Garfield and Friends

Garfield and Friends

The cast of Garfield and Friends. Clockwise from bottom left: Sheldon, Wade, Orson, Odie, Garfield, Roy, and Booker.
Genre Comedy
Created by Jim Davis
Written by Mark Evanier[1]
Sharman DiVono
Directed by Jeff Hall
Tom Ray
Dave Brain
Vincent Davis
Ron Myrick
Voices of Lorenzo Music
Gregg Berger
Thom Huge
Desiree Goyette
Howie Morris
Frank Welker
Julie Payne
Pat Buttram
Narrated by Gary Owens
Charles Aidman (Day of Doom)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 7
No. of episodes 121 (whole)
363 (segments)
Garfield: 242
U.S. Acres: 121 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Jim Davis
Lee Mendelson
Phil Roman
Producer(s) George Singer (1–21)
Mitch Schauer (22–38)
Bob Curtis (22–55)
Bob Nesler (40–72)
Vincent Davis (70–121)
Running time 2248 minutes
Production company(s) Film Roman
United Media (Season 1)
United Media/Mendelson (Season 2–3)
United Media/Lee Mendelson Productions (Season 4–6)
Lee Mendelson Productions (Season 7)
Paws, Inc.
Distributor The Program Exchange (syndication)
9 Story Media Group
Original network CBS
Picture format 480i SDTV
Audio format Mono (1988–1990)
CBS Stereosound (1990–1994)
Original release September 17, 1988 (1988-09-17) – December 10, 1994 (1994-12-10)
Followed by The Garfield Show

Garfield and Friends is an American animated television series based on the comic strip Garfield by Jim Davis. The show was produced by Film Roman, in association with United Media in Season 1, United Media/Mendelson in Season 2 and 3, United Media/Lee Mendelson Productions in Season 4–6, Lee Mendelson Productions in Season 7, and Paws, Inc., and ran on CBS Saturday mornings from September 17, 1988 to December 10, 1994, with reruns airing until October 7, 1995.[2][3] Seven seasons of the series were produced.

In addition to the cartoons featuring Garfield, the series also included cartoons featuring the characters from U.S. Acres, a comic strip Davis was drawing concurrently with Garfield when Garfield and Friends premiered on television. Like the comic strip these were based on, the shorts were retitled Orson's Farm for viewers outside of the United States (taking the name of their main character, Orson Pig). Although Davis stopped drawing U.S. Acres/Orson's Farm seven months after Garfield and Friends debuted, the characters continued to appear on the series until it ceased production.

A total of 121 episodes were made, each consisting of two Garfield segments and one U.S. Acres segment, totaling 242 Garfield segments and 121 U.S. Acres segments. All episodes have been released in the U.S. on five DVD sets by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The first season aired in a half-hour format. However, in the second season, it switched to an hour-length format, showing two episodes each week. In the last season, the series was still an hour, but the second half-hour of the show featured either an episode from the previous season or one of the Garfield TV specials.

On May 25, 2016, 9 Story Media Group acquired the international rights to Garfield and Friends and its specials.[4]



Regular characters

Minor characters

U.S. Acres (a.k.a. Orson's Farm)

Regular characters

Minor characters

Additional actors

Additional voices were also provided by Gary Owens and Neil Ross.

There have been several celebrity guest stars who did voice acting on Garfield & Friends for both Garfield & US Acres portions, including Imogene Coca, Stan Freberg, George Foreman, Chick Hearn, James Earl Jones, Marvin Kaplan, Robin Leach, John Moschitta, Jr., Jack Riley, Rod Roddy, Will Ryan, Pat Buttram, Dick Beals, Paul Winchell, Don Knotts, Michael Bell, Arnold Stang and Greg Burson.



When the show was originally broadcast on CBS, the episodes usually had three Quickies (30- to 45-second gags which were based on original Garfield and U.S. Acres strips, rather than original made-for-TV stories), with usually two "Garfield Quickies" (the first one being played before the intro theme) and one "U.S. Acres Quickie," the latter of which was never shown in syndication (except occasionally, mainly whenever a Quickie had something to do with the regular full episode it followed; e.g. the 'U.S. Acres Quickie' that follows the episode "Moo Cow Mutt").[6] Midway through the second season, "Screaming with Binky" quickie-style segments were added. These "Screaming with Binky" segments were typically used at the halfway point of hour-long blocks of Garfield and Friends (as Garfield ended each one with "We'll be right back.") to let the viewers know that unlike most Saturday morning cartoons at the time, it was not over in the usual half-hour. The DVD sets and Boomerang reruns restore the original rotation. After the third season, only one "Garfield Quickie" was shown per episode.

