NEW YORK, NY – September 12, 2012 – HIT Entertainment, a leading provider of quality children’s entertainment, and THIRTEEN, in association with WNET, one of the most prolific producers of programming for PBS and the most watched public television station America, announce new episodes of Thomas & Friends® will launch on PBS KIDS this fall on WNED-TV. New Thomas & Friends episodesair weekdays at 7:30 a.m. The Thomas & Friends series is sponsored by Orajel, the maker of the ARM & HAMMER™ Spinbrush™, and the Hard Rock All-Inclusive Experience in Cancun, Riviera Maya and Punta Cana.
Timeless tales of friendship and adventure on the Island of Sodor are brought to life in the CG animated Thomas & Friends series. One of the upcoming episodes airing this fall (#908 - “Welcome Stafford”) introduces the new character, Stafford, an electric shunting engine. The episodes also highlight the Narrow Gauge engines and the Blue Mountain Quarry destination, featured in Blue Mountain Mystery. Currently, Thomas & Friends is the #5 ranked non-movie K2-5 series on PBS (Nielsen, June K2-5 Live+7day).
As of early 2012, according to The NPD Group, the brand has ranked as the #1 preschool toy property in both the U.S. and the U.K. for 11 and 12 consecutive years, respectively. In the U.S., Thomas & Friends also holds the #1 spot for overall top preschool property and was a top 10 property in the entire toy industry for 2011.
New episodes include:
EPISODE #906 – A FRIEND IN NEED!
- The Monster of Brendam Docks
Percy is waiting at Brendam Docks to pick up a new table and chairs for Dowager Hatt’s house. Fog rolls in, and legend says that’s when the Monster of Brendam can be seen. Percy tells the other engines about the legend and causes chaos around Sodor when the engines mistake each other for the Monster!
A photographer arrives to take photographs of the engines for The Great Railways of Sodor book. Thomas is determined to be photographed more than Gordon and bursts his way into each photograph, not realizing Percy and James have become derailed. A cross Sir Topham Hatt tells Thomas about Percy and James being derailed, and Thomas has to find a way to put everything right.
EPISODE #907 – WINTER SURPRISE
- Emily’s Winter Party Special
Emily is given the task of finding Sir Topham Hatt’s missing hat. If successful, she will be given the prestigious job of pulling the Winter Party Train. Emily is so busy boasting to the other engines; she completely forgets to look for the hat. By the time she realizes her mistake, night has fallen and Emily's chances of finding anything have slipped away. Or so it seems...
Salty tells the other engines that he just likes a good story instead of holiday presents. Still determined to find Salty a present, Edward finds all different kinds of gifts for Salty, but Salty says no thank you to each present. Salty points out that Edward has given him a story -- which is, for him, the best holiday present of all!
EPISODE #908 – COMMUNICATION
Spencer is proud to show Stafford, the new shunting engine, around Sodor. Stafford is an electric engine and runs on batteries. Stafford tries to tell Spencer when his batteries are running low, but Spencer doesn’t listen. Soon, he finds that Stafford is not behind him anymore -- his battery has run out! Later, when Spencer runs out of coal, Stafford shunts Spencer all the way to Knapford Station!
When Mr. Percival leaves Peter Sam in charge, he tells Peter Sam not to bother Victor with little things. Soon, Sir Handel starts creaking and croaking, Skarloey’s funnel fumes and Duncan’s rods rattle. Peter Sam tries to fix them all himself, instead of bothering Victor. Then Peter Sam runs out of coal and he hasn’t fixed the engines. He realizes that broken engines are not ‘little things’!
EPISODE #909 – LET IT SNOW
- The Christmas Tree Express
Rheneas wants to surprise the other engines at the Blue Mountain Quarry with a Christmas tree, and he asks Toby to take him to Misty Island to get one. On Misty Island, Toby wants to travel slowly, but Rheneas is excited and in a hurry. Speeding along, Toby and Rheneas whoosh straight past some perfect Christmas trees. Rheneas realizes that he has been silly to rush. With the help of the Logging Locos, they take the best tree of all to Rheneas’ Narrow Gauge friends!
To show Henry that snow is fun, Charlie hides behind a snowman and pretends to be the snowman telling Henry jokes. Henry is scared and steams quickly away. Charlie is sorry that he scared Henry and realizes that not everyone likes the snow. Charlie sees what makes Henry happy in the snow: quiet, natural things. Then, Henry asks Charlie for a joke, and they both enjoy a good laugh!
EPISODE #910 – JUST BEING YOU
Dowager Hatt is having a “Welcome to Sodor” party. Sir Topham Hatt asks Thomas to take the visitors on a tour of the island, but the Express that the visitors ride on is too heavy for Thomas. He doesn’t want Gordon to see that he has to drop off the passengers to make the Express lighter. When Dowager Hatt realizes that the visitors are missing, Gordon is sent to collect them. But there’s a job that still needs to be done! Thomas is fast and picks up the balloons for the party proving that that he is Really Useful, just in a different way than Gordon!
Whiff is given the job of collecting trucks of garbage from across the island. Whiff hears Spencer being praised for his grandness. Whiff wishes that he, too, could be a grand engine, so he searches for opportunities to be grand. The tracks come to a standstill because Whiff’s garbage trucks have not been collected. Worried, Whiff crashes into Percy. Seeing Percy, who is only concerned about delivering the mail on time, Whiff realizes that there is nothing grander than doing your job well.
About Thomas & Friends™
Thomas the Tank Engine was created by a father for his son over 65 years ago and today is enjoyed by families in more than 185 territories and in 30 languages. The #1 blue engine and his friendsinvite children to enter a world of imagination through the tracks of a train and the words of a story. Children embark on adventures with their engine friends while experiencing timeless life lessons of discovery, friendship and cooperation. Thomas & Friends makes tracks to great destinations on PBS KIDS®, Sprout® and with downloadable episodes available through iTunes. For more information about the world of Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends,please visit www.thomasandfriends.com. Follow Thomas on Facebook at facebook.com/thomasandfriends and Twitter @TrueBlueEngine.
About HIT Entertainment
HIT Entertainment is one of the world's leading children's entertainment producers and rights owners. HIT Entertainment is a division of Fisher-Price. HIT’s portfolio includes properties, such as Thomas & Friends®, Barney®, Bob the Builder®, Fireman Sam®, Angelina Ballerina®, Mike the Knight™, Pingu® and Rainbow Magic®. Launched in 1989, HIT’s lines of business span television and video production, content distribution, publishing, consumer products licensing, digital media, and live events and has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. For more information, visit www.hitentertainment.com
In 2012, WNET is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THIRTEEN, New York’s flagship public media provider. As the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature , Great Performances , American Masters , Need to Know , Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and onlind l. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math , Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS , Reel 13 , NJ Today and the new online newsmagazine MetroFocus . For more information, visit www.wnet.org .
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. For more information on specific PBS KIDS programs supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit PBS.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Noelle Dong \ HIT Entertainment PR
T: 646-467-5336 \ firstname.lastname@example.org
Megan M. Wagner
Director of Corporate Communications \ WNED Buffalo-Toronto
716.845.7155 \ email@example.com