We are proud to announce the return of Thomas the Tank Engine to our airways with the new re-launched CGI version of the show, “Thomas & Friends.” Beginning January 7, the half-hour children’s program geared toward children ages 2-5 will air Monday-Friday at 12:30 p.m.
This enduring television series has appealed to the imagination of young children for generations. The show is based on the popular books by Revered W. Awdry, “The Three Railway Engines” and “Thomas the Tank Engine,” which first appeared in 1945 and 46, respectively. Awdry went on to write a new book every year until he had published 26 stories. His son Christopher picked up the mantle in 1983 and began publishing new stories.
“Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends” chugged onto television for the first time in Britain in 1984 and the series became an instant hit. Within just a few months, 8.5 million people were tuning in to watch. More people were watching Thomas than were viewing the popular sports programs on other channels. Children and adults alike were besotted by the little steam engine and adored the beautiful railway models in the series. The next stop for Thomas was America in 1989 when Thomas and his friends pulled into PBS station lineups and became a new icon of children’s educational television around the nation.
With the new series “Thomas & Friends,” Thomas is entertaining a third generation of children. Consistently drawing strong audiences, during August 2012 “Thomas & Friends” was the #1 rated show among ALL US television series for kids ages 2–5.
“Everyone loves Thomas and we’re happy to have him and his friends back in the lineup, “ says Justin Harvey, NPT programming manager. “As your young viewers join Thomas and his engine friends on delightful adventures, they’ll experience timeless life lessons of discovery, cooperation, and friendship and what it means to be a Really Useful Engine. Thomas & Friends will inspire your child to believe that little engineers – like little engines – can do big things. “
A full website with activities is available at http://thomasandfriends.com.
“Thomas & Friends” is produced by HIT Entertainment, one of the world’s leading children’s entertainment producers and rights owners, and the team behind 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 attractions.
The show is presented by WNET.