PBS Kids Greenlights Martha Speaks For Fourth Season

WGBH Boston and DHX Media announced today that they have begun production of the fourth season of the popular PBS KIDS animated preschool show Martha Speaks.

Martha Speaks

Press Release from WGBH Boston and DHX Media

Boston, MA and Toronto, ON, May 4, 2011 — WGBH Boston and DHX Media announced today that they have begun production of the fourth season of the popular PBS KIDS animated preschool show Martha Speaks.

With production underway this month, the first episodes will be delivered in December 2011 and are set to air on PBS KIDS in Winter 2012. This will take the total number of episodes available to 80 half-hours.

“We are delighted that Martha Speaks has been greenlit for a fourth season,” said WGBH Senior Executive producer Carol Greenwald.  “We have watched Martha’s audience grow each season — currently reaching an average of 4.5m people on air each week and 745K online each month in the U.S. — and we look forward to creating new adventures for Martha to share with our audience.”

Chris Bartleman, EVP Production and Development, Kids at DHX Media said: “This new commission highlights how much the series has resonated with older preschool kids, not just in the US but on all our international broadcasters. We’ve had some great feedback across the board, and are looking forward to entertaining the show’s fans with more of Martha’s adventures.”

A co-production from WGBH Boston and DHX Media, Martha Speaks is an animated show aimed at 4-7 year olds. It is based on the best-selling books by Susan Meddaugh, which have sold nearly one million copies in the U.S. and been widely translated throughout the world. DHX Media represents worldwide television and home entertainment rights outside of the United States.

Internationally, DHX Media has sold Martha Speaks to CBBC, Italy’s preschool channel JimJam, France 5, Sun TV in India, Nick Junior in Australia, Discovery Kids Latin America, Canal+ Cyfrowy Sp. z o.o. and OP Art in Poland, Noga Communication's Logi Channel in Israel and Minimax in Central and Eastern Europe. Al Jazeera Children’s Channel for the Arabic countries and Finland’s YLE have also signed up for the series, along with a trio of Canadian broadcasters: TVO, Knowledge Network and SCN.

The series follows the adventures of Martha, a loveable dog whose appetite for alphabet soup gives her the power of human speech. Using her speaking abilities, Martha gets jobs, foils bad guys, wins contests, runs for office and orders lots of pizza!  A dog’s breakfast of messes and hilarious entanglements ensue for Martha, her family and the unsuspecting people of her town who make up the comic heart of the series.

About Martha SpeaksMartha Speaks is a production of WGBH Boston and DHX Media. Martha Speaks is funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting through a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Education's Ready to Learn Grant. Corporate funding is provided by Chuck E. Cheese’s®, Kiddie Academy® Child Care Learning Centers, and Chick-fil-A, Inc.  Additional funding provided by public television viewers.

Distributed internationally by DHX Media, Martha Speaks also airs on CBBC, TVO, Knowledge Network, and SCN and has been acquired by broadcasters across Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

About WGBH BostonWGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcasting producer, the source of one-third of PBS’s prime-time lineup along with some of public television’s best-known lifestyle shows, many public radio favorites, and a roster of children’s programs that empower kids with innovative, entertaining, curriculum-based content.  Among the WGBH-produced children’s titles: Arthur, Curious George, Postcards from Buster, Between the Lions, Design Squad, Martha Speaks and Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman.  WGBH is the number-one producer of websites on pbs.org, one of the most trafficked dot-org websites in the world, and a pioneer in educational multimedia and in technologies and services that make media accessible to the 36 million Americans who rely on captioning or video descriptions.  WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, DuPont-Columbia Awards … even two Oscars.  In 2002, WGBH received a special institutional Peabody Award for 50 years of excellence.  For more information, go to www.wgbh.org.

About DHX Media Ltd. DHX Media Ltd. is a leading international producer and distributor of television programming and interactive content with an emphasis on children, family and youth markets. DHX Media Ltd. shares are listed on the TSX, the Toronto Stock Exchange.  DHX Media has offices in Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver and Los Angeles and has a growing library of over 2,300 half-hours of mostly children’s and youth-oriented properties from own and third party producers. Live action series include That’s So Weird and How to Be Indie alongside animated series such as Animal Mechanicals, Franny’s Feet, Kid vs Kat, dirtgirlworld, and new preschool show Rastamouse.  www.dhxmedia.com

About PBS KIDS PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs.  More than 21 million children watch PBS KIDS on TV, and more than 21 million engage with PBS KIDS online each quarter. For more information on specific PBS KIDS programs supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit PBS.org/pressroom.

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