The Penguins of Madagascar is an American CGI animated television series airing on Nickelodeon. It stars nine characters from the DreamWorks Animation animated film Madagascar: The penguins Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Jeff Bennett), Private (James Patrick Stuart), and Rico (John DiMaggio); the lemurs King Julien (Danny Jacobs), Maurice (Kevin Michael Richardson), and Mort (Andy Richter); and Mason (Conrad Vernon) and Phil the chimpanzees. Characters new to the series include Marlene the otter (Nicole Sullivan) and a zookeeper named Alice (Mary Scheer). A pilot episode, "Gone in a Flash", aired as part of "Superstuffed Nicktoons Weekend" on November 29, 2008 before a new episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, and The Penguins of Madagascar became a regular series on March 28, 2009. The series takes place after the events of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (with elements from the Penguins' Christmas Caper intact; noticeably, Rico's scar and mohawk). Nickelodeon ordered 26 episodes for season 1 and in January 2009 ordered a second season of 26 episodes, bringing the total to 52. This is the first Nicktoon produced with DreamWorks Animation. The series premiere drew 6.1 million viewers, setting a new record as the most-watched premiere. The show finished 2010 as the number two animated program on television among kids age 2-11 and in basic cable total viewers, with only SpongeBob SquarePants ahead in the ratings.