"Millennium Penguin" TV Show

Fake News written by James Baughn on Saturday, January 23, 1999

from the tux-wants-a-salary-of-raw-herring dept.

You've probably heard that the new animated "Dilbert" TV series is scheduled to premiere on UPN next Monday. What you may not realize is that afterwards UPN is scheduled to show the premiere for another new animated show, "Millennium Penguin". This show will feature Tux the Penguin as a private investigator who solves high-tech crimes.

Tux is joined by several friends (Wilbur the Gimp, the lovable BSD daemon, and more) who will assist him in tracking down his arch nemesis, Gill Bates, and his evil band of marketing goons and demented lawyers. Tux and friends will also have to outsmart the Instale Rabbit People and a never-ending horde of venture capitalists, pointy haired bosses, moronic computer store employees, and more (in effect, everyone who has ever waged war against geekdom).

In the pilot episode, Tux is hired to investigate a mysterious fire at the Transmeta offices in Silicon Valley. Using clues found at the scene and his cunning powers of deduction, Tux is able to track down the arsonist: an Elbonian terrorist. When confronted, however, the terrorist claims he had made a mistake and set fire to the wrong building. He meant to destroy the offices of Metatrans, Inc. just down the street, which he says is a front for a Neeobian software smuggling operation (Neeobia and Elbonia have been at war for hundreds of years).

Later, Tux is kidnapped by a crack team of Instale Rabbit People. He is then told the truth: the "Elbonian terrorist" was actually an Instale operative attempting to destroy Transmeta, Instale's arch rival. Using his ability to charge at speeds of over 100mph, Tux is able to escape from the Instale compound and return to safety. Of course, he'll meet up again with the Instale Rabbit People and other shady, unscrupulous characters in future episodes.

With "Dilbert" and "Millennium Pengiun", UPN's strategy is to aim its Monday night lineup towards geeks and techies. Said one UPN executive, "Those other networks all have the same kinds of predictable shows. Nerds just aren't interested in sitcoms and medical dramas. We want to pry nerds away from their computer screens for an hour each Monday night and have them watch quality nerd-oriented television (and, of course, lots of commercials) that just can't be found on the other networks."

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