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Nickelodeon Hopes These Penguins Are Hot

Mar 11, 2009  •  Post A Comment

The penguins are coming.
Kids network Nickelodeon plans to launch “The Penguins of Madagascar,” the computer-generated animation series based on the DreamWorks movies, on March 28.
The news series will launch in primetime at 8 p.m.—early enough for children who have finished their homework to still be up watching TV—with two weeks of premiere episodes. The penguins will waddle over to their regular timeslot of Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. beginning April 18.
The cartoon features four penguins—Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private—who fancy themselves commandos operating out of New York’s Central Park Zoo.
“The penguins are four characters on a mission without permission,” said Brown Johnson, president of animation for Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group. “Great comedy meets glorious CG-animation in this new Nick series.”
In “The Penguins of Madagascar,” Andy Richter and Tom McGrath reprise their feature film voice roles as Mort the lemur and Skipper. They are joined by Nicole Sullivan, formerly of “MadTV,” playing an otter.
“Penguins” also is the answer to a new version of the old joke: What’s black and white and online all over?
Nickelodeon’s broadband player, TurboNick, will stream replays of the episodes after they premiere. Nick.com will be rolling out a mini-site dedicated to the series that will feature a personality quiz, e-cards, downloads and message boards. Leading up to the premiere, the mini-site will introduce a new game each week for three weeks. Other new games will be introduced throughout 2009, Nick says.
Mobile users will find sneak peeks and playlists, and the penguins will be highlighted in Nick’s video-on-demand package.
Nickelodeon aired sneak peeks of “Penguins of Madagascar” over the Thanksgiving weekend. The show drew an average of 14 million viewers, including 7.2 million kids in the 2-11 demographic.

38 Comments

  1. Nickelodeon aired sneak peeks of “Penguins of Madagascar” over the Thanksgiving weekend. The show drew an *average* of 14 million viewers, including 7.2 million kids in the 2-11 demographic.
    Incorrect. That 14 million viewers is a reach figure, not an average, meaning a viewer only had to watch 6 minutes…oh, how impressive. Once again, here’s a case of Nick’s dirty press practices. Shame on you, but then again, this is the network that was going to allow Chris Brown to still appear on the Kids Choice Awards…

  2. Anyone who’s sat through the Madagascar 2 DVD or Blu-Ray (certainly an experience the Obama administration would outlaw at Gitmo) has likely also seen the quite dramatic difference in writing between the film and the animated shorts which are just painful to watch.
    Granted, that goes for most animation aimed at children these days, but really, writing isn’t the primary cost in production of these shorts…

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