During the first season, most U.S. Acres segments were made to teach a social lesson, which is ironically the type of thing the show was against in its later seasons.

Episode segments

Each episode featured most of the following segments:

A Quickie is a short joke that is used between segments. There is at least one Garfield or U.S. Acres Quickie per episode. Most of the Quickies are based on a Sunday comic strip, and some on a daily comic strip. There are also a couple of Quickies called Screaming with Binky. According to one U.S. Acres Quickie, they last 45 seconds[7] and most of these were cut out in syndication.

In syndication, the format was as follows:


The seventh season (1994–1995) was the last one because CBS wanted to cut the budget (and in fact, CBS's Saturday morning cartoon lineup would be mostly replaced by CBS News Saturday Morning two years later, which eventually evolved into the Saturday edition of The Early Show). The production company nixed this proposal, so they mutually agreed to cease production, even though Garfield and Friends had still been doing very well in the ratings.

Theme song

Each episode opened with Gary Owens introducing the show by saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, Garfield and Friends!". Garfield would then tap dance across a fence and turn on a record player. This remained a constant throughout the series.

The first theme song was a song-and-dance style number about friendship ("Friends are there to help you get started / To give you a push on your way"). The intro for the first two years saw Garfield battling Orson, Roy, Wade, Booker, and Sheldon (who all appeared on screen together) for screen time. A series of brief clips would play showing Garfield and the U.S. Acres characters resorting to crazier and crazier ways to accomplish this, which included Orson shattering Garfield's body with a mallet and Garfield using a jack to move the U.S. Acres crew out of frame.

The second, more up-tempo theme song ("We're Ready to Party") first appeared in the third season and was used until the end of season six. This time, Garfield sang the song along with the rest of the cast and the intro now consisted of clips from previous episodes. This intro was also used for the syndicated rerun package, but all incidental music from the first two seasons' worth of episodes was left intact. It was not until the DVD releases that the intros from those seasons were seen in their entirety again.

In the seventh (and final) season, an upbeat rap-based theme song was used, sung by J.R. Johnston.[8] This theme is not included on the DVDs nor did it make its way onto the rerun package.

The close of each version of the theme brought out the show's title screen, where Booker would write "and friends" in pencil below Garfield's name. Garfield would then appear atop the title and offer a joke to open the show (e.g., "Welcome to my world... Did you bring food?", "Hey Heathcliff! Eat your heart out" and "It doesn't start till the fat lady screams.")

DVD releases

Region 1

In response to the financial success of Garfield: The Movie, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released all seven seasons of Garfield and Friends to Region 1 DVD in five volume box sets, with each set having 24-25 episodes on three discs. Each set features an image of Garfield with a character from U.S. Acres.[9] These DVD sets show the original telecast versions, rather than the edited versions once seen in syndication and on cable networks. Almost all of the DVD sets are now out of print as of October 2013.

Release name Release date Eps. No. Years aired Seasons
Garfield and Friends, Volume One July 27, 2004 24 1988–1989 1 & 2A
Garfield and Friends, Volume Two December 7, 2004 24 1989–1990 2B & 3A
Garfield and Friends, Volume Three April 19, 2005 24 1990–1991 3B & 4A
Garfield and Friends, Volume Four August 30, 2005 24 1991–1993 4B, 5 & 6A
Garfield and Friends, Volume Five December 6, 2005 25 1993–1994 6B & 7

Region 2

Fox Entertainment and Jim Davis released one volume of Garfield and Friends on DVD in the UK on 21 Nov 2005. It was called Box of Fun and it was the same cover as the Vol. 1 box set. Unlike the USA sets, this is just a single disc with 8 episodes.

Region 4

Fox Entertainment also released the Volume One set to Region 4 DVD on December 13, 2004. The contents of this set are exactly the same as that of the Region 1 release with only minor changes to the set cover. The set was also made available as individual volumes. The complete "Volume 1" set is now discontinued. The remaining four volumes were never released.

Release name Release date Eps No.
Garfield and Friends, Volume One December 13, 2008 24
Garfield and Friends, Volume One, Disc 1 November 4, 2007 8
Garfield and Friends, Volume One, Disc 2 November 19, 2007 8
Garfield and Friends, Volume One, Disc 3 November 23, 2007 8

Also released were single-disc compilations based on a theme, such as Garfield and Friends: Behind the Scenes in 2006.

