Thunderbird Films , producers of Mr. Young, Some Assembly Required and Endgame – one of our favourite Vancouver-based TV series, has acquired reality producer Great Pacific Media , which is also based in Vancouver. Great Pacific TV is the studio behind Highway Thru Hell  and the recently revealed Airshow , as well as Daily Planet  and Untold Stories of the ER . While terms of the acquisition deal were not disclosed, the Vancouver-based Great Pacific, launched by president Blair Reekie and CEO Mark Miller in 2010, opens the doors to an international market in the TV, reality and lifestyle genres for Thunderbird.
“We are so excited to be growing our company with Mark, Blair and the Great Pacific team,” said Tim Gamble, CEO of Thunderbird. “We admire their accurate, honest and compelling style of storytelling and look forward to working together to produce content that is attractive to our domestic and international broadcasters.“
Mark Miller, CEO of Great Pacific continued “We have known and worked with Thunderbird for many years and have a shared vision to fuel our growth through the creation of world class content. This makes a lot of sense.” Blair Reekie, President of Great Pacific added, “We’re excited to join the Thunderbird team as we work together to grow our division in factual, lifestyle and formats for the international market.”
As already mentioned above, Great Pacific series include Discovery Canada’s Highway Thru Hell, which just concluded its third season in Canada while The Weather Channel in the US has just started airing the new shows. Highway Thru Hell shattered audience records when it premiered on Discovery Canada and is now filming its fourth season. Highway Thru Hell also airs in Africa, Asia and across Europe on National Geographic Channel, where it also enjoys ratings success.
“Mark is a terrific writer-producer-showrunner who, together with Blair, has built an enviable business in a relatively short period of time,” said Thunderbird’s executive chair Ivan Fecan earlier today.
Thunderbird has until now focused on scripted TV production, which was enhanced with the 2013 acquisition of Reunion Pictures , the studio that brought us Continuum , another of our favourite TV series – and which Showcase is bringing to an end after Season 4. At least they will be wrapping this series up properly, not just dropping the ball like the network did with Endgame in 2011 (yes, I still carry a grudge over that).
New projects from Great Pacific for the 2015 season include the documentary series Airshow, which will air on Discovery Canada and Game of Homes for Corus Entertainment’s W Network, which will be hosted by Sarnia-born, Emmy-nominated actor Cameron Mathison. The premise of the show has four couples competing to save four houses from the wrecking ball. The team that does the best renovation get to keep their home, making it the biggest prize in Canadian cable television history.
In 2012, Thunderbird also began a 50-50 TV studio partnership with Lionsgate Entertainment. Thunderbird will also expand into Canadian film distribution with the recent acquisition of Soda Pictures, an independent distributor based in Britain.