Wednesday, February 14, 2007

DreamWorks’ Panda & Madagascar Spinning TV Series on Nickelodeon

From AWN Headline News:

DreamWorks’ Panda & Madagascar Spinning TV Series on Nick

Nickelodeon and DreamWorks Animation are teaming on possible weekly series based on DreamWorks animated features, KUNG FU PANDA and MADAGASCAR, confirms Nickelodeon. First reported in VARIETY, the MADAGASCAR spinoff will chronicle the adventures of its penguin characters — Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private.

Nick will handle the day-to-day development of the series, but plans to outsource the actual CG production.

DreamWorks Animation ceo Jeffrey Katzenberg told VARIETY, "We've given them all the elements that exist in the movies and then, really... we're pretty deferential on this. They spent a lot of time with the creators, directors, producers and talent involved in the two movies, but it was more to pick their brains and then take the properties and make them their own."

Tom Martin (THE SIMPSONS) has been hired to write the pilot for PANDA while Paul Rugg (FREAKAZOID!) will write the MADAGASCAR-inspired show.

Since Paramount's acquisition of DreamWorks in December, Katzenberg said, "From the outset, one of the highest priorities for us was to share with Nickelodeon our movie properties. One of the greatest opportunities in making the deal with Viacom was [Nick’s] interest and enthusiasm for repurposing or adapting our properties into their world and their TV networks.”

Cyma Zarghami, president of Nickelodeon and MTV Networks Kids & Family Group, added, "We know what's in our own pipeline, and so we look for things that would be additive. We thought the characters in KUNG FU PANDA were very funny and could live beyond the movie universe. And everyone loves those penguins."

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