Japanese distributor Tohokushinsha Film Corporation has picked up TV and licensing rights in Japan for new action-adventure series Thunderbirds Are Go.
Tohokushinsha first brought the property to the Japanese market in 1966, with the original series, and will look to reintroduce the high-flying, crime-fighting Tracy family to a new generation of fans ages five to 11.
The CGI-animated/live-action series debuted in the UK on April 4 on ITV with back-to-back episodes, which were viewed by a combined 2.9 million viewers.
It currently airs simultaneously on both ITV and sister children’s channel CITV on Saturday at 8 a.m., as well as Sunday at 3 p.m. on CITV. On ITV, it regularly reaches the top of its time slot and outperforms the channel average across all key demographics, while on CITV ratings are above its slot average and the show is particularly popular with boys six to 11.
The 26 x 22-minute series is also doing well Australia, where it debuted on Nine Network’s GO! channel on April 12. The premiere drew more than 205,000 viewers and ranked number one in both its time slot and for the day across all multi-channels.
Co-produced by London’s ITV Studios and New Zealand’s Pukeko Pictures, in association with Weta Workshop, the series’ remake coincides with the 50th anniversary of the original created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. CITV has already commissioned a second season, with 26 episodes headed to air in 2016 and 2017.