Following a record-breaking ratings premiere of The Penguins of Madagascar, Nickelodeon today announced that it has ordered 26 episodes of its second co-production with DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA), Kung Fu Panda: The Series — a new CG animated comedy series adapted from the studio’s 2008 blockbuster film. Today’s announcement, which strengthens the strategic alliance between two of the world’s most prolific producers of television and feature film animation, was made by Brown Johnson, President, Animation for Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids & Family Group.
Today’s announcement comes just six weeks after Nickelodeon’s unprecedented March 28 debut of the hit CG-animated series The Penguins of Madagascar, which ranked as the most-watched series premiere in the network’s history, drawing 6.1 total million viewers (P2+). The half-hour premiere also delivered more kids 6-11 than any other Nick animated series premiere, averaging an 11.0/2.3 million K6-11. Since then, The Penguins of Madagascar has already become a top program with kids on all of broadcast and cable television, averaging nearly 13 million kids 2-11 each week and also averaging nearly 28 million total viewers (P2+) every week. The series is currently the #2 program (live action or animated), only behind only SpongeBob SquarePants, with kids 2-11 and 6-11 and is the #2 kid-targeted program (live-action or animated) among total viewers (P2+) on all of broadcast and cable television.*
“Our seamless collaboration with DreamWorks Animation has now reached an anticipated 78 half-hours of unparalleled television CG animation,” said Brown. “With the pick-up of Kung Fu Panda: The Series, we are thrilled to be bringing to our audience the rich stories and energy-packed character and action sequences Po the panda delivered on the big screen.”
“We are thrilled to extend our ongoing collaboration with Nickelodeon, whose creative expertise in producing hit TV series is second to none,” said Ann Daly, Chief Operating Officer of DreamWorks Animation. “The characters and worlds we originally created for Kung Fu Panda are particularly well-suited to be further developed and explored in new and exciting ways.”
Kung Fu Panda: The Series, is based on DreamWorks Animation’s hit feature film, Kung Fu Panda which has grossed over $630 million at the worldwide box office and became the studio’s most successful original feature film ever. Kung Fu Panda garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Animated Feature Film.
The series will chronicle the further adventures of Po, the energetic, enthusiastic, always hungry martial arts panda. He is aided by his mentor Shifu and the Furious Five: Tigress, Mantis, Crane, Monkey and Viper. Anointed “Dragon Warrior,” Po protects the Valley of Peace from threats of all kind. Kung Fu Panda: The Series will be executive produced by Cheryl Holliday (King of the Hill, Still Standing, Father of the Pride). The show is being produced at the Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, California, currently the largest producer of television animation in the U.S.
Kung Fu Panda: The Series joins Nickelodeon’s successful slate of animated series including pop culture phenomenon and number one ranked SpongeBob SquarePants (coming up on its 10th Anniversary this July), Emmy Award-nominated The Fairly OddParents from animation veteran Butch Hartman, The Mighty B! co-created by and starring actress/comedian Amy Poehler and Back at the Barnyard from the creative mind of box-office chief Steve Oedekerk.