HollywoodReporter is reporting that Nickelodeon has spent US$60 million to purchase the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise from Mirage Studios and 4Kids Entertainment. This will bring an end to the current TMNT animated series produced by 4Kids. Nickelodeon reportedly has plans for a CG animated television series and a feature film both shooting for a 2012 debut. They wish to reboot and reintroduce the series to new and old audiences. All merchandising rights were also part of the deal and it has already been stated they plan to continue working closely with Playmates Toys, who have long held the TMNT toy license. It was not clear whether or not Mirage would continue to publish TMNT comics, though I would find it hard to believe that wouldn’t be part of the contract negotations to at least let the TMNT creators continue to add content to their creations.

One wonders if the breakdown in talks with Fathom Entertainment to release the Turtles Forever movie nationwide in theaters was a result of these negotiations. We reported on the Turtles Forever movie here and recently talked about its theatrical release cancelation in the most recent podcast found here.

We also have an active discussion on the movie on our forums here. Feel free to add your thoughts on the movie in the thread or your thoughts on the TMNT franchise deal in the comments below!

UPDATE! – Peter Laird updated his blog with some thoughts on the deal and his decision.