The longly-awaited Sixteenth Series of Thomas & Friends has been confirmed for a start of broadcast, in Japan.
With no official dates given out for UK and US airings, the 2012 Season is expected to follow the British run in January 2013.
The NHK channel was contacted by PuffPuffThomasTV about the future for Japanese Thomas fans to see more series with the station giving out a brief statement.
About Thomas & Friends, we'll broadcast Series 14, Series 15, and Series 16. But we won't divide for each series.
However PuffPuffThomasTV has notified Roll Along Thomas that the Sixteenth run could well be the first to air in a non English speaking country.
The new seasons will be aired every Sunday at 7:00am to 7:20am and two episodes will be aired each time. Based on it, it is conceivable that Season 16 will be aired on next January in Japan if it follows original UK broadcast order.
But if all the series episodes are mixed, the Series 16's episodes will appear on April at the earliest.
Seasons Fourteen, Fifteen and Sixteen all make their debuts in Japan on NHK every Sunday starting from April 8th at 7:00am with the Sixteenth Series foreseeing a January 2013 transmission.
The 2012 Series is contemplating a UK broadcast on Channel 5's milkshake! slot sometime this Spring.