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Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. formerly Thunderbird Entertainment is a Canadian and American expanded multiplatform media production, distribution and rights management company based in Vancouver, BC, Canada, with offices in Toronto and Los Angeles. Thunderbird has a catalogue of more than 400 hours of Canadian and US television content, including series such as the CBC comedy Kim's Convenience, Some Assembly Required, Zigby, Zixx, Mr. Young, Endgame, Da Vinci's Inquest, and Intelligence, and Somewhere Between. It became a publicly traded company as of November 2, 2018
Golden Secret Ventures Ltd.
|Public (TSXV: TBRD)|
|Jennifer Twiner McCarron (CEO)|
|Revenue||$131 million (2018)|
Number of employees
Sea to Sky Entertainment
Great Pacific Media
It was announced that Lionsgate Founder and Thunderbird Director Frank Giustra will act as executive producer alongside Thunderbird CEO Tim Gamble for the Blade Runner Sequel, which is set to be released on October 6, 2017. The TV series Guilt also received a series order from Freeform, the show is produced by Sea to Sky Entertainment - a joint venture between Lionsgate and Thunderbird Entertainment, and had its series premiere on June 13, 2016. On February 10, 2016, it was announced that Thunderbird would be co-producing Netflix Original series Beat Bugs, a series that features music from The Beatles, covered by artists such as Eddie Vedder, Sia and P!nk. The series animation was be done by Atomic Cartoons, and began streaming in the summer of 2016.
Thunderbird's programming airs on major networks around the globe. It was recently announced that Thunderbird is teaming up with David Salzman to develop a premium television series based on the New York Times best-selling Decker-Lazarus mystery novels authored by internationally renowned Faye Kellerman. The preliminary development will focus on The Ritual Bath, the inaugural book in the series and the first novel optioned by Thunderbird.
On April 4, 2013 it was announced that Thunderbird Entertainment purchased Reunion Pictures. Matthew O’Connor, Lisa Richardson and Tom Rowe, who formed Reunion Pictures in 2004, will remain with the company and produce under their own brand, as will Thunderbird.
Sea to Sky EntertainmentEdit
In March 2012, Thunderbird Entertainment announced a new partnership between Lionsgate to form Sea to Sky Entertainment. The announcement came weeks after Frank Giustra became a major shareholder in Thunderbird Entertainment. Lionsgate and Thunderbird will jointly manage the venture, which is designed to share production and distribution costs for all scripted projects picked up to series. Thunderbird and Lionsgate intend to do eight to ten productions a year through the Sea to Sky pact. In February 2013, Sea to Sky Entertainment announced Brett Burlock as its vice president of creative affairs. The ex-head of development at CTV, whose credits include Flashpoint and The Borgias has been charged by Lionsgate and Thunderbird Entertainment with creating a one-stop studio alternative for Canadian Networks.
On August 17, 2015, ABC Family announced the cast of Guilt, a one-hour drama about a young American woman in London who becomes a prime suspect in the savage murder of her roommate. The series stars Katrina Law and Billy Zane, and is a co-production of Sea to Sky Entertainment (the joint venture between Lionsgate Television and Thunderbird Entertainment) and BV Family Productions in association with ABC Family. Gary Fleder (Kingdom, Scorpion) will direct. On November 5, 2015, Guilt received a series order from ABC Family. The series premiered on June 13, 2016 on Freeform in USA, and on Bravo in Canada on June 21.
Great Pacific MediaEdit
In 2014, it was announced that Thunderbird Entertainment acquired Great Pacific Media. Great Pacific Media is specializing in the development, production, co-production and financing of factual, documentary, and reality television. Current series include Highway Thru Hell and Heavy Rescue: 401 as well as the upcoming HGTV series Worst to First and Save My Reno
In September 2014, it was announced that Thunderbird Entertainment acquired Thunderbird Releasing. Thunderbird Releasing is a London-based all-rights film distribution company, with a division in Canada, specialising in arthouse, independent and world cinema. Established in 2002 by Eve Gabereau and Edward Fletcher, the company releases 25+ films a year and has a library of over 300 titles. They have released such groundbreaking films as Fatih Akin’s Head-On, Tran Anh Hung’s Norwegian Wood, Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, Kelly Reichardt’s Old Joy, Meek’s Cutoff and Night Moves, Christian Petzold’s Barbara and Phoenix both starring Nina Hoss, from Saudi Arabia Wadjda, Brazilian award-winner The Second Mother, Icelandic breakout hit Rams, French thriller Disorder starring Matthias Schoenaerts and Diane Kruger and the Oscar nominated documentary Finding Vivian Maier, as well as on the Canadian side Lone Scherfig’s The Riot Club, Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise and the Western Slow West starring Michael Fassbender. They also have a partnership with Miramax Films under which they are releasing The Ninth Life of Louis Drax starring Jamie Dornan and Southside with You based on the Obama’s first date in 1989. Upcoming they have Sundance selection Lovers and the Despot and the critically acclaimed Cannes competitors Paterson and Toni Erdmann.
