The fictional town of South Park will stay on the map for a few more years.
Matt Stone and Trey Parker signed an agreement with Comedy Central to renew South Park for three more seasons. The series had already been renewed through Season 20. This new deal will ensure South Park will have a run of at least 23 seasons and 304 episodes. Seasons 21 through 23 will feature a total of at least 30 original episodes. The deal also means that the show will be on the air through 2019. South Park is the longest-running scripted prime-time series on cable.
Matt & Trey will continue to write and direct each episode of South Park. The pair praised Comedy Central in a statement confirming the deal: “They’ve given us an insane level of artistic and creative freedom for almost 20 years. They walk the walk.”
Both Matt & Trey as well as Comedy Central also cashed out from Hulu in this new deal. Hulu is reportedly paying $192 million over the next five years — split evenly between the network and the show’s creators — to extend their agreement to stream new episodes of South Park. This deal is Hulu’s largest financial payout thus far, surpassing the $160 million they paid to acquire rights to stream episodes of Seinfeld.
Matt Stone said the Hulu deal is “particularly satisfying,” because of the expectation fans and some industry insiders have that artists should not expect compensation if their work is consumed online. “It comes full circle since the tech guys came to Hollywood and said you better give us your stuff for free to put online or else it will be taken from you anyway,” Stone said recently.
Season 19 of South Park is set to premiere on Wednesday, September 16th on Comedy Central.