Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana has picked up the Canadian broadcast and merchandising rights to Mattel’s Thomas & Friends property.
The deal makes Nelvana the brand’s Canadian licensing agent for all merchandise categories, and Corus will broadcast the TV series on its Treehouse kidsnet. However, Mattel will continue to manufacture and supply Thomas toys in Canada.
To kick things off on October 5, feature film Thomas & Friends: The Adventure Begins will air on Treehouse, followed by the debut of season 22 of Thomas & Friends on October 15 in an 11:50 a.m. weekday slot. Seasons 19 to 21, meanwhile, will be available on Treehouse On Demand, Treehouse Classic and the TreehouseGO App.
Produced by Mattel, the franchise’s linchpin TV series—which the toyco has greenlit for a 23rd season and three new 22-minute specials—focuses on a steam train named Thomas The Tank Engine who comes to life. The show, which boasts 500-plus episodes, is available in more than 160 territories and 55 languages, and has spun off 12 feature films, a robust consumer products program, live attractions and much more.
Earlier this year, Thomas & Friends moved from its longtime US broadcaster PBS KIDS to Nick Jr., with Nickelodeon becoming the property’s US licensing agent.