‘King’ Gets Thrown Off the ‘Hill’
No, it’s not Friday the 13th. But it is Halloween, and the 13th season of King of the Hill looks to be its last.
Reports are coming in that the long-running Fox comedy will not return past the 13 episodes currently in production bringing the total to something like 250. King of the Hill, created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels, has aired on the network since 1997. Although it’s not the ratings getter it once was, King stalwarts such as Ain’t It Cool News’ Hercules tout the series as Fox’s greatest comedy. Both Judge and Daniels have moved onto other projects. Judge’s newest animated comedy, The Goode Family, launches on ABC midseason, while Daniels is running NBC’s smash hit The Office. Judge still supplies the voice for Hank Hill on the series.
Meanwhile, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane continues to enjoy his renewed success over at Fox. Variety has announced that MacFarlane’s American Dad has been picked up for a fifth season. Dad, which features conservative CIA agent Stan Smith and his family, is currently in its fourth year. It’s noted that early pickups are required for animated shows due to their lengthy timetable, which could be a reason that both the American Dad and King of the Hill announcements came so close together.
MacFarlane’s road with Fox hasn’t always been smooth. Family Guy was initially canceled after struggling to find a consistent audience, in no small thanks to Fox’s constant reshuffling of the program’s schedule. When DVD sales went through the roof, Fox decided to raise the series from the dead. In the series’ first episode post resurrection, "North By North Quahog," the writers took a stab at Fox’s rationale for canceling the show in the first place.
"Well, unfortunately, Lois, there’s just no more room on the schedule," lead character Peter Griffin laments. "We’ve just got to accept the fact that Fox has to make room for terrific shows like Dark Angel, Titus, Undeclared, Action, That ’80s Show, Wonderfalls, Fastlane, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Skin, Girls Club, Cracking Up, The Pitts, Firefly, Get Real, Freakylinks, Wanda at Large, Costello, The Lone Gunmen, A Minute With Stan Hooper, Normal Ohio, Pasadena, Harsh Realm, Keen Eddie, The $treet, American Embassy, Cedric the Entertainer, The Tick, Louie and Greg the Bunny."
All of those shows, of course, have been canceled.
Now, MacFarlane’s relationship with Fox couldn’t be better. Not only is Family Guy flourishing and American Dad has a new season on the way, but MacFarlane’s new series, The Cleaveland Show, will also debut later this year. Cleaveland is a spin-off from Family Guy featuring the titular Cleaveland and his family.