Hit Entertainment is expanding its content portfolio by greenlighting three direct-to-DVD feature specials (3 x 60’) for Thomas & Friends, Fireman Sam, and for the first time, Mike the Knight, co-produced with Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana.
This announcement follows last year’s centralisation of content creation, production and brand management and forms part of Hit Entertainment’s renewed focus on tent-pole events and its ongoing commitment to investing in new content and providing engaging storytelling which extend the ways in which audiences emotionally connect with its brands.
Production is currently underway for all three titles: Thomas & Friends: Tale of the Brave, Mike the Knight: Journey to Dragon Mountain and Fireman Sam: Heroes of the Storm (working title).
Michael Carrington, VP content and head of production, Hit global brands, sais: “Hit Entertainment is committed to producing exceptional content, with rich and character-driven stories that capture the hearts and imaginations of pre-schoolers around the world and I’m delighted to announce these three new 60-minute specials.
“Tent-pole programming offers us the perfect opportunity to introduce new storylines and characters and build products and experiences around them which provide audiences with new ways to enjoy, engage and interact with their favourite characters.”
Thomas & Friends: Tale of the Brave will premiere in 2014. Hit Entertainment has also greenlit a new 26 x 11’ CGI series of Thomas & Friends. This will be the 18th series of Thomas & Friends, which remains one of the world’s premiere pre-school lifestyle brands and currently broadcasts in 200 territories to over 1.1b households.
The Journey to Dragon Mountain is the first feature-length outing for Mike the Knight, which will premiere in 2014. The first two series of Mike the Knight have so far been sold to 27 broadcasters in 112 territories.
Fireman Sam: Heroes of the Storm (working title) follows on the heels of the brand’s first tent-pole special ‘The Great Fire of Pontypandy’. It will premiere in 2015.
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