Nickelodeon buys TMNT

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Nickelodeon buys TMNT

Post by DroothR on Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:32 am

Ninja Turtles move to Nickelodeon
Viacom division acquires franchise for $60 million
By TATIANA SIEGEL

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are taking their crime-fighting ways to Viacom.

Conglom has plunked down $60 million for the global rights to the property, considered one of the most successful franchises in the past 25 years given the myriad TV series, films, videogames and toy lines based on the sewer-dwelling characters.

Viacom acquired the rights from the Mirage Group -- which has owned the property since 1984 -- and 4Kids Entertainment. Paramount will now steer a new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" feature to the bigscreen, planned for 2012.

Scott Mednick ("Where the Wild Things Are") is producing the pic alongside Galen Walker, who produced 2007's computer-animated "TMNT," the most recent installment in the franchise.

"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 on with Nickelodeon," said Paramount prexy Adam Goodman.

Additionally, Paramount's sister company Nickelodeon will develop a CG-animated TV series, slated to premiere in 2012. Nick, which also acquired all merchandising rights to the Turtles, will continue to work with its original and longstanding toy partner, Playmates Toys.

"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 of 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."

The "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" animated TV series -- jointly produced by 4Kids and Mirage Studios -- will continue to air on "TheCW4Kids" Saturday morning programming block on the CW network through Aug. 31.

The characters, created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman, first appeared in a May 1984 comicbook.
Why did Peter Laird sell off his creation?
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Musings about the sale

This evening, my daughter Emily wisely advised me to make a statement about the MTVN/Viacom/Nickelodeon buyout of the TMNT property on my blog... so I am going to try to do that. I suspect it won't be the last statement I will make about this subject.

I will try to touch on some of the things that folks have inquired about, but I can't guarantee that all questions will be answered.

First, why did I sell the TMNT? There are a number of reasons, but first and foremost is that I have been doing this TMNT thing for twenty-five years, sixteen of them in partnership with TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman and the last nine as sole owner of the property. That is a long time. It is almost half my life (I'm 55). I never expected to be working on the same thing for this long. And it has worn me down. I am no longer that guy who carries his sketchbook around with him and draws in it every chance he gets. That guy did all of the pre-TMNT artwork you have been seeing on this blog in many of my "Blast from the Past" posts.

I miss -- I really, really miss -- being that guy.

My fervent hope is that by divesting myself of this wonderful but needful-of-constant-attention property, I might -- I just MIGHT -- get back to being that guy. Or something LIKE that guy.

It will come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention that my energy level for things TMNT has flagged in these last few years. As one result, the production of TMNT Volume 4 comics has slowed to a crawl. That's not good. I have a conclusion planned out for that series, and at some point I want to get to it. Maybe this sale will help me get to that point. We'll see.

The idea of a sale of the TMNT property to a third party is not a new one. Kevin and I, while we were still partners, discussed it during the 1990's and actually came to the conclusion that if the right deal came our way, we would take it. We got a couple of offers -- one of which was, in retrospect, pretty decent, and another which was simply ludicrous and insulting. We took neither of them. This one, this sale which was completed on Monday of this week, came out of the blue. I was not actively pursuing selling the property, though Gary (CEO of Mirage) and Fred (my attorney) knew that it was something I might be interested in should the right buyer with the right deal come my way. And then Viacom/MTVN/Nickelodeon showed interest and we started talking.

I've known for a long time that at some point in my life I would sell the TMNT. I just wasn't sure when it would happen. But, as they say, in this case "the stars lined up".

I know that many fans are concerned with how the TMNT will be treated now that they have a new owner. I am also concerned, but I have faith that the new owner will treat the property with due respect and make the most of it. And the simple fact is -- I didn't have it in me any more, and the property DESERVED a new owner. Now it has one, with powerful roots in the entertainment business. I am actually quite excited to see where they take TMNT.

I am pretty certain that what Viacom/MTVN/Nickelodeon will do with the TMNT is NOT going to be what I would have done with it had I kept ownership. But is that necessarily bad? I think not. For example, if Kevin and I had had our way back in 1987, the original TMNT animated series would have been a lot different. It would probably have been a lot more like the 2003 4Kids show. Now, I really like the newer 4Kids series, but I also know that many fans much prefer the lighter, goofier original series. I don't know what the new Nickelodeon series will be like... but maybe it will be something better than either of the old shows, or simply something new and different, with a fresh approach and attitude. I think everyone should wait and see before passing judgment.

One comment -- which I have seen online several times -- expresses the sentiment that this sale will mean "the end of TMNT". This baffles me. Unless I am completely naive, the sale to Viacom could very well mean a brighter future for the TMNT property than was previously feasible.

On a final note (at least for this statement), please understand that I sold the TMNT property, not Mirage Studios. Mirage still exists, and it's still my company. It just doesn't own the TMNT intellectual property anymore. I'm not sure what its future will be. For a little while, it will be helping with the transition of TMNT over to its new owners. But after that...? I don't know. What I am hoping, however, is that this little core group of creators sticks together, both as friends and collaborators. And I think that is certainly possible. -- PL
So there you have it. Nickelodeon (Viacom & Co.) now own TMNT outright.

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Re: Nickelodeon buys TMNT

Post by ragericho on Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:46 am

hmmm viacom not my most favourte company.

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Re: Nickelodeon buys TMNT

Post by NiteOwl on Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:53 am

Wow, 60 million is pretty cheap for TMNT..... I would have thought?

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Re: Nickelodeon buys TMNT

Post by Sledge Hammer! on Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:31 pm

Yeah I never thought that Laird would sell after all these years, and certainly not for what seems like a bargain basement amount for such a widely known, merchandised, and pretty much ageless property. Very odd indeed.

I'm even more surprised that it wasn't purchased by someone like Sony or Time Warner. Interesting to see how this one plays out, but part of me has to think that the age of the more mature themed Turtles comics just up and died...

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Re: Nickelodeon buys TMNT

Post by Octane on Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:37 pm

Not bad for a small little indy started comic book, although they probably did sell it for cheap.

Anyone have any idea who the 2nd party interested in buying TMNT back in the 90's where?

I'm fairly sure Disney made an attempt to woo them back then and my brain seems to say Sony for the second one. (although my brain has been wrong before)

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Re: Nickelodeon buys TMNT

Post by TheSweetestThing on Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:45 am

I wouldn't trust that dollar figure being correct unless it was released in a press statement from one of the involved companies (I'm too lazy to actually find this out). I just don't trust the media, they like to make up stuff like that (or completely confuse things) whenever they get the chance.

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Re: Nickelodeon buys TMNT

Post by DroothR on Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:14 am

Arrow Meet the Turtles

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Re: Nickelodeon buys TMNT

Post by Dabigfella on Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:27 am

Not sure what to think of those, I don't hate them...

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Re: Nickelodeon buys TMNT

Post by Xenaphobia on Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:38 pm

Toes are weird.

I want them to hurry up and release the new cartoon because they're apparently going to release the Playmates TMNT "Classics" figures at the same time.

Finally, we might truly have well-articulated, well-sculpted "cartoon" teenage mutant ninja turtles!

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Re: Nickelodeon buys TMNT

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