Tim Harding was forced to leave due to sustaining major injuries in a motorcycle accident.
  • Studio Audience: When the group performed their songs, they performed them in front of a crowd of toddlers in a concert-like setting.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: All of the subsequent replacements for the original cast members seem to share their basic appearance traits. Justified since they are essentially filling the "roles" left by the previous cast members.
  • These Tropes Are Made For Walking: The American team performed "Underwater Discovery" barefoot.
  • West Coast Team: The franchise spawned overseas counterparts in the UK and in the US. The US version of the show is extremely popular, leading Matt Lauer to compare their popularity with that of The Beatles' after one performance on the Today show. Ironically, the US version is shot in the same studios as the Australian version — in Sydney, Australia.