Thomas & Friends is a show created by Britt Alcroft and is owned by Hit Entertainment. Back in 1945, a father told stories about a blue engine name Thomas to his son. Wilbet Awdry began writing books about Thomas and his friends uptill 1971 when he retired from writing stories. His son Christopher Awdry then took over and wrote the books. There are over 40 books written in the Railway Series. In 1984, a tv adaption was made by Britt Alcroft. 12 seasons were produced at Shepperton Studios in London England (1984-2008) and seasons 13-16 were produced at Nitrogen Studios in Canada (2009-2012) and then Arc Productions also in Canada started to produce the episodes (2013-Present).
Thomas & Friends first began airing on PBS Kids from 1989-1997. In September 2004, a new series was produced and it aired every sunday up untill PBS Kids Sprout was released. Some PBS Stations still aired the show but some stopped and let Sprout air the show. Over 15 seasons were broadcasted all across America.
On May 15, 2013, PBS Kids annouced they were moving HIT Entertainment’s “Thomas & Friends” to its daily schedule beginning this October, taking the series from weekend syndication into national distribution. To support the move, PBS Kids is adding a dedicated Thomas & Friends area to its website and beginning in August, will feature the series on its online video player and video app.
The schedule move will take place this fall as an all-new season CG-animated series hits the airwaves, alongside the 60-minute movie special, King of the Railway.
“From its roots in publishing when the Rev. W. Awdry wrote The Railway Series, Thomas & Friends has always been brought to life in the hearts and imaginations of preschoolers with great characters and stories,” says Claudia Scott-Hansen, group director, broadcast Americas, HIT Entertainment. “We are so pleased to partner with PBS Kids to bring the adventures of Thomas and his engine friends to nearly every U.S. household five days a week. The popularity of the ‘Thomas & Friends’ series is at an all-time high, and we expect this move to continue the momentum of the brand.” Thomas & Friends will air on every PBS station in America and will still air on Sprout but only re-runs.
Season 1 (2004)
- Thomas and the Tuba/Peace and Quiet/Percy’s New Whistle
- Thomas to the Rescue/Emily’s New Coaches/Henry and the Wishing Tree
- James Gets a New Coat/Best Dressed Engine/Thomas Saves the Day
- Percy’s Big Mistake/Gordon and Spencer/Thomas, Emily and the Snowplough
- Don’t Tell Thomas/James and the Queen of Sodor/Emily’s New Route
- Thomas and the Fireworks/Bill, Ben and Fergus/Gordon Takes Charge
- Spic and Span/Not So Hasty Puddings/Edward the Great
- Squeak, Rattle and Roll/Percy Gets It Right/Thomas and the Circus
- Thomas Gets It Right/What’s the Matter with Henry?/As Good as Gordon
- Fish/The Old Iron Bridge/Emily’s Adventure
- Halloween/Trusty Rusty/You Can Do It, Toby!
- James Goes Too Far/Three Cheers for Thomas/Chickens to School
- Too Hot for Thomas/Salty’s Stormy Tale/Percy and the Magic Carpet
Season 2 (2005)
- Percy and the Oil Painting/James and the Red Balloon/Thomas and the Rainbow
- Thomas' Milkshake Muddle/Spotless Record/Mighty Mac
- Molly's Special Special/Edward the Really Useful Engine/Respect for Gordon
- Thomas and the Birthday Picnic/Harold and the Flying Horse/Tuneful Toots
- Thomas and the Toy Shop/Something Fishy/Rheneas and the Dinosaur
- Thomas and the New Engine/Bulgy Rides Again/Toby Feels Left Out
- Thomas Tries His Best/No Sleep for Cranky/The Magic Lamp
- Thomas and the Statue/Toby's Windmill/Henry and the Flagpole
- Emily Knows Best/Gordon Takes a Tumble/Thomas' Day Off
- Thomas's New Trucks/Toby Had a Little Lamb/Duncan and the Old Mine
- Bold and Brave/Fergus Breaks the Rules/Skarloey the Brave
- Saving Edward/A Bad Day for Harold the Helicopter/Thomas and the Golden Eagle
- Keeping Up with James/Edward's Brass Band/Flour Power
Season 3 (2006)
- Follow That Flour/Knapford Station/A Smooth Ride
- Thomas And The Jet Plane/Gordon's Hill/Percy And The Carnival
- The Green Controller/Sodor Suspension Bridge/Duncan Drops A Clanger
- Thomas' Tricky Tree/Farmer McColl's Farm/Toby's Afternoon Off
- It's Good To Be Gordon/Narrow Gauge Railway/Seeing The Sights
- Fearless Freddie/Centre Island Quarry/Toby's New Shed
- Big Strong Henry/Sticky Toffee Thomas
- Which Way Now?/Thomas And The Shooting Star
- Edward Strikes Out/Topped Off Thomas
- Wharf And Peace/Thomas' Frosty Friend
- Emily And The Special Cars/Thomas And The Colors
- Thomas And The Birthday Mail/Duncan's Bluff
- Missing Cars/Thomas And The Treasure
- James The Second Best/Thomas And Skarloey's Big Day Out
Season 4 (2007)
The rest of the episodes no longer say the episodes, just the themes.
- Night and Day
- New Friends
- Hopes and Dreams
- The Unexpected
- Sight and Sound
- Being on Time
- Fun and Games
- Pushing and Pulling
Season 5 (2008-2009)
This season had a swith to CGI animation still using models but CGI animation for the faces and people. After the 12th episode the show went on hiatus and ran reruns until April 2009 when the last episode in the season aired.
- Doing Your Best
- Team Work
- Good Friends
- Being Careful
- Good Turns
- Right Tracks
- Presents & Prizes
- Pulling Together
Season 6 (2010)
This season was the first to be produced in full CGI animation and have voice actors for the characters.
1. Friends and Family
2. Slips and Trips!
3. Working Well
4. Marvelous Moments!
5. Best Times!
6. Giving and Sharing
7. Wild Weather
8. Good Deeds
9. Out and About
10. Helping Hands
11. Clever Ideas
12. Helpful Friends
13. Safe & Sound
14. Special Jobs
15. Being Happy With Me
16. Busy Days
17. Playing With Friends
Season 7 (2011)
1. Sounds and Smells
2. Listening and Learning
3. Winter Delights
4. Exciting Friends
5. Kindness With Friends
6. Learning Together
7. Happy Engines
8. Fun in the Snow
9. Helping Each Other
10. Laughing Together
11. Slow Down!
12. Special Times
13. Being Useful
Season 8 (2012)
1. Chuffing With Pride
2. All Together Now
3. If a Job's Worth Doing
4. Fun on the Farm
5. Don't Give Up
6. A Friend in Need
7. Winter Surprise
10. Just Being You
11. Let It Snow
Season 9 (2013)
This is the first season to be animated by Arc Productions. This season will premiere October 7, 2013. Thomas & Friends will start airing on the daily schedule. Mark Moraghan is the new narrator.