The South Park legacy just got even bigger, longer and (perhaps) more uncut. At the 2014 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour on Saturday afternoon, Hulu announced that it will now be the exclusive web hosting site for the long-running series.
During the final and “surprise” panel of their part of the TCA day, Hulu brought out South Park co-creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker to speak about the big news, which means fans will now be able to find all of their favourite episodes–new and old!–in Hulu brand quality via previously established fan site South Park Studios.
“South Park Studios started six years ago and we put all the episodes online,” Parker told journalists when asked about the move to Hulu on Saturday. “We worked with the Viacom team–the Viacom team has their own video player–and … it was pretty rough. We’d go to our own site and there would be glitches and bugs–all the technical stuff that we don’t really understand–and around the same time time Hulu ran out of the gate and had a better technical experience than, really, anybody.”
He continued, “The people we worked with Viacom have been great and that’s been a great time, [but] I think we were always looking at Hulu’s player with jealousy and envy. We want our show to have the best possible presentation.”
As far as the “exclusive” contract they penned with the site, Parker noted that such a move just “reflects the business reality of what’s going on” at this moment in terms of online TV (“What worked six years ago doesn’t work as well now”). For now, though, fans will be happy to know that aside from the pairing with Hulu, the South Park viewing experience will pretty much be in the same, in that new episodes will still stream “the minute they’re done on Comedy Central.” The only difference, as Stone quipped, is that “South Park Studios will now work.”
All jokes aside, pairing with an online giant like Hulu really is another huge leap for Stone, Parker and South Park, especially if you look back at how things started.
“I remember when we made our first deal with Rhino records to put the six episodes that we had onto VHS,” Parker said from the TCA stage. “I remember thinking how cool that was because now these six episodes that we made will be out there forever on VHS. And then that became DVDs and that became internet and it’s just pretty crazy now we’re talking about almost 250 episodes.”
“We definitely didn’t think we’d be sitting here 17, 18 years later,” Stone added, before Parker chimed in, jokingly, “I think if you would of told us that we would have been like, ‘Oh man, that’s so sad.'”
Speaking of sad, it looks like with the new partnership with Hulu and both Stone and Parker now being dads, it’s very unlikely that we’ll get a South Park Broadway show anytime soon. Stone killed that idea faster than Kenny at the panel. But that doesn’t mean we’ll be any less Elder Price about it:
Emily is covering the 2014 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour live from the Beverly Hills Hilton from June 12 – 22. Tune in every day for new pieces and follow her tweets at @Cinefilles and @emilygagne.