Father of the Pride: According to Variety, Eddie Murphy is showing some Donkey love to "Father of the Pride," DreamWorks Television's big-budget CGI-animated skein set to debut on NBC this fall.

Murphy, who stole the show in the studio's original Shrek feature with his wise-cracking Donkey, has reprised the role for one episode. No airdate has been set, but it's a good bet it will air during the November sweeps -- and perhaps just in time for the DVD release of Shrek 2.

A slew of other big names are signed up to supply guest voices, including Lisa Kudrow, Danny DeVito, Matt Lauer, Andy Richter and Christina Applegate. Vice President Dick Cheney, Barbra Streisand and hubby James Brolin also will pop up, though actors will supply those voices.

John Goodman, Cheryl Hines, Carl Reiner and Orlando Jones head the vocal cast (Daily Variety, May 19).

Skein, about a family of white lions who work as performers in the Las Vegas act of illusionists Siegfried & Roy, is one of NBC's big tentpole skeins as the net starts life after "Friends".

Cinemark Movie Club
Brian B.