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NBC Books Holiday Specials from DreamWorks

Studio's "Madagascar" and "Monsters vs. Aliens" getting the small-screen treatment.

NBC has set premiere dates for two DreamWorks-produced holiday specials based on "Monsters vs. Aliens" and "Madagascar."

The Halloween-themed "Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space" will premiere Wed., Oct. 28 from 8-8:30 p.m., with an instant encore at 8:30 that night. And on Nov. 17, at 8 NBC will bow "Merry Madagascar," a Christmas-themed special that will also repeat Nov. 28.

Both specials, along with two more planned in 2010, were announced by DreamWorks chief Jeffrey Katzenberg in June. NBC hasn't commented on the specials until today, however.

"Mutant Pumpkins" will feature the voices of Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, Kiefer Sutherland and Rainn Wilson. "Merry Madagascar," meanwhile, will feature the voice of Carl Reiner, as well as original film cast members Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Cedric The Entertainer and Andy Richter.

NBC's official description of the two specials:

"Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space" is produced by Latifa Ouaou and directed by Peter Ramsey from a screenplay by Adam F. Goldberg. The story continues after the events of "Monsters vs. Aliens," as Susan Murphy (Witherspoon) and the Monsters now work with the U.S. government as special operatives. When an alien presence is detected in Susan's hometown of Modesto, California -- right before Halloween -- the team is dispatched to investigate. Everything appears normal, right down to the jack-o-lanterns peering out from every doorstep and windowsill. But when Halloween arrives, those innocent-looking carved pumpkins are revealed for what they really are -- mutant aliens. The altered pumpkins then start to implement their fiendish plan to take over Earth. The Monsters are there to combat the mutant gourds and try to smash their wicked scheme.

"Merry Madagascar" was written by David Soren, Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath. The executive producer is Mireille Soria; Joe Aguilar is the producer and David Soren directs. The brand new holiday adventure stars everyone's favorite Central Park "zoosters" from "Madagascar" and "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa." "Merry Madagascar" begins when Santa and his sleigh unexpectedly crash-land on the island, giving the jolly gentleman a case of amnesia. So it falls to Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria -- along with the ever-inventive Penguins -- to deliver the presents and save Christmas. And it doesn't hurt that Santa's Sleigh just might be able to make a little trip to New York City, so they can finally return to their beloved home. But during their appointed rounds, the four re-discover the magic of giving -- and that it is ultimately more important than their own wish to return home. Also included is a long-lasting North Pole/South Pole rivalry between the Penguins and Santa's reindeer, plus magic flying dust and a King Julien-based holiday called "Julienuary."