Viacom is purr-chasing Garfield.
The media conglomerate announced Tuesday that it’s buying Paws Inc., the company that owns the rights to Garfield. Viacom has big plans for the lasagna-loving cat, including new merchandise and an animated television show for its children’s cable network Nickelodeon.
“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’s president, Brian Robbins said in a release.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed and it’s expected to close in the coming weeks.
Garfield creator Jim Davis will continue to create the syndicated comic strip. Viacom’s purchase also includes U.S. Acres, another comic strip created by Davis in the 1980s.
Viacom’s acquisition of Garfield shows that it is trying to bolster its lineup of family-friendly content as it faces stiff competition from the kids fare offered by Netflix and Amazon. Viacom’s current portfolio of kids shows includes SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Viacom acquired its own free streaming service, Pluto TV, earlier this year and it has been creating new channels centered around other Viacom properties for it. It announced today new MTV and CMT-centric streams showing classic shows and live events.