David Bowie; <EM>Atlantis SquarePantis</EM> David Bowie; Atlantis SquarePantis

The No. 1 animated program with kids ages 2-11 and with multiple showings each month tallying 64.5 million viewers, SpongeBob Squarepants (check local listings, Nick) shows no sign of losing its appeal. It's no surprise, then, that Nickelodeon is devoting almost an entire day of programming to the yellow sea creature and all of his Bikini Bottom pals. It begins at 9 am/ET with the 2007 theatrical movie, followed by a Sponge-tastic 12-hour marathon of old episodes, and it culminates with the premiere of the hour-long mini-movie Atlantis SquarePantis (airing tonight at 8 pm/ET). "[It's] an adventurous quest kind of a story," says Tommy Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob, "about SpongeBob and his friends journeying and discovering the lost continent of Atlantis, which is ruled by a character voiced by David Bowie." On landing the Grammy winner, Kenny says, "the people who [watch] are often surprising to me and unexpected. You don't picture David Bowie, the Thin White Duke, sitting on the couch in his pajamas eating Cheerios watching SpongeBob cartoons. [With] our little basic-cable budget we could never afford to pay a legend like David Bowie what he's worth, but the fact he wants to be in something his kid likes is what gets the ball rolling." And how is Bowie's performance? "His British accent is wonderfully convincing…. It almost sounded real," Kenny kids. We think.

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