“South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have agreed to a three-season extension for cable’s top-rated animated series and entered into a joint venture with Comedy Central to create South Park Digital Studios, it was announced today by Doug Herzog, president, MTV Networks’ Entertainment Group, a division of Viacom’s MTV Networks. The strategic alliance includes the formation of a digital animation studio at “South Park” headquarters in Los Angeles that will serve as the new home for all digital extensions of the “South Park” franchise as well as an incubator for new animated projects.
“This extension and the formation of the joint venture are the beginnings of a new era for ‘South Park’ and Comedy Central and a natural evolution of our long-term and prosperous relationship with Trey and Matt,” said Herzog. “With the new partnership in South Park Digital Studios and the creation of the digital animation studio, we have a tremendous opportunity to truly maximize the potential of the franchise and the incredible creative talents of Matt and Trey across every imaginable platform.”
“South Park” co-creator Matt Stone said: “Three more years of ‘South Park’ will give us the opportunity to offend that many more people. And since Trey and I are in charge of the digital side of ‘South Park,’ we can offend people on their cell phones, game consoles, and computers too. It’s all very exciting for us.”
As part of the agreement, Parker and Stone will produce an additional three seasons (14 episodes per season) of the Emmy® and Peabody® Award-winning “South Park,” taking the series beyond its current deal, which was set to expire at the end of 2008, to keep new episodes of the show on Comedy Central through 2011. Parker and Stone will continue to write, direct and edit every episode of “South Park,” as they have since the premiere of the series in August 1997.
The joint venture of South Park Digital Studios seeks to respond to the new world in a new way. Its goal is to realize fully the potential of the “South Park” franchise and engage fans across all platforms, including exploring opportunities on gaming platforms (console, handheld, online) and a new online home for the series that will create a Web presence equaling the popularity and power of the series’ brand. SouthParkStudios.com, the long running official “South Park” fan site, will be expanded and become a major part of the new joint venture. The newly expanded site is scheduled to re- launch during the first quarter of 2008.
South Park Digital Studios will also include a multi-faceted and comprehensive production and development facility featuring an animation studio that will serve as a home for innovation, experimentation and groundbreaking animation for Parker and Stone, as well as other animators. Comedy Central will have a first-look option on any projects developed at the studio.