In February 2016, it was announced that Atomic Cartoons would be creating the animation for Netflix Original Series Beat Bugs, which is a show inspired by over 50 famous Beatles tunes, covered by numerous international artists.
On October 20, 2016 it was announced that Vancouver-based multiplatform entertainment company Thunderbird Entertainment (Beat Bugs) and Skybound North — a division of Skybound Entertainment — have entered into a first-look agreement for all animated and non-animated properties being developed for TV by Skybound North in Canada.
L.A.-based Skybound Ent., led by Robert Kirkman and David Alpert with managing partner Jon Goldman, had expanded operations with the launch of Skybound North in Canada. Led by former Lucasfilm Animation executive Catherine Winder as CEO and Partner, the Vancouver-based operation is a full-service production entity geared toward developing and producing content with Canadian partners.
Thunderbird Entertainment commenced production on a 13 episode first season of the new half-hour comedy series Kim's Convenience, which premiered on October 11, 2016 on CBC. The series is based on the award-winning play by Ins Choi, who serves as series creator along with Kevin White (Schitts Creek, Corner Gas). Executive Producers on Kim's Convenience are Ivan Fecan, Tim Gamble, Alexandra Raffé, Leslie Lester, Albert Schultz, Ins Choi and Kevin White. Supervising Producers are Sandra Cunningham and Robin Cass. The series stars Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Jean Yoon, Simu Liu, Andrea Bang, Andrew Phung and Nicole Power. The season 1 finale is set to air on December 27, with two back-to-back new episodes. The series has been renewed for a second season, which will air in the fall of 2017. Two additional seasons have also been commission by the CBC, with season 3 production wrapped up.
Thunderbird Entertainment commenced production on a 10 episode first season of the new drama-thriller Somewhere Between in March, 2017. The series will air on ABC in the summer of 2017, and is written by Legend of the Seeker and Taxi Brooklyn co-creator Stephen Tolkin. Based on a Korean format, Somewhere Between centers on Laura Price (Paula Patton). She isn’t crazy: She knows her daughter Serena is going to be murdered. She doesn’t know who the murderer is or why she’ll be killed, but she knows exactly when it will happen, where and how. Despite this, all of her attempts to keep her daughter safe fail, and Serena’s fixed, unmovable, terrifying fate keeps her directly in the path of her killer. Tolkin executive produces with Thunderbird's Ivan Fecan and Joseph Broido.
Beat Bugs is a Netflix Original Series.
It was announced in February 2016 that Thunderbird would be a co-producer on the series, which began streaming on Netflix August 3, 2016. The series features original characters and a world created by Australian native Josh Wakely, who directs, writes and produces the series, following a deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing for worldwide rights to record covers of the Beatles song catalog.
Beat Bugs incorporates songs from the Lennon/McCartney “Northern Songs” catalog. The show will feature some of the best-known Beatles songs woven into the narrative of each episode, with Eddie Vedder, Pink, James Bay, Sia, The Shins, Of Monsters and Men, Chris Cornell, Regina Spektor, and James Corden each recording their rendition of an iconic song. Among the songs featured are “Help!,” “All You Need Is Love,” “Come Together,” “Penny Lane,” “Yellow Submarine,” “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Magical Mystery Tour.”
Season two started streaming on November 18, and features artists such as Aloe Blacc, Rod Stewart and Jennifer Hudson.
Blade Runner 2049Edit
Thunderbird Entertainment owns a 50 percent stake in the Blade Runner franchise and will be an active partner in the new Blade Runner feature film, with CEO Tim Gamble and Frank Giustra will serve as Executive Producers. It was announced on August 18, 2011 that Ridley Scott has signed on to direct and produce the new installment of Blade Runner and that the original screenwriter, Hampton Fancher is in talks to pen the untitled sequel.
On February 27, 2015 it was announced that Canadian Director Denis Villeneuve will be directing the sequel, and on February 28, 2015 it was confirmed that Harrison Ford will reprise his role as Rick Deckard, with Ryan Gosling in talks to star in the remake. On May 21, 2015, award-winning Cinematographer Roger Deakins joined the Blade Runner sequel, which is rumored to be named 'Android Dream'.
Other cast include Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, Jared Leto, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Carla Juri and Mackenzie Davis. The film will be released on October 6, 2017, and it was recently announced that the official title will be "Blade Runner 2049".
On May 29, 2012 CityTV's original content team announced that it had commissioned Package Deal, a new comedy series produced by Thunderbird Entertainment and created by Andrew Orenstein (Malcolm in the Middle, 3rd Rock from the Sun). Package Deal is a 13-episode, half-hour, multi-camera original comedy about three overly close brothers and the woman who comes between them. On April 1, 2013 it was announced that Package Deal would begin airing on the CityTV network starting Monday, May 6, 2013 at 8:30pm PST. The second season premiered on CityTV on September 12, 2014, and on April 20, 2015, it was announced by Thunderbird that the sitcom would be made available to stream in the US on Hulu. Package Deal stars Randal Edwards, Harland Williams, Jay Malone, Julia Voth and Jill Morrison.
