‘South Park’ Season 17 Shortened to 10 Episodes, Will Not Be Split

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South Park Season 17 South Park Season 17 Shortened to 10 Episodes, Will Not Be Split

Just a few short years ago, many speculated that South Park would soon be singing its last profane song and poking fun at its final social issue. Now, with the show secure to continue airing through at least 2016, viewers can be sure that there will be plenty more of the little mountain town and its deranged inhabitants for years to come.

However, there are signs that the show may be ramping down slightly to accommodate its creators’ busy lives. Starting with the series’ seventeenth outing, South Park will only feature ten episodes per season – though with the added bonus of doing away with the customary mid-season break.

In an interview with The New York Times, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone shared that their signature cartoon will air a new season of 10 episodes uninterrupted this autumn. The reason for the change is far simpler than these sorts of television shakeups tend to be. Stone explained:

“Why did we do seven and seven to begin with? …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 two creators acknowledged that four fewer episodes and no season split will allow them to concentrate entirely on South Park for one intense portion of the year and leave the rest open to other creative endeavors. This is unsurprising given Parker and Stone’s recent mega-success with the stage musical The Book of Mormon. With production of South Park blocked off for ten specific weeks a year, the duo will have plenty of room to oversee the globe-spanning comedy-musical and to pursue any other new projects.

Part of the decision to shorten and compress South Park‘s upcoming seasons was the acknowledgment of new viewership paradigms that are slowly supplanting the old wisdom on how one should produce and schedule a season of television. Of this, Stone said:

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.”

Stone and Parker’s candor in the matter is certainly refreshing, but one has to wonder whether fans will accept the trade-off of fewer total episodes for a more compressed South Park experience. The show’s production has always flown by the seat of its pants, famously pumping out episodes from script draft to finished product a week or less. As of season 17, that spirit will be concentrated into a single, intense run at a time.

South Park Imaginationland South Park Season 17 Shortened to 10 Episodes, Will Not Be SplitWill South Park aficionados adapt to a two-month long ration of new episodes every autumn, or will they demand a return to a season spread more evenly over the year? At the very least, the results of this new programming approach will be fascinating (and, hopefully, hilarious) to watch.

New episodes of South Park will return to delight and offend on September 25, 2013.

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Source: The New York Times [via Collider]

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69 Comments

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  1. yees..i love you matt and trey..im gonna write and make you a episode so you might concider letting me and my team take over south park when you guys are shutting down..

    • Are you kidding? Without their voices there is no show, when they quit, I quit watching.

    • Why not just be inspired by their mega-creativity and spawn your own SP-like show? I say write your episode and make it your own thing! After all, that’s what they did and this is before the internet made such accessibility possible!

  2. soo cool

  3. I love South Park. I particularly like their Christmas episodes. I am glad they are gonna take a small break for the last to episodes which will air on Dec 4th and 11th. That makes it two weeks closer to Christmas than if they just ran strait through. I sure hope they make another Christmas special as good as ‘woodland critter Christmas’

  4. Will NOT be split…EXCEPT they had a week off because of the power cut and, despite the extra week of work, came back with the worst episode in years. Oh, and the OTHER split, since the third part of this GOT trilogy seems to not be airing ’till December 4th according to most sources. So, reducing the episode count and not having a split in order to “better focus” on the show has resulted in two splits and a below average season.

  5. I would agree with this compressed season idea if these 10 episodes were excellent. However, not only was season 17 cut short, the writing seemed to be extremely lazy and not funny or very controversial (in their typical devil’s advocate kind of ways). The Black Friday Trilogy was only interesting for the first episode, but was drawn out into three episodes (wasting 2 episodes that could have been about something else).
    The writing definitely seemed to benefit when the seasons had been split into two 7 episode parts. Have they gone the way of Metallica?

  6. So we have to wait till Fall 2014 to see new episodes? My father will make you all burn for this. I will unite the Goths,Vamps, and Emos and take over the show!

  7. Obviously everyone has their own opinion but I really don’t see why people are so upset about the final episode and i thought this season was pretty good, i definitely laughed a lot, more so than lots of previous seasons. I was refreshed as I was starting to feel South Park was falling flat. Tho the people that hated it probably enjoy the episodes i find terrible. Too each their own i guess. Will be a sad day whenever Matt and Trey decide to stop. I like this new creation platform, I think this will allow for some really clever episodes not just fart jokes. Tho I do love fart jokes.

    • You certainly did a lot of assuring yourself why people didn’t like this season lol. The truth is it isn’t as funny, as controversial, and just all around as good as the first 9 seasons. No longer does every word spoken from the characters (mostly Cartman) come out sonically hysterical. They use violence way more, people kill themselves in nearly every episode, they include more who-gives-a-s*** other characters for too long, the gross outs aren’t funny they’re just unpleasant (an example of a well done and sort of recent gross out is where the cop shits cum into the evidence bag, that’s great). Mostly now instead of ripping on random funny celebrities in little bits, they introduce terrible celebrities and include them as main characters for an entire episode.

      For the people who understand how this recent horridly drawn out three parter, and the rest of season 17 was sub par for South Park, you assume they all like episodes you find terrible? ….Wow, first off that’s idiotic and second, I’m sad to hear you find any episodes of the show terrible, I don’t. As you said, too each his own, but it’s also true that there are vastly differing levels of intelligence in the population and sometimes the people who see a decline in something, are right. This show is so much slower now, makes old points, has to build every story too big, rehashes jokes over and over again, and has worse manifestations of the main characters. Before, they were little kids, now they’re all little super-geniuses who spew the gospel of Matt and Trey, who are very funny, but clearly not as funny as they used to be.

      • i thought about my previous comment and was a little unthinking and i do apologize.
        seasons 2011 and 2012 i watched and did not get very many laughs out of it.i am only watching south park at this point to keep trey and matt on the air. the 2001- 2008 seasons were the best ever. my favorites still are the scientology, chef goes nanners, and my all time favorite episode is 201, which i laughed to the point of nearly tossing my cookies thinking the fcc had censored it, but when i found out it was the president of c.c. i freaked out! and became very disappointed in the person. even when the creator of the competition taunted trey and matt with “if you weren’t so scared i’d help you out”= i hate you both for being more popular than my show! i stopped watching that cartoon five years before bart came “out-of-his-closet” and swore to myself to never watch it again and don’t respect bart nor his kind, period. i only