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Viacom Buys Garfield in Big, Fat, Hairy Deal

Expect to see a lot more lasagna on the menu at the Nickelodeon commissary.

Viacom, parent company of the children’s network, has reached a deal to buy the intellectual property rights to Garfield, the comic strip cat that has been grumbling about Mondays and quietly suffering the antics of Odie the Dog and Jon Arbuckle for more than 40 years.

Financial terms of the deal with Paws Inc. were not disclosed, but Garfield has been a merchandising cash machine for decades and is thought to make millions each year in book, toy and other sales.

“This acquisition marks another step in our evolution toward being kids’ first stop for the best new content and characters,” said Brian Robbins, president of Nickelodeon.

Through Nickelodeon, Viacom (which, earlier this year, bought the streaming network FuboTV) hopes to develop a new Garfield animated series. That will run alongside other Nickelodeon programs, including SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and an upcoming animated Star Trek series.

Garfield creator Jim Davis will continue to pen the daily comic strip as well.

“I’ve always tried to make people laugh with humor that is classic and appealing to both kids and adults,” he said in a statement. “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.”

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