HIT Entertainment and the Jim Henson Co. have signed a five-year global distribution and production deal.

HIT Entertainment and the Jim Henson Co. have signed a five-year global distribution and production deal.

HIT -- owner of pre-school properties such as Barney, Bob the Builder and Thomas & Friends -- will distribute Henson home entertainment, television and consumer products. Henson properties include the Fraggle Rock series, "Jim Henson's The Hoobs" and "Jim Henson's Mother Goose Stories," among others. The deal does not include titles involving the Muppets, whose rights are held by the Walt Disney Co.

HIT and Henson will also work to develop new properties, which HIT will distribute. The first new production will be based on the "Frances Treasury" book series.

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