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PR: HIT Entertainment Announces Production on All-New "Angelina Ballerina" Series

HIT Entertainment, one of the world’s leading children’s entertainment producers and rights owners, is taking the popular children’s television show Angelina Ballerina into CGI animation with co-production partners Thirteen/WNET New York, the most-watched public television station in America and a producing station for PBS, and Nick Jr. UK. The new series, entitled Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps, will be produced by SD Entertainment with Executive Producer Karen Barnes from HIT Entertainment.

Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps is based on the classic Angelina Ballerina books by author Katharine Holabird and illustrator Helen Craig and follows an 8-year-old Angelina as she embarks on the next stage in her life at a new school where she’ll experience new forms of music and dance. The new CGI series will introduce fans to Angelina’s new home in a neighborhood on the other side of Chipping Cheddar, a new performing arts school — Camembert Academy, new friends, a new teacher, Miss Mimi, and many new adventures. Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps continues to remain true to the core ethos of the property and celebrates music and brings to life new forms of dance for Angelina including modern, tap, jazz, classic and ethnic. The CGI-animation allows Angelina to demonstrate beautiful dance moves like never before as she puts her best toe forward at the Camembert Academy.

Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps, slated for a Fall 2009 premiere as a weekly series on PBS KIDS® in the US and Nick Jr. in the UK. The new series has been packaged into two formats: 40 x 30 minute episodes for PBS and 80 x 12 episodes for Nick Jr UK.

“After 25 successful years in publishing, we are excited to be celebrating Angelina Ballerina’s Anniversary with a fresh, new CGI animated look. This style of animation allows us to move Angelina in a much more fluid way so that young fans can follow Angelina’s steps in many more genres of dance, as well as traditional ballet. We are delighted to be working with such experienced, distinguished partners as Thirteen/WNET, Nick Jr. UK and SD Entertainment – leaders in their field – to create the debut series which we are sure will delight young fans around the world,” said Lenora Hume, Executive Vice President, Production & Programming, HIT Entertainment.

“We’re delighted to take Angelina, an adorable classic character, into a new era,” said Sandra Sheppard, Executive Producer and Director of Children’s Programming, Thirteen/WNET. “The series, with its strengthening focus on music and dance, is an important part of public television’s mission to extend the arts to young viewers, and one we at Thirteen embrace.”

“Angelina has always been popular with our viewers and we are delighted to have this exciting new look and adventures on Nick Jr,” said Debbie Macdonald, VP, Programming Director, Nickelodeon Jr. UK.

The new series will be supported by a full licensing and merchandising program.

About HIT Entertainment
HIT Entertainment, owned by private equity investment group Apax Partners, is one of the world’s leading independent children’s entertainment producers and rights-owners. HIT’s portfolio includes properties, such as Barney™, Bob the Builder™, Thomas & Friends™, Pingu™, Fireman Sam™, Angelina Ballerina™ and Rainbow Magic™. HIT represents Chapman Entertainment’s Fifi and the Flowertots™ and Roary the Racing Car™ in North America and Japan, as well as Wallace & Gromit™, Shaun the Sheep™ and Aardman Classics from Aardman Animations. HIT also acts as a worldwide representative for The Jim Henson Company’s library of classic family brands and as representative for The Wiggles® in the UK. Launched in 1989, HIT’s lines of business span television and video production, content distribution, publishing, consumer products licensing and live events and has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. HIT is a part-owner of US-based preschool channel, PBS KIDS SproutSM, and international preschool channel JimJam, (outside of the US, UK and China). For more information, visit www.hitentertainment.com.

About Thirteen/WNET New York
Thirteen/WNET New York is one of the key program providers for public television, bringing such acclaimed series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Charlie Rose, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, Wide Angle, Secrets of the Dead, NOW With David Brancaccio, Exposé, Bill Moyers Journal, and Cyberchase to audiences nationwide. As the flagship public broadcaster in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut metro area, Thirteen reaches millions of viewers each week, airing the best of American public television along with its own local productions such as New York Voices, Reel 13 and Sunday Arts. Thirteen extends the impact of its television productions through educational and community outreach projects – including the Teaching and Learning Celebration – as well as Web sites and other digital media platforms. More information can be found at: www.thirteen.org.

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