South Park fans, get ready for five more years of satirical surrealism, celebrity send-ups, bad language and dodgy animation. The show’s creators have signed a renewal deal with Comedy Central that will see the show through the next five years and past the 300 episodes mark.
In addition, Hulu will pay out US$192m to hold onto its exclusive streaming rights. The Los Angeles-based TV on-demand service has struck a deal with Comedy Central owner Viacom and South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone to extend its current deal for an additional three years, adding to the two remaining on the existing contract. Hulu is currently the only service of its kind to offer viewers all 18 seasons and 254 episodes of the show.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Comedy Central and Viacom will split the Hulu money evenly with Parker and Stone, representing one of the first times ever where digital revenue will underwrite current production costs.
Having premiered back in 1997, South Park is credited as one of the driving forces in Comedy Central’s rise. “South Park remains the bedrock of Comedy Central and we are thrilled that new episodes will continue to entertain audiences for years to come,” said the TV channel’s president Michele Ganeless in a statement “The series remains as urgent and relevant now as the day it premiered and at nearly 20 seasons in it continues to draw generations of new fans.”
The deal is Hulu’s latest high-profile move as it looks to compete with Netflix and other streaming services. This year had already seen the company agree to pay US$160m for ’90s sitcom Seinfeld, while it has also acquired all 300 episodes of CSI.