NBC orders 'Shrek,' 'Kung Fu Panda' specials

EXCLUSIVE: Joins with DWA for primetime holiday programs

NBC is bringing to primetime new adventures from the DreamWorks Animation blockbusters "Shrek" and "Kung Fu Panda."

The network is partnering with DreamWorks Animation for the half-hour holiday specials "Scared Shrekless" and "Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special."

The move continues a relationship between the companies that started last year with the specials "Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins From Outer Space" and "Merry Madagascar."

NBC will air the Halloween-themed "Shrekless" on Oct. 28, partnering it with a re-airing of "Mutant Pumpkins." "Panda" will air Nov. 24, paired with an encore of "Merry Madagascar."

The programming gives NBC a pair of one-hour animated blocks tied to recent animated family hits.

"NBC is proud to team with DreamWorks Animation to broadcast such quality holiday programming that includes some of their many popular film characters," said Angela Bromstad, president of primetime entertainment at NBC and Universal Media Studios. "These animated specials will provide top-flight family entertainment for fans of all ages."

There perhaps is no more durable form of TV programming than an animated holiday special that manages to become a classic. "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "The Grinch That Stole Christmas" continue to deliver strong ratings decades after their first airing.

In "Shrekless," Shrek challenges Fiona, Donkey, Puss in Boots and the other fairy-tale characters to spend the night in Lord Farquaad's haunted castle telling scary stories. In "Panda," the lovable Po has to choose between his family obligations and his duty as Dragon Warrior when he's ordered to host a formal winter feast at the Jade Palace.