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Nickelodeon Shoots Madagascar Series

Nickelodeon and DreamWorks Animation will team to create a 26-episode, animated comedy series tentatively titled The Penguins of Madagascar, based on characters from DreamWorks’ feature film, Madagascar and its upcoming sequel, Madagascar, the Crate Escape.

The new series, scheduled to premiere on Nickelodeon in early 2009, will follow the exploits of Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private – four penguins who believe they lead an elite strike force from its Central Park Zoo headquarters. The 2005 Madagascar film generated $536 million in worldwide box office revenue, according to DreamWorks. 

 “This is a partnership that brings together two creative-driven companies who share a belief that great characters and stories are the essential ingredients to success, whether it’s on the big or small screen,” Cyma Zarghami, president, Nickelodeon & MTV Networks Kids and Family Group said in Monday’s announcement. “The DreamWorks Animation team developed richly creative characters that lend themselves to a series of their own – they are just plain hysterical. We can’t wait to treat our audience to the same vibrant and vivid CG animation that audiences loved in the film.”

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.