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The ‘South Park’ Guys Just Became the Most Successful Showrunners in TV History

South Park has been on the air for over 20 years, and it looks like it'll make it to 30. Creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have been tapped to create even more South Park to the tune of $900 million.
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Paramount+, ViacomCBS’s streaming platform, is a latecomer in a crowded field. Between the existing titans of Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and HBO Max, there is a lot of competition. In a mad dash to create the “best streaming service,” all of these platforms have taken pains to secure original programming.

Paramount+ decided the best way to shore up their original programming was to order multiple seasons and fourteen (!) movies from South Park creators Matt Parker and Trey Stone. This enormous order is truly unprecedented and solidifies Parker and Stone as the most successful showrunners in TV history.

“Comedy Central has been our home for 25 years and we’re really happy that they’ve made a commitment to us for the next 75 years,” Parker and Stone joked.

The deal sees Parker and Stone making off with some $900 million and will run through 2027. It should give Paramount+ a boost, as South Park has consistently generated buzz and discussion online when it brings its iconoclastic energy to bear.

Original Content

They’re not just making more South Park, either. MTV Entertainment Studios, the company that signed the agreement with Parker and Stone, has also tapped the duo to make a brand-new IP. As of the time of this writing, there are no further details about the new show, but one could presume the show will be over-the-top, animated, and politically incorrect.

This move could largely be due to an agreement ViacomCBS reached with Time Warner last year to host every season of the long-running South Park on HBO Max. HBO Max has been gobbling up marquee programming for the better part of three years in an effort to go toe-to-toe with Netflix and Disney+. However, Viacom’s streaming service, Paramount+, was left without one of its prime animated shows in South Park.

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Comedy Central | HBO Max | ViacomCBS

Sidestepping HBO Max

The decision to create fourteen films could be a way to sidestep the agreement with HBO Max and host South Park content on Paramount+. Since the agreement with Time Warner sees South Park television episodes exclusively streaming on HBO Max, moving to create feature-length films instead of seasons of television could allow Paramount+ exclusive streaming rights to new content.

This move makes a lot of sense from a business perspective, but it’s downright confusing for fans. The sprint for streaming dominance has created a bizarre entertainment landscape that has fragmented viewership and is trying the patience of even the savviest fans.

The Streaming Wars

The whole point of cutting the cord on cable and moving to streaming services was to save money. However, companies have decided that two or three streaming services carrying the majority of entertainment was simply too affordable for customers, so now every entertainment company on the planet has its own bespoke platform.

It seems like breaking the South Park movies away from its TV episodes and forcing fans to carry two subscriptions is just the latest frustration of the modern streaming landscape. Will the lure of new content from Parker and Stone encourage enough new subscribers to make good on that $900 million investment? Paramount+ bet almost a billion dollars–but I’m not so convinced they made a good bargain.