"Kung Fu Panda" morphing into Nickelodeon series

Thu May 14, 2009 11:57pm EDT
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By James Hibberd

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - After kicking its way to box-office success, "Kung Fu Panda" is on its way to the small screen as a CG-animated comedy series.

In its second co-production with DreamWorks Animation SKG, Nickelodeon has ordered 26 episodes of "Kung Fu Panda: The Series."

The two companies also partnered on "The Penguins of Madagascar," which premiered March 28 on Nick and ranked as the most-watched series premiere in the network's history (6.1 million viewers). Since then, "Penguins" has become the second-most-popular program among kids 6-11 on television, behind only "SpongeBob SquarePants."

The new series, which will premiere next year, is based on DreamWorks' 2008 release "Kung Fu Panda" which has grossed more than $630 million at the worldwide box office and is the studio's most successful original feature film.

(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)

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<p>Panda characters stand on the red carpet at the DVD release of "Kung Fu Panda" at the Grauman's Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California November 9, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>