Press Release from HIT Entertainment
NEW YORK, NY - July 8, 2010 - HIT Entertainment, a leading provider of quality children's entertainment, and Discovery Kids, the pioneer preschool channel in Latin America, debuted new episodes of Thomas & Friends (Thomas y sus amigos/ Thomas e seus amigos), presented for the first time in CG animation and with individual character voices, as well as the new CG animated series, Angelina Ballerina The Next Steps (Angelina Ballerina, Los Siguientes Pasos/Angelina Ballerina, Os Seguintes Passos) in Latin America. Thomas & Friends launched on Discovery Kids on May 7, 2010 followed by Angelina Ballerina The Next Steps which premiered on May 31, 2010. In its first week of launch Angelina Ballerina The Next Steps received top ratings on Discovery Kids, placing in the #1 spot amongst girls 4-11 across all Kids pay-TV networks in Colombia and Brazil, and ranked as the #2 kids' programs for girls 4-11 across all Kids pay-TV networks in Mexico and Argentina. [SOURCE: IBOPE, May 31, 2010 - June 6, 2010 - Colombia - M-F, 1900, #1 and Sa/Su, 1530, #1. Brazil - M-F, 1830, #1 and Sa/Su, 1530, #1. Mexico - Sa/Su, 1500, #2, Argentina - M-F, 0800 #2T and Sa/Su, 1100, #2]
"Discovery Kids is the perfect partner to premiere all-new CG animated versions of Thomas & Friends and Angelina Ballerina The Next Steps in Latin America," said Pam Westman, Executive Vice President, The Americas, HIT Entertainment. "The network is known throughout the region for their quality children's programming, and HIT is proud to add our new and beautifully animated series for Thomas & Friends and Angelina Ballerina to their broadcast. The strong initial ratings for both programs in CGI show that children in Latin America are embracing these updated children's favorites."
"In partnership with HIT Entertainment, our viewers will continue to learn about the world around them, and have their curiosity inspired by the adventures of these beautifully updated and beloved characters," said Bilai Joa Silar, Vice President and Channel Director for Discovery Kids Latin America. "In addition to adding Thomas & Friends and Angelina Ballerina to our line-up of programming we are thrilled to be able to extend these characters to our on-line platform (www.tudiscoverykids.com ) as well as offer viewers a chance to win a trip to the newest Thomas Town attraction at Six Flags America in the Baltimore/Washington, DC area later this year."
The timeless tales of friendship and adventure come to life like never before with Thomas & Friends now presented in CG animation. The series provides the Island of Sodor and its inhabitants with a fresh, vibrant look. In addition, the engines now speak in their own voices to tell their exciting tales. With the mixture of Thomas' signature storytelling, and the engines' own voices, children will be able to relate to and empathize with the timeless stories on a deeper level.
This new series also introduces new characters including Charlie, a small and playful engine with a reputation for fun and mischief, and the Japanese engine Hiro. Joining them are Kevin the crane and Victor, an engine from the Sodor Steam Works - characters first unveiled in the feature length special Thomas & Friends: Hero of the Rails, which aired on Discovery Kids on May 7. The Hero of the Rails broadcast on Discovery Kids ranked #1 in Colombia, #2 in Argentina and #3 in Brazil among all children 4-11 across all Kids pay-TV networks. [SOURCE: IBOPE, 6:00pm, Friday, May 7, 2010. Brazil - 1800, #3; Argentina - 2000, #2; Colombia -2000, #1]
Angelina Ballerina The Next Steps, an extension of the original best-selling Angelina Ballerina books by author Katharine Holabird and illustrator Helen Craig, follows Angelina as she puts her best toe forward and embarks on the next stage in her life. Angelina enrolls at Camembert Academy, a school for the performing arts where she meets new friends and experiences an exciting world of dance, music and performance. Each episode stars Angelina and consists of two 11-minute CG animated stories linked with a live-action interstitial segment featuring all types of young dancers and musicians performing and sharing their love of the arts.
Angelina Ballerina The Next Steps was developed in consultation with a team of accredited choreographers and dance and music instructors, and it fully incorporates a curriculum for young children steeped in the performing arts. The series celebrates music and brings to life new forms of dance for Angelina including ballet, modern, tap, jazz, classic and ethnic. Angelina always works hard to reach her goals and learns from her mistakes. As kids share in Angelina's experiences, they're inspired to pursue their big dreams too!
Angelina Ballerina The Next Steps is a production of HIT Entertainment and THIRTEEN in association with Nick Jr. UK and WNET.ORG.
About Discovery Kids Latin America
DISCOVERY KIDS is the pioneer preschool channel dedicated to bringing high quality television to the youngest of viewers, 24 hours a day, everyday. It stimulates and inspires kids' interest for knowledge, creating life-long learners through curiosity and fun.
About HIT Entertainment
HIT Entertainment is one of the world's leading independent children's entertainment producers and rights-owners. HIT's portfolio includes properties, such as Barney, Bob the Builder(tm), Thomas & Friends, Pingu, Fireman Sam, Angelina Ballerina and Rainbow Magic. HIT represents Chapman Entertainment's Fifi and the Flowertots and Roary the Racing Car in North America, as well as Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, Timmy Time and Aardman Classics from Aardman Animations. HIT acts as representative for The Wiggles in the UK. Launched in 1989, HIT's lines of business span television and video production, content distribution, publishing, consumer products licensing and live events and has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. HIT is a part-owner of US-based preschool channel, PBS KIDS SproutSM, and international preschool channel JimJam, (outside of the US, UK and China). For more information, visit www.hitentertainment.com .