Garfield, the beloved lazy, lasagna-eating, Monday-hating cat, has found a new home.
Within the next few weeks, Viacom is expected to close a deal to acquire Paws, Inc., the IP holder of both Garfield and U.S. Acres, with the Viacom-owned Nickelodeon poised to use the properties to expand its catalog of kids and family content.
"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 in a statement.
"Great content is core to the strength of our brands, and Garfield is a beloved character that continues to be part of the cultural zeitgeist with universal resonance across all ages," Sarah Levy, Chief Operating Officer of Viacom Media Networks added. "The acquisition of Paws, Inc. provides another opportunity for Viacom to leverage our platforms to extend the global reach of iconic IP."
Nickelodeon's first order of business once the acquisition is complete is to develop a new Garfield animated series. Meanwhile, merchandising rights will stay with Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products and the ongoing Garfield comic strip will continue to be produced by Garfield creator Jim Davis.
"I’ve always tried to make people laugh with humor that is classic and appealing to both kids and adults," Davis said. "I’m delighted that Garfield is going to be placed in the capable hands of the folks at Nick. 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!"