Thunderbird Entertainment and Corus Entertainment commenced production on a 26 episode first season of the comedy series Mr. Young in October 2010. The series was created by Dan Signer (The Suite Life on Deck, A.N.T. Farm), and stars Brendan Meyer, Matreya Fedor and Gig Morton. Mr. Young centers on child prodigy Adam Young (Brendan Meyer), who graduated from university at the age of 14. He decides to come back to high school to live the high school experience, only he becomes the science teacher at the school. With one-foot in the lunch room and the other foot in the staff room, it’s Mr. Young’s social life that’s being put to the test. On April 29, 2011 Mr. Young was renewed for a 26 episode second season. The series was renewed for a third season in April, 2012. Thunderbird began production of a 28 episode third season on May 10, 2012. Mr. Young is broadcast on YTV in Canada and Disney XD in the United States.
Some Assembly RequiredEdit
Thunderbird Entertainment and Corus Entertainment commenced production on a 26 episode first season of the comedy series Some Assembly Required, which premiered on YTV on January 6, 2014. The series was created by Dan Signer (The Suite Life on Deck, A.N.T. Farm), and Howard Nemetz (Mr. Young, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody) and stars Kolton Stewart, Charlie Storwick and Harrison Houde. Some Assembly Required tells the story of Jarvis Raines (Kolton Stewart), an average teenager who becomes boss overnight after he sues a toy company over a defective chemistry set that blows up his house. Jarvis' first act as CEO of Knickknack Toys is to recruit a group of kids from his high school to help him run the company. On January 5, 2015, Some Assembly Required returned to YTV for an 18 episode second season. The series was renewed for a third season in August, 2015, and began production of 13 new episodes that same month. Some Assembly Required is broadcast on YTV in Canada, and on February 25, 2015 it was announced that Netflix acquired season one, which began streaming worldwide outside of Canada on June 19, 2015. On October 16, 2015 Netflix began streaming season two of the series. The 3rd season of "Some Assembly Required" began airing a 13 episode season on March 14, and had its series finale air on YTV June 6, 2016 in Canada.
Endgame is a Drama Series that was developed and produced by Thunderbird Entertainment. The series premiered on Showcase Television network on Monday, March 14, 2011. In the US, Endgame was broadcast exclusively on Hulu. The series follows former World Chess Champion Arkady Balagan, a genius who uses his analytical skills to solve crimes. Endgame stars Shawn Doyle (Big Love, 24) as Arkady Balagan and features Patrick Gallagher (Glee), Torrance Coombs (Heartland), Katharine Isabelle (Da Vinci's Inquest, Supernatural) and Carmen Aguirre (The L Word).
Thunderbird Catalogue Shows!Edit
- Airshow (2003-2005)
- Beat Bugs (2016)
- Cold Squad
- Da Vinci's City Hall
- Da Vinci's Inquest
- Ella the Elephant
- Game of Homes
- Heavy Rescue: 401
- Highway Thru Hell
- Is It Possible?
- Johnny Test (seasons 1, 4-6)
- Kim's Convenience
- Little Charmers
- Maya the Bee
- Mr. Young
- Nico Can Dance!
- Package Deal
- Pirate Express
- Save My Reno
- Stone Undercover
- Transformers: Rescue Bots (season 1)
- Rocket Monkeys
- Some Assembly Required
- Somewhere Between
- Spider-Man Unlimited
- Style By Jury
- Worst to First
- World of Quest
- Zigby (2008-2011)
- Zixx (2005)
- milo vs ALEX! (2010-2012)
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- "Lionsgate Reunites with Founder for TV Venture (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 2012-03-13. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- Online, Playback (2013-02-06). "Brett Burlock to head up Toronto base for Sea to Sky Entertainment". playbackonline.ca. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
- "'Blade Runner' Writer to Re-Team with Director Ridley Scott on Sequel". Hollywood Reporter. 2012-05-17. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- "Ridley Scott to Direct New 'Blade Runner' Movie". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- "'Ryan Gosling to star in 'Blade Runner' Sequel". Deadline. 2012-05-17. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- "CITYTV | Citytv Greenlights Two New Original Comedy Series, Package Deal and Seed". Newswire.ca. 2012-05-29. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- "CITYTV | City to debut Package Deal comedy on May 6". playbackonline.ca. 2013-04-01. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
- "Press Release - Whiz-Kids-Turned-Teen Genius Mr. Young Acquired By Disney XD Around the World". Corusent.com. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
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- Wild, Diane (2012-04-24). "Mr. Young season 3 going into production | TV, eh?". Tv-eh.com. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- "Thunderbird Entertainment Inc. - News - SHAWN DOYLE STARS IN CANWEST'S NEW ORIGINAL DRAMA SERIES ENDGAME - Thu Jul 12, 2012". Thunderbirdfilms.net. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- "ENDGAME | Vancouver TV Listings, Real Estate Listings, and Movie Listings - What's On". Whatsoninvancouver.ca. 2011-03-11. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- Andreeva, Nellie. "Hulu Picks Up Canadian Drama 'Endgame'". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2012-07-12.