Branching into television also allows DreamWorks to be less reliant on the ups and downs of the box office. Although DreamWorks typically generates big profits on its movies, there have been some notable misfires.

The studio took an $87-million write-down this year on its holiday movie "Rise of the Guardians." And after scoring a hit with the caveman comedy "The Croods," DreamWorks followed up in July with an unexpectedly weak debut for "Turbo," which Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg blamed on market overcrowding.

The poor performance at the box office did not affect the Netflix deal or the Turbo series. Work on the TV spinoff began well before the release of the film.

"The franchise has global awareness and we felt it would be of benefit to our subscribers," Holland said.

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Instead of releasing the entire 26-episode series at one time, as is its typical practice, Netflix will debut five episodes at a time around holiday periods when kids' viewing is at its peak, Holland said.

Working with Los Angeles production company Titmouse, DreamWorks is producing three seasons of "Turbo," along with at least four other shows that will debut by early 2015.

The "Turbo FAST" series continues the adventures of the snail stunt team with an ensemble cast. Reid Scott ("Veep") lends his voice to the title character (voiced by Ryan Reynolds in the movie), and comedian Ken Jeong reprises his role from the film as manicurist-turned-home-shopping-icon Kim Ly.

Also coming exclusively to Netflix in the U.S. and Latin America next year will be DreamWorks Animation feature films, beginning with "The Croods," followed by "Turbo" and the big-screen adaptation of "Mr. Peabody & Sherman," which will debut in March.

richard.verrier@latimes.com