Nickelodeon’s inhouse animation unit has picked up a series based on TV’s first half-cat, half-dog character, ordering 40 episodes of “CatDog” for a planned debut on the network in fall 1998.

The oddball show, created by Peter Hanan, is being developed as the next Nicktoons production and will be produced out of the unit’s new Nicktoons animation studio in Burbank. Hanan will also serve as executive producer. It’s part of Nickelodeon’s $350 million investment in original animation over the next five years.

“CatDog” was described Wednesday as a “physical, gag-filled, character-driven” cartoon starring an odd creature with two heads (one at either end of its single body) and no tail.

“Don’t ask me how they go to the bathroom,” quipped Albie Hecht, senior VP of worldwide productions and development for Nickelodeon.

Hecht predicted that CatDog would “really play off of kids’ sympathies” since the joined characters “have the worst of both worlds. Both dogs and cats hate them. They are true outcasts. But dogs and cats are also the two most popular pets in the world, and we’re putting them together for the first time.”

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