Fox renews 'Simpsons' through 2005
'King of the Hill' also renewed
Friday, January 17, 2003 Posted: 9:30 AM EST (1430 GMT)
HOLLYWOOD, California (Variety) -- Mmm ... renewal: Fox has greenlit two more seasons of animated powerhouse "The Simpsons" and another year of its Sunday benchmate "King of the Hill."
The "Simpsons" renewal through May 2005 means the show -- Sunday night's top-rated series among adults 18-49 -- will make it through a jaw-dropping 16th full season and roughly 360 episodes, allowing Homer and Co. to edge past "The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet" to claim the mantle of longest-running laffer in TV history.
"Watch out, 'Gunsmoke,' you're next," quipped Al Jean, showrunner and executive producer of "The Simpsons." ("Gunsmoke" ran for a record 20 years.)
For "King of the Hill," the one-year extension through May 2004 will bring Hank Hill and his Texas brood to the end of their eighth season.
"I don't feel like we're an aged show at all," said Greg Daniels, co-creator and exec producer of "King." "I view it like dog years, so I'm hoping we're in our prime ... (on the way) to 15 years."
Fox Entertainment president Gail Berman praised both shows, claiming "The Simpsons" could be "the most extraordinary television show maybe even in the history of the medium.
"In its 14th season, the show is doing some of its funniest episodes and best numbers," she said.
"King of the Hill," meanwhile, has "aided in the branding of our network as the only broadcaster that's been able to tackle primetime animation," she said.
"This show does anything we ask it to do," Berman said, noting its ability to draw an audience in many different time slots. "And they consistently put out one of the funniest shows on TV."
Indeed, "King" is expected to move back to 7:30 p.m. Sundays from 8:30 p.m. in March to make room for new Fox comedy "Oliver Beene." Daniels said he's OK with the shift.
"I'm not surprised if we have to step aside and make room for new shows; I hope one day to be back if they have the need," he said.