NEW YORK, August 27, 2007 — “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 momentous 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 (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B) 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.
The joint venture agreement with COMEDY CENTRAL was negotiated for Parker and Stone by their attorney Kevin Morris of Barnes, Morris, Klein, Yorn, Barnes & Levine. They are also represented by William Morris.
Currently in its 11th season, “South Park” averages over 3 million viewers per premiere episode and has been the highest rated original cable series among men 18-34 for four years running. In its timeslot, “South Park” is the #1 show on cable among persons 18-49 and the #1 show on all of television among men 18-24. On April 22, 1998, the series shattered records when it garnered an 8.2 HH rating to become the highest rated episode of a series on basic cable at that time. (Source: Nielsen Media Research, Seasons 1-11, 08.13.97-04.18.07, Live+SD) New episodes of “South Park” will begin on October 3 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
COMEDY CENTRAL, the only all-comedy network, currently is seen in more than 91 million homes nationwide. COMEDY CENTRAL is owned by, and is a registered trademark of, Comedy Partners, a wholly-owned division of VIACOM Inc.’s (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B) MTV Networks. COMEDY CENTRAL’s Internet address is www.comedycentral.com. For up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs visit Press Central, COMEDY CENTRAL’s press web site at www.comedycentral.com/press.
MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. MTV Networks, with 137 channels worldwide, owns and operates the following television programming services – MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN/THE N, VH1 CLASSIC, LOGO, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 13 digital services, all of these networks trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses and its more than 200 interactive properties worldwide, including online, broadband, wireless and interactive television services and also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.