Viacom is set to acquire the rights to “Garfield” and the U.S. Acres franchise in order to give the beloved lasagna-eating cat his own Nickelodeon series.
As soon as the acquisition is complete, which the network expects will be within a few weeks, Nickelodeon has plans to develop the new “Garfield” animated series. Don’t worry — the acquisition will not affect the syndicated comic strip, which creator Jim Davis will continue to produce.
“I’ve always tried to make people laugh with humor that is classic and appealing to both kids and adults. I’m delighted that Garfield is going to be placed in the capable hands of the folks at Nick,” Davis said. “They know how to entertain and will be great stewards for the franchise. I am also excited to continue to do the thing that gets me out of bed every morning… the comic strip!”
“This acquisition marks another step in our evolution toward being kids’ first stop for the best new content and characters, so we’re incredibly happy to have Garfield join our growing roster of globally loved franchises and to introduce this cool cat to a new generation of fans,” Nickelodeon president Brian Robbins said.
One of the Viacom’s subsidiaries is in talks to acquire Paws Inc., the entity that owns the rights to “Garfield” and the U.S. Acres comics franchise, which includes rights to content, consumer products, and experiences. The global merchandising rights to “Garfield” will be managed by Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products (VNCP), including the property’s existing portfolio of licensees.
Garfield (plus his owner Jon and Odie the dog) will join Nickelodeon’s current portfolio, which includes “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “PAW Patrol,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” the forthcoming “Blue’s Clues and You!,” the first-ever SpongeBob spinoff, “Kamp Koral,” and an all-new animated “Star Trek” series.
“Garfield” currently holds the Guinness World Record for the most widely syndicated comic strip in the world. The franchise has given way to movies, TV shows, stage shows and merchandise.