Some changes are being made over at South Park. Creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker recently revealed that, instead of splitting each season into two halves of 7 episodes that air in the spring and fall, the upcoming 17th season will air as one batch of 10 episodes. Though the change reduces the episode number from 14 per season to 10, the creators said that this allows them more time to devote to other things rather than having to work on South Park for two grueling, separate batches of 7 weeks out of the year. Hit the jump for more from Stone and Parker regarding the future of South Park and how it fits in with the current television landscape.
Speaking with the New York Times, Stone and Parker revealed that when season 17 debuts on September 25th, it will run straight through for 10 episodes. Stone said that the change wasn’t made for any one particular reason:
“Why did we do seven and seven to begin with?” Mr. Stone said. “We just sort of made that up. And we are switching to 10 for the same reason. It just sounded like a good number, and we won’t break up the year so we can more easily do other stuff.”
The co-creator noted that the advent of DVR and On Demand viewing have changed how people watch the show, and that’s fine by them:
“There is no appointment viewing anymore. In our first season, you had to show up on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. on the comedy channel to catch the show. Now, I don’t even know where or how people watch our show. We sort of don’t really care about ratings. It’s more important to come up with work that will add to the library in a way that we’re proud of and will make people want to catch the show wherever they want to.”
The change to South Park actually makes a good deal of sense, as each episode is written, directed, and produced on a week-by-week basis which isn’t exactly the least stressful way to go about it (the documentary 6 Days to Air chronicles their process in fascinating fashion). We recently saw Parker and Stone launch the incredibly successful Broadway musical The Book of Mormon, and in addition to seeing that through in other cities like London, they’re also working on a feature film adaptation.
The new South Park schedule should give the duo plenty of time to devote to the series, as well as allowing them to produce more gems like Book of Mormon. In short, this is a win-win situation.