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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

BREAKING: Nickelodeon Acquires Global Rights to TMNT

News is spreading across the various wire services and news Web sites this morning that Nickelodeon has apparently acquired the global rights to the TMNT.

It is also being reported that they will develop a CG-animated TV series that will be concurrent with the existing movie project, which is now slated for 2012 and will be distributed and backed by Paramount.

The deal is apparently worth $60 million and the current TMNT TV series will continue to run on CWKids through August 31, 2010. Here's a sample of the press release, which is available in full on Reuters:

NEW YORK, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Furthering its mission to provide premium content to its audiences, Nickelodeon--part of MTV Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B)--has acquired the global rights to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from The Mirage Group and 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE). The acquisition provides Nickelodeon, the world's number-one entertainment brand for kids, global intellectual property rights to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the hit television, film and video game property that has delighted kids around the world for the last 25 years. The aggregate purchase price for the transactions is approximately $60 million.

Nickelodeon also announced plans to develop a new CG-animated television series based on the popular superhero franchise, anticipated to premiere in 2012. Additionally, in partnership with Viacom's Paramount Pictures, a new release of a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles feature film is also planned for 2012. Nickelodeon has also acquired all merchandising rights to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and will continue to work with its original and long-standing toy partner, Playmates Toys, which has been the creative force behind the successful TMNT master toy program over the last two decades.

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shares a comedic sensibility with the Nickelodeon DNA, with added layers of action and fantasy that have kept this property an evergreen favorite with multiple generations of audiences," said Cyma Zarghami, President, Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group. "We are extremely happy to have the opportunity to be able to focus on this property and creatively re-introduce it to a new generation of kids."

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a property that maintains a very passionate global fan base, is rich with opportunity for a tentpole movie, and is exactly the right property for us to work together with Nickelodeon," said Adam Goodman, President, Paramount Pictures.

"Mirage has been the proud keeper of the Turtles' brand since 1984, and in 2009 we celebrated their 25th anniversary with our legions of fans," said Gary Richardson, CEO, Mirage Studios. "Nickelodeon is a powerhouse global brand, and we are confident that the company will be a wonderful steward for Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello and all the other TMNT characters and take them in all kinds of exciting and new creative directions."

Stay tuned to Ninja Pizza as details on this become more clear, particularly concerning what, exactly, this means for the future.


  1. Holy hell. First Marvel/Disney, now Nick/TMNT?? I'm stunned. What does this mean in terms of the comics?

  2. I am shocked.

    But I can't say that I never thought I'd see the day. I always figured it was only a matter of time. Peter Larid is getting older, and Mirage Studios keeping to their small company roots was clearly not helping the brand move forward onto bigger and better things, which has been a point of contention between them and the fan base for quite some time.

    Well, it is what it is and I guess we'll see where this all leads. At least Marvel sold out first!


  3. I hope we here something more from Mirage soon, other than posting the buyout message on Facebook. THis statement just shook me:

    The Mirage Group is a group of companies... that owned and managed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles property from its creation in 1984 through 2009.

    We've all had beef with the state of things at Mirage and with Richardson- but for all those writers and artists that have given so much to stick with Mirage all this time... I hope they're going to come out on top of all this.

    I hope after this year I'll still be living in a world with TMNT comics set in the Mirage universe.

    On a positive side... maybe now the TMNT cartoon will get its 2K3 dignity back. Avatar was amazing, TMNT could be like that...

    But this all feels wrong. I'm more venting than anything... again... I hope the official word on all this comes soon.

  4. i dont believe 14 yrs old nd ive watchd the 1980's series AND the 2003 series....knowing Nick ther gna screw it up.."Re-introduce to a new generation of kids"? Seriously? i lov the 2003 series And i want it to stay the same..i mean a new series wuld b great and all..but you kno keep the animation the same, the voices, the plot, EVERYTHING! im hoping nick doesnt screw this show up either