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Thunderbirds takes off around the globe

ITV Studios, London, 8 September 2015: ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE) has signed a raft of global TV sales and appointed a host of international licensing agents for Thunderbirds Are Go, ITV Studios and New Zealand’s Pukeko Pictures’ major new reinvention of the iconic children’s series, following its triumphant debut on ITV and CITV earlier this year.
 
In France, Thunderbirds Are Go premiered this month on Canal J and the full series will air on Gulli later this year. The French licensing agent is Nelvana, with Vivid taking the French master toy rights. Thunderbirds Are Go has been acquired by all of the Nordic countries: Sweden’s SVT, Norway’s NRK Super, Denmark’s DR and Finland’s MTV Juniori, with Alicom appointed as the Nordic licensing agent. The series will broadcast on Ketnet in Flemish Belgium and ZAPP in the Netherlands, with License Connection appointed as the agent for Benelux and Vivid France and Vivid Holland acquiring the respective master toy rights. In Turkey, the show will air on Minika TV.
 
ITVS GE has also signed the first deals in the Americas for the show; Thunderbirds Are Go will launch on Gloob, Globosat’s kids’ channel in Brazil and on Télé-Québec in French-speaking Canada. In Asia, the show will air on Japanese terrestrial broadcaster NHK, in a deal negotiated by ITVS GE’s Japanese agent, Tohokushinsha, with the toys distributed by Takara Tomy. Meanwhile, Roadshow has acquired the home entertainment rights in Australia and New Zealand. 
 
These latest deals follow sales to Australia’s Nine Network, TVNZ in New Zealand, Noga in Israel (with LDI as the agent) and pan-Arab broadcaster and agent MBC, bringing the total number of international countries airing the series to 40, with over 45 licensees already on board the consumer products programme globally.
 
Thunderbirds Are Go premiered on ITV and CITV in the UK in April, 50 years after Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s classic Thunderbirds series first aired. The premiere attracted a consolidated audience of close to three million viewers and CITV has already ordered a second 26 x 30’ series to air in 2016 and 2017.
 
Steve Green, EVP Kids’ Content and Distribution at ITV Studios Global Entertainment, said: “The reaction to the launch of Thunderbirds Are Go in the UK, Australia and New Zealand has surpassed all our expectations; fantastic broadcast ratings, a huge amount of social media buzz, with over two million views on our official YouTube channel and retail support across the board for Christmas 2015.  We’re looking to unlock the full global potential of this powerhouse brand in 2016. As these latest deals show, international broadcasters, licensing agents and licensees are eager to get a piece of the action, and we’re working to find the right partners to bring the intrepid Tracy brothers to every corner of the globe!”
 
The deals were brokered by ITVS GE’s sales team: Toby Melling, VP Sales, Phillip Sequeira, Senior Sales Executive and Emily Thompson, Sales Executive, all for NW EMEA; Jennifer Ebell, VP Sales for SE EMEA; Craig Bohland, VP Sales for USA and Canada and Christina Covarrubias, Senior Sales Manager for Latin America.

About Thunderbirds Are Go
Featuring the world’s most famous family of heroes, International Rescue, Thunderbirds Are Go blasts the five brave Tracy brothers back on to television screens piloting their incredible vehicles into impossible rescues across the globe. Produced by ITV Studios and Pukeko Pictures in collaboration with world-famous Weta Workshop, the series is made using a unique mixture of CGI animation and live-action model sets, delivering a new level of action-adventure animation for today’s audience while paying tribute to the legacy of model locations from the original series.
 
About ITV Studios Global Entertainment
ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE) is one of the world’s leading international TV distribution, home entertainment, publishing, merchandising and licensing businesses. ITVS GE distributes celebrated content across all genres from both its in-house production business, ITV Studios, and in collaboration with leading producers from around the world.
 
Part of ITV PLC, which includes the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster, ITV Studios Global Entertainment has offices in London, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Sydney.
 
About Pukeko Pictures
Pukeko Pictures is an independent entertainment production company focused on the development and production of excellent quality multi-platform entertainment for a global audience.  Pukeko Pictures was formed in 2008 by Sir Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger and Martin Baynton, and is located in Wellington, New Zealand. With a connection to the world famous Weta Workshop (Avatar, King Kong, Lord of the Rings), Pukeko Pictures is uniquely positioned in the creation of world-leading entertainment, harnessing the best in global talent and world-class production processes. Weta Workshop is not to be confused with Weta Digital, the VFX company owned by Peter Jackson.

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