6:00am PT by Kimberly Nordyke
Mandy Patinkin Joins Sprout's New Kids Series 'Nina's World' (Exclusive)
Mandy Patinkin is headed to children's television.
The actor has joined the cast of Nina's World, a new original series from NBCUniversal's cable channel Sprout, which targets kids ages 2-6 and their parents and caregivers.
The animated series will serve as the prequel to Sprout’s signature block "The Good Night Show," featuring an adult character named Nina (played by Michele Lepe) who introduces programming and teaches concepts alongside a puppet named Star. The new series will focus on Nina as a 6-year-old girl as she and Star go on adventures in her neighborhood.
Patinkin will voice Mr. Lambert, a gentle, sweet man who serves as the local librarian in Nina's vibrant, multicultural neighborhood. He also is a close friend — and secret admirer — of Nina's grandmother, Abuelita, voiced by Rita Moreno, and aims to work up the courage to show his true feelings. Mr. Lambert also has an encyclopedic memory and inspires Nina and her friends to read and embrace the arts.
Lepe also voices a role in the series and serves as executive producer, with newcomer Isabella Farrier as young Nina.
"Nina's World is a marquee original series for Sprout, and we are excited to welcome Mandy to this talented, diverse cast," said Andrew Beecham, senior vp programming at Sprout. "When we created the character of Mr. Lambert, we knew we wanted Mandy to voice the role, as the character's love for the arts is so true to what we knew about him. It's a privilege to have him on board."
Patinkin, a Tony and Emmy winner, is most recently known for his role as Saul Berenson on Showtime's Homeland. A theater vet, he originated such roles as Georges Seurat in Sunday in the Park With George and Ché in the original Broadway production of Evita. He also is known for his portrayal of Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride.
Nina's World is set to premiere in September. Sprout is working with Canadian production company Pipeline Studios to create the show.