DreamWorks, Nickelodeon Prep Penguins

DreamWorks Animation and Nickelodeon today announced that they are moving forward with plans to make a CG-animated television series revolving around the mischievous penguins from the hit film Madagascar and upcoming sequel, Madagascar, the Crate Escape. The 26- episode toon show is tentatively titled The Penguins of Madagascar and will be produced at the Nickelodeon Animation Studio in Burbank, Calif. Nick viewers van expect to see it sometime in early 2009.

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg comments, ‘Our Madagascar penguins were hugely popular on the big screen, so it seemed natural to give them their own television show on the premier entertainment network for kids. This is likely the first of many future projects aimed at establishing a meaningful presence for DreamWorks Animation properties on Nickelodeon, and we are thrilled to get this collaboration off the ground.”

Exec produced by Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley (Disney’s Kim Possible, Disney’s Hercules, Sky High), the series will follow the misadventures of Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private, penguins who believe they lead an elite strike force from their Central Park Zoo headquarters. While most of their shenanigans involve their multi-species zoo neighborhood, their secret missions will at times lead them to venture out onto the busy streets of New York City. They also have to deal with a new neighbor, Julien, King of the Lemurs, a role voiced by scene stealer Sacha Baron Cohen in the film. Danny Jacobs (Futurama) will assume the part for the small screen. Tom McGrath will reprise the role of Skipper, while Jeff Bennett (Enchanted) takes over as Kowalski, James Patrick Stuart (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) as Private and John DiMaggio (Futurama) as Rico.

Nick and DreamWorks Animation first announced Intentions to partner for animated TV shows in October of 2006. At that time, they also revealed that a series based on the upcoming CG feature Kung Fu Panda was also in development. The movie is slated to open on May 9.