NEW YORK, Aug. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) returns as the title characters' sinister nemesis, Dr. Blowhole, in Nickelodeon's brand-new Penguins of Madagascar special, "Blowhole Strikes Back," premiering Friday, Sept. 9, at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT). The hour-long special features Harris performing in four original musical numbers, two of which he is singing alongside The Penguins of Madagascar characters. The series recently garnered six Daytime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Children's Animated Program, Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program (Danny Jacobs) and Outstanding Writing in Animation. Year to date, The Penguins of Madagascar ranks as one of the top five animated series on all TV with kids 2-11.*
"Our viewers loved Dr. Blowhole in the first special, so we were excited to bring the character back and work with the very talented Neil Patrick Harris again," said Brown Johnson, President, Animation, Nickelodeon. "In this second special, he has expanded his role with unforgettable vocal performances, including a stand-out power ballad."
In the special, Skipper arrives in Shanghai on a super secret solo mission that leads him waddling right into a Dr. Blowhole trap. Without his men, who are back at the zoo, he is helpless and his memory gets wiped away by Blowhole's "Mind-Jacker." Blowhole's despicable plan uses Skipper's memories to locate Kowalski, Private and Rico, blast them with his "Diabologizer," and render them evil monsters who destroy their headquarters. The lyrics from the special—which includes six original songs—were written by series executive producers Robert Schooley and Mark McCorkle and composed by Adam Berry, who recently won a Daytime Emmy Award for his work on the series.
Leading up to the premiere, Nick.com will help get fans ready for Dr. Blowhole's return with training games and top secret videos. On September 1, fans can play "Menace of the Mind-Jacker," a brand-new puzzle game based on the special, where Dr. Blowhole is stealing Skipper's memories and players must match memory bubbles in order to fill Dr. Blowhole's memory trap. Additionally, Nick.com and Nick's social media channels will roll out songs from the episode and there will be a dedicated Penguins category on Nick's video-on-demand. Following the premiere, Nickelodeon will air an encore of the special on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 10:00 a.m. (ET/PT).
Harris currently stars as Barney Stinson in the hit series, How I Met Your Mother and has performed in both musical and dramatic roles on several Broadway productions, including the musical revival of Assassins as well as Cabaret, Proof and Sweeney Todd. His additional credits include the voice of Patrick Winslow in the animated feature film The Smurfs, the voice of Steve in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and as Lou the beagle in Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. He also served as host of the 63rd Annual Tony Awards and 61st Primetime Emmy Awards, starred in the popular internet series, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and has spoofed himself in the movie Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, as well its sequel. Additionally, Harris will be receiving a star this year on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Year-to-date, episodes of The Penguins of Madagascar average 3.1 million total viewers and have reached 94.2 million total viewers.* Now in its second season, the series follows the exploits of the beloved penguins from DreamWorks Animation's hit feature films Madagascar ($532 million worldwide gross) and Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa (nearly $579 million worldwide). Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private are a group of penguins who believe they are an elite strike force with top-tier commando skills that is headquartered at New York City's Central Park Zoo. Their orderly world is disrupted by the arrival of the lemurs, who are led by the imperially deluded King Julien.
Andy Richter (Late Night with Conan O' Brien) and Tom McGrath (co-creator of the penguin characters and director of both Madagascar films) reprise their roles as Mort and Skipper from the feature films. Nicole Sullivan (Rita Rocks) voices the role of Marlene the otter, Jeff Bennett (Enchanted) voices Kowalski, James Patrick Stuart (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) voices Private, John DiMaggio (Futurama) voices Rico and Danny Jacobs (Futurama) stars as Julien, King of the Lemurs. The Penguins of Madagascar is executive produced by Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley, (Disney's Kim Possible and Hercules, Sky High) and is produced at the Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif.
About DreamWorks Animation
DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films, television specials and series, live entertainment properties and online virtual worlds, meant for audiences around the world. The Company has world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced filmmaking technology and techniques. All of DreamWorks Animation's feature films are now being produced in 3D. The Company has theatrically released a total of 18 animated feature films, including the franchise properties, Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda.
Nickelodeon, now in its 32nd year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 16 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).
* Source: NMR, NPower, L+7 thru 7/31/11, L+SD thru 8/17/11, minimum 1 minute, NICK/NKTNS telecasts