Viacom is adding Garfield to its Nickelodeon portfolio, with plans to develop a new animated television series based on the lasagna-loving cat. Viacom entered into an agreement to acquire Paws, Inc., which holds global intellectual property rights for the brand, through one of its subsidiaries. Garfield creator Jim Davis will continue to produce the Garfield syndicated comic strip.
Global merchandising rights for the brand—including corresponding rights related to content, consumer products and location-based experiences—will be managed by Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products. The deal also covers the property’s existing portfolio of licensees.
The cartoon cat has previously hit screens big and small, including the classic animated television show Garfield and Friends, the CG-animated series The Garfield Show and the 2004 feature film Garfield: The Movie. Guinness World Records named Garfield the most widely syndicated comic strip in the world and the property won four Emmy awards for outstanding animated program for the animated specials Garfield on the Town, Garfield in the Rough, Garfield’s Halloween Special and Garfield’s Babes and Bullets.
The acquisition is expected to close soon, and will see Garfield join Nickelodeon brands like SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the upcoming Blue’s Clues and You! and the new animated Star Trek series. This deal comes as Nickelodeon continues to build up a portfolio of beloved kids brands, and follows agreements for viral sensation Baby Shark and YouTube star Ryan ToysReview.