Anne of Green Gables to Air Nationally on PBS

Breakthrough Entertainment Inc. Inks Deal with U.S. Broadcaster to Bring Canada’s Iconic Literary Character to American Audiences

WASHINGTON, DC/TORONTO (June 13, 2016) – Leading Canadian production company Breakthrough Entertainment and American public broadcaster PBS announced today an all-rights broadcast deal that will bring the newly completed two-hour film revival of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables to North American audiences. Anne of Green Gables will be broadcast nationally on PBS stations on Thursday, November 24th at 8:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) as a special Thanksgiving family television event.

Directed by John Kent Harrison and based on the original script by Susan Coyne, this adaptation was filmed in Canada and stars critically acclaimed actor Martin Sheen. Sheen – who has appeared in blockbuster films like The Amazing Spider Man and The Amazing Spider Man 2, and walked through the halls of the White House in multi-Emmy winner – The West Wing – will portray Matthew Cuthbert, one half of the brother-sister couple that cares for Anne Shirley.

PBS will be bringing one of Canadian literature’s most popular characters back to audiences south of the border, following a successful launch in Canada on YTV. The film was produced by Breakthrough Entertainment in association with Corus Entertainment’s YTV and the author’s granddaughter, Kate Macdonald Butler, who served as Executive Producer.

“Anne Shirley is the most widely-known fictional character in Canadian literary history,” says Nat Abraham, Partner and President of Distribution at Breakthrough Entertainment. “We’re thrilled to be working with PBS to bring this classical story to American audiences as well.”

Additional main cast members include 13-year old newcomer Ella Ballentine as Anne Shirley, Canadian actress Sara Botsford as Marilla Cuthbert as well as Julia Lalonde, Kate Honig, Stefani Kimber, Drew Haytaoglu, Kyle Gatehouse and Linda Kash.

Michael Kelley, SVP, Programming & Business Affairs, PBS, says, “The story and Anne character have become a staple of childhood innocence and inspiration. Breakthrough’s revival of this globally recognized literary story has delighted so many viewers in Canada and around the world and we are glad to secure this film for broadcast on PBS.”

Based on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic novel, L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables tells the story of Anne Shirley, a precocious little girl taken from an orphanage, and placed in the care of the uptight Marilla Cuthbert and her brother Matthew. Although Marilla comes from the conservative mindset versus the adventurous Anne, neither character would anticipate the profound effect they’re about to have on each other’s lives.

First published in 1908, L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables remains an iconic work of Canadian literature and has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide. The eight-novel series is set in Prince Edward Island and has attracted of readers of all ages, who are inspired by the spirited redhead Anne Shirley.

About Breakthrough Entertainment

Breakthrough Entertainment Inc. is an award winning producer and distributor of premium content for worldwide audiences. The entertainment studio’s operations include the development and distribution of feature films, television and digital content; international co-productions and production services. Breakthrough’s digital media division ranks amongst the industry’s most respected producers of high quality interactive entertainment on mobile and online platforms. Established over 30 years ago, Breakthrough’s library now boasts over 40 feature films and 4000 television episodes which air on major networks and digital channels across the globe. The studio has been recognized with international awards including numerous Geminis, Canadian Screen Awards, and Canadian Comedy Follow @breakthru_ent on Twitter.

About PBS

PBS, with over 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches more than 103 million people through television and over 33 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website,, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

For more information or to schedule interviews, please contact:

Kevin Perkin
Ireland + Hall Communications Inc.


Carrie Johnson