By BBC Entertainment
Entertainment One, the company that owns Peppa Pig, has announced it is working on a new series of the popular pre-school cartoon.
It expects 117 episodes to be aired around the world from the spring of 2019.
The new series of cartoons will be made by the format’s original creators, Astley Baker Davies.
Entertainment One (eOne) has a majority stake in the animation studio and has helped make Peppa Pig a global brand.
In the 2016 financial year, the franchise generated more than $1.1bn (£846m) of retail sales, while almost 500 new and renewed broadcast and licensing agreements were concluded.
In eOne’s March 2017 trading update, Peppa Pig retail revenues in the US totalled more than $200m in 2016, supported by more than 65 licensing partners.
The children’s programme is also proving increasingly popular in China, where it has generated more than 24.5 billion views on multiple subscription video-on-demand platforms.
Entertainment One said this was fuelling demand for the brand’s licensing and merchandising programme to be rolled out in China this year.
A toy manufacturer in Brazil is launching a new line of toys which are due to go on sale in August 2017.
It said licensing in Russia had “accelerated at a significant pace” and the licensing programme now had 40 partners signed across toy, games and confectionary.
Darren Throop, chief executive of Entertainment One, said: “Peppa Pig’s global appeal continues apace as we bring new content to audiences across the world.
“With a new series in the pipeline, best-in-class partners and strong marketing and experiential initiatives in each territory, we continue to nurture the long-term success of this global pre-school phenomenon.”
Last year, the Canadian-based firm rejected an offer of more than £1bn from ITV which it said undervalued the company.
It is increasingly making its own content, in keeping with other media companies such as Netflix and Amazon.
On Thursday, it announced a joint venture with Brad Weston, who ran the company that made the Oscar-winning film The Revenant, as part of a drive to produce more original movies.
Entertainment One also owns more than 40,000 film and television titles, including last year’s Oscar-winning Spotlight and AMC drama, Fear the Walking Dead.