Syndication history

Garfield and Friends has been syndicated on television around the world, beginning in the late 1980s and remaining on air in present day. In Latin America, it played on Cartoon Network from 1993 to 2005, on Boomerang from 2005 to the present, and on Warner Channel from 1998 to the present. Currently, all three of these networks have lost the rights to the show, however, though it still runs on Boomerang. Televisa's Canal 5 also played the show for many years, from the mid-1990s to early 2000s (decade).

In Australia, Garfield and Friends began syndication on Network Ten from 1989 to 1999. Most recently it played on FOX8 and ABC1 from 2004 to 2006.

The show was also syndicated in Chile from 1989 to 2003 on Canal 13 and from 1998 to present on Warner Channel. In Estonia, the show appeared on TV 3 from 2000 to 2002, and in Finland on YLE TV2 between the years 1992-1994 and 1998-1999.

The cartoon has also appeared in Hungary, with two different dubs. Hungarian Television's channel M2 (who now air the series regularly) broadcast the first season from 1994 to 1995, then RTL Klub aired a re-dubbed first season (although Garfield's voice stayed the same) and continued through the 121 episodes. Garfield and Friends is still popular in the country.

The United Kingdom and the United States remain the highest syndicators of the show. In the UK, it appeared on CITV from 1989 through 2002, on Sky1 from 1998 to 2002, and on Boomerang from 2003 to 2006 with Season 1 and 2 only. It also appeared on The Children's Channel in reruns. It is unknown if it will ever return to the UK.

In Ireland Garfield and Friends aired on RTÉ TWO Monday to Friday at 6pm (followed by Home & Away), it replaced RTÉ teen magazine programme Jo Maxi and was eventually replaced by The Simpsons.

In the United States, the series appeared in syndication from 1993 to 2001, on TBS, TNT, and Cartoon Network from 1995 to 1997, and Nickelodeon from 1997 to 2000. In 2001, it appeared on ABC Family until 2003. Toon Disney aired it from 2003 to 2006. Boomerang, the most recent American television channel to have aired the series, carried it from 2006 to 2007.

The first two seasons of Garfield and Friends are currently available on Netflix; however, all seasons of the series are available on Amazon Prime and Hulu.

Garfield and Friends aired in Canada on the cable TV channel YTV from 1989 to 1996. The show was broadcast on Teletoon's 24-hour classic-animation network, Teletoon Retro, until the channel's shutdown on September 1, 2015.

It is also broadcasting in Croatia via RTL Kockica, and in Bosnia and Herzegovina it was broadcast via FTV until early 2016.

Only 73 episodes out of the 121 episodes were syndicated by The Program Exchange between 1993 and 2007, and aired on local stations such as WCIU-TV in Chicago from 2001 to 2004. This is due to the producers selling syndication rights when the show was still on air and CBS wanting to keep the rights for certain episodes. Since the 73-episode syndication package performed well enough on other stations, additional episodes were deemed unnecessary.[10]

The Garfield Show

Further information: The Garfield Show

A new CGI series premiered in 2009. Many people who worked on Garfield and Friends also worked on this series, such as executive producer and creator Jim Davis and co-writer and voice director Mark Evanier.

Frank Welker replaced Lorenzo Music as the voice of Garfield due to Music's death in 2001, while Wally Wingert replaced Thom Huge as the voice of Jon Arbuckle due to Huge's retirement in the same year. Other familiar voice actors have also appeared, some of them reprising their roles (such as Gregg Berger as Odie and Herman Post).

The series does not include the U.S. Acres series and characters, as well as other main characters from Garfield and Friends (although characters similar to Booker and Sheldon appear in the episode Down on the Farm). In one episode, Binky the Clown is mentioned, to which Garfield then replies, "My contract says he's not allowed to be in this series".


  1. Mendoza, N.F. (September 6, 1992). "Cel Mates : A look inside the world of the people who make cartoons". The Los Angeles Times. USA. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  2. "Garfield and Friends". The Cartoon Resource. Retrieved 2 June 2010.
  3. The Intelligencer - September 8, 1995
  5. Evanier, Mark. "Today's Video Link". Archived from the original on December 18, 2008.
  6. CaRtUnz4LyFV200. "Garfield and Friends - Moo Cow Mutt". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
  7. Garfield and Friends: Volume 2 DVD, Disc 3
  8. "Garfield and Friends Season 7 Intro". YouTube. 2012-01-17. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
  9. Archived December 6, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. Evanier, Mark. "Artistic License Fees". Retrieved 17 January 2014.
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