Nine’s bear necessities

'Humphrey' ran for more than 40 years

They just couldn’t bear to lose him.

Amid rumors that kid TV fave Humphrey B Bear might be headed for extinction or to rival webs Seven or Ten, Oz’s Nine Network said last week that the ursine star will come out of a four-year hibernation.

“Here’s Humphrey” bowed in 1965 and ran for more than 40 years until production halted in 2003.

Nine’s contract with producer Banksia Prods. permitted three repeats of each episode, so it continued to air, but down to just three week’s worth of reruns, Nine went for a bear hug, signing a deal for new episodes.

And the web couldn’t resist a quip about the famously trouserless bear: “While new terms have been agreed upon,” the net said, “Nine drew the line at increasing Humphrey’s clothing allowance for pants to match his vest.”

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