The Dumping Ground is a British children'scomedy-drama that focuses on the lives and experiences of young people and their care workers in care. Filmed around Jesmond, the setting for the first series was 'Elm Tree House',[2] which was later replaced with 'Ashdene Ridge' from the second series onwards. A spin-off to Tracy Beaker Returns, the series was commissioned in early 2012 and first broadcast on CBBC and the now-defunct BBC HD on 4 January 2013.[3][4]

Premise

The premise of the series revolves around the life of children in the Ashdene Ridge care home; typically each episode follows one or more characters' adventures and includes subplots featuring other characters. Episodes frequently include moral messages and tackle social issues.

The first series of The Dumping Ground was announced in March 2012, when Amy-Leigh Hickman (Carmen Howle) announced it live in the CBBC office. The first series was filmed for 13 weeks at the recently closed La Sagesse School in Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne, the same setting used for Tracy Beaker Returns. This series was the last to feature the school as the general setting in the Tracy Beaker franchise. The second series featured a new home called 'Ashdene Ridge', because La Sagesse School and its surrounding land was to be demolished and converted into a luxury housing estate.[5] Each series is filmed in the summer, before being shown the following year.

Episodes

The Dumping Ground is currently airing its fourth series. The first premiered on 4 January 2013 and aired until 15 March of that year. This was followed by a one-off Christmas special on 16 December 2013. The second series aired from 10 January until 28 March 2014. A third series of twenty episodes was split into two parts, with the first ten episodes airing from 16 January until 13 March 2015 (which saw Joe Maw leave) while the remaining episodes aired from 6 October until 8 December 2015.[6] A fourth series began on 29 January 2016; it again will split into two parts, with twenty episodes airing respectively in January and September. A fifth series (again splitting into two halves; consisting of ten half-hour episodes each part) was confirmed by broadcaster CBBC in May 2015, to air in 2017.

There has been a 2013 Christmas special and online TV spin-off Liam's Story, which received a TV broadcast on 23 March 2014. Another TV spin-off series entitled 'The Dumping Ground: I'm...' aired from 25 January 2016 until 10 February 2016, when all the residents and care workers gathered round the TV and watched 'my life in care' videos. It consisted of 10 episodes.

SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1134 January 2013 (2013-01-04)15 March 2013 (2013-03-15)
Special16 December 2013 (2013-12-16)
21310 January 2014 (2014-01-10)28 March 2014 (2014-03-28)
3201016 January 2015 (2015-01-16)13 March 2015 (2015-03-13)
106 October 2015 (2015-10-06)8 December 2015 (2015-12-08)
4201029 January 2016 (2016-01-29)25 March 2016 (2016-03-25)
TBATBA
Special25 March 2016 (2016-03-25)

Characters

The series revolves around a group of children living in a care home with all the troubles and dramas that happen within their lives. The longest-serving character is Mike Milligan, who previously appeared in "The Story of Tracy Beaker" in 2002 and 2006, and then reappeared in "Tracy Beaker Returns" (2010–12); he has featured in 56 of 58 episodes of "The Dumping Ground" since then.

Ratings

Series No.Episode No.AirdateViewersAvg. ViewersCBBC Weekly RankingBBC iPlayer requests Source
114 January 2013 (2013-01-04)625,000545,00011,479,000[7]
211 January 2013 (2013-01-11)567,00011,078,000[7]
318 January 2013 (2013-01-18)684,00011,072,000[7]
425 January 2013 (2013-01-25)500,00011,076,000[7]
51 February 2013 (2013-02-01)631,0001TBATBA
68 February 2013 (2013-02-08)545,0001943,000[8]
715 February 2013 (2013-02-15)594,0001810,000[8]
822 February 2013 (2013-02-22)486,0002TBATBA
91 March 2013 (2013-03-01)463,0001TBATBA
108 March 2013 (2013-03-08)438,0001977,000[9]
1115 March 2013 (2013-03-15)422,0002928,000[9]
1222 March 2013 (2013-03-22)479,0002877,000[9]
135 April 2013 (2013-04-05)649,0001823,000[9]
Special16 December 2013 (2013-12-16)504,000N/A1913,000[2]
2110 January 2014 (2014-01-10)565,000396,00011,241,000[2]
2
317 January 2014 (2014-01-17)322,0002TBATBA
424 January 2014 (2014-01-24)449,0001TBATBA
531 January 2014 (2014-01-31)TBATBATBATBA
67 February 2014 (2014-02-07)TBATBATBATBA
714 February 2014 (2014-02-14)358,0005856,000[2]
821 February 2014 (2014-02-21)341,0001TBATBA
928 February 2014 (2014-02-28)382,0002TBATBA
107 March 2014 (2014-03-07)467,0001TBATBA
1114 March 2014 (2014-03-14)361,0001TBATBA
1221 March 2014 (2014-03-21)412,0001TBATBA
1328 March 2014 (2014-03-28)302,0002TBATBA
3116 January 2015 (2015-01-16)269,000311,00031,400,000[2]
2
323 January 2015 (2015-01-23)298,0001TBATBA
430 January 2015 (2015-01-30)248,0001TBATBA
56 February 2015 (2015-02-06)247,0003950,000[2]
613 February 2015 (2015-02-13)251,0001TBATBA
720 February 2015 (2015-02-20)255,0002TBATBA
827 February 2015 (2015-02-27)332,0002TBATBA
96 March 2015 (2015-03-06)274,0001TBATBA
1013 March 2015 (2015-03-13)306,0001826,000[2]
116 October 2015 (2015-10-06)323,0004904,000[2]
1213 October 2015 (2015-10-13)386,0001TBATBA
1320 October 2015 (2015-10-20)355,0002TBATBA
1427 October 2015 (2015-10-27)325,0005TBATBA
153 November 2015 (2015-11-03)396,0002755,000[17]
1610 November 2015 (2015-11-10)254,0006TBATBA
1717 November 2015 (2015-11-17)327,0002TBATBA
1824 November 2015 (2015-11-24)360,0001TBATBA
191 December 2015 (2015-12-01)263,0003719,000[17]
208 December 2015 (2015-12-08)443,0001TBATBA
4129 January 2016 (2016-01-29)370,0001N/AN/A
2
35 February 2016 (2016-02-05)447,0001845,000[18]
412 February 2016 (2016-02-12)309,0001N/AN/A
519 February 2016 (2016-02-19)237,0007N/AN/A
626 February 2016 (2016-02-26)341,0001666,000[18]
74 March 2016 (2016-03-04)269,0001N/AN/A
811 March 2016 (2016-03-11)247,0002N/AN/A
918 March 2016 (2016-03-18)333,0001N/AN/A
1025 March 2016 (2016-03-25)N/AN/AN/AN/A

Awards and nominations

CeremonyAwardNomineeResult
2013 Writers' Guild of Great Britain AwardsBest Children's Television ScriptElly Brewer for "What Would Gus Want?"Won
Emma Reeves for "The Truth is Out There"Nominated
2013 British Academy Children's Awards[2]Best DramaThe Dumping GroundWon
2014 British Academy Children's Awards[3]BAFTA Kid's Vote – TelevisionThe Dumping GroundNominated
Best ActorKia Pegg as Jody JacksonNominated
2015 British Academy Children's Awards[3]Children's Drama in 2015The Dumping GroundNominated
Interactive: Adapted in 2015The Dumping Ground: You're The BossWon
Royal Television Society North East and the Border Awards 2016Drama in 2016The Dumping GroundWon