Siegfried & Roy Play with Donkey

Eddie Murphy will reprise his role as Shrek’s wise-cracking sidekick in a sweeps episode of the new DreamWorks Television’s CG-animated series, Father of the Pride, premiering this fall on NBC. Daily Variety reports that Lisa Kudrow, Danny DeVito, Matt Lauer, Andy Richter and Christina Applegate are some of the top stars signed as guest voices on the series.

The whimsical show centers on a family of white lions who work as performers with Las Vegas illusionists Siegfried & Roy. Despite Roy Horn’s much-reported accident involving one of his tigers, both performers will remain major characters on the show. Actors will supply the German duo’s voices. John Goodman, Cheryl Hines, Carl Reiner and Orlando Jones are regulars on the toon.

Sources report that the pilot episode subtly addresses Horn’s accident, but the two performers are treated as eccentric, but kindhearted CEOs of their empire. The lions and other animals talk to one another, but they don’t communicate with the human characters. In one episode, Vice President Dick Cheney becomes a Siegfried & Roy stalker. For obvious reasons, Cheney’s voice will be supplied by an impersonator.

DreamWorks principal Jeffrey Katzenberg is the show’s co-creator with Jonathan Groff. Both are also toon’s exec producers, as are Jon Pollack and Peter Mehlman. NBC has high hopes for the toon which will join the Peacock network’s lineup at a time when its highly rated Thursday night staple Friends is leaving the air.