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HiT Entertainment

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HiT Entertainment is the current owner of Thomas and Friends.

HiT was originally formed as Henson International Television (hit!) in 1983 as a branch of the Jim Henson Company in order to coordinate the co-production of Fraggle Rock in London. This subsidiary was later sold and retains none of the original Henson company architecture except for the name. It later re-branded itself as "HiT Entertainment".

They later purchased Gullane Entertainment in 2003 and have since produced the new series format of Thomas episodes and merchandise. HiT acquired the television rights for Thomas and Friends in 2002, during the airing of the sixth season and the filming of the seventh. HiT's changes to the series have been reviled by many fans due to their over-educational and "three-strikes" setup. This contrasts with the Reverend W. Awdry's original meaning for the stories to be solely for entertainment. Ian McCue and Halim Jabbour produce the series for HiT, while Marion Edwards and Karen Barnes act as executive producers.

On February 1st, 2012, it was announced that Mattel purchased HiT Entertainment from Apax Partners for $680 million.

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