Mattel/Hit, 9 Story to reboot Barney, Angelina

Mattel and subsidiary HIT Entertainment have partnered with Canada’s 9 Story Media Group to relaunch the former’s children’s franchises Barney & Friends and Angelina Ballerina.

Described as a “long-term parternship”, the pact sees Mattel/HIT and 9 Story leveraging their collective expertise to “breathe new life into the programmes”.

Development on a new 52x11mins series for both properties begins immediately, with 2017 launch dates planned.

Kate Schlomann, HIT’s VP, global brand marketing, said: “We are delighted to announce this new brand building partnership with 9 Story in a deal which sees two of the world’s finest producers of preschool entertainment joining forces to bring an exciting line up of new programming to a global audience across multiple platforms.”

9 Story CEO Vince Commisso said the partnership was a “rare opportunity that brings with it great responsibility, but we’re excited about the advances in technology that will help us being these characters forward”.

New episodes of Barney have not been commissioned since 2009, with the 23-year-old property running to 248 episodes overall to date, while Angelina Ballerina originally aired between 2001 and 2006, and ran for two seasons, or 39 episodes and three specials. It has based a series of children’s books first published in 1983.

Both shows remain revenue-spinners for HIT, which Mattel acquired more than three years ago.