The pilot episode "Gone in a Flash", aired as part of "Superstuffed Nicktoons Weekend" on November 29, 2008, and The Penguins of Madagascar became a regular series on March 28, 2009. The series premiere drew 6.1 million viewers, setting a new record as the most-watched premiere.
Although the series occasionally alludes to the rest of the franchise, The Penguins of Madagascar does not take place at a precise time within it. McGrath, who is also the co-creator of the film characters, has said that the series takes place "not specifically before or after the movie, I just wanted them all back at the zoo. I think of it as taking place in a parallel universe."
The series' new protagonists are Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private. Characters who have returned are King Julien, Maurice, Mort, and Mason and Phil. New characters include Marlene the otter, Dr. Blowhole, Alice, and Blue Balls.
The series follows the adventures of the four penguin protagonists: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private, who perform various paramilitary missions to protect their home in the Central Park Zoo. The penguins often have to deal with problems caused (or made worse) by King Julien , Maurice, and Mort.
- Tom McGrath as Skipper
- Jeff Bennett as Kowalski
- John DiMaggio as Rico
- James Patrick Stuart as Private
- Danny Jacobs as King Julien XIII
- Kevin Michael Richardson as Maurice
- Andy Richter as Mort (3 episodes by Matt Nolan)
- Nicole Sullivan as Marlene
- Conrad Vernon as Mason
Some of the actors who played the characters in the films didn't return for the series. Chris Miller is replaced by Jeff Bennett as Kowalski, Christopher Knights is replaced by James Patrick Stuart as Private, Sacha Baron Cohen is replaced by voice actor Danny Jacobs as King Julien, and Cedric the Entertainer's character is now voiced by the popular Kevin Michael Richardson. In three episodes, Andy Richter was replaced by Matt Nolan as the voice of Mort (although Richter voices Mort for the rest of the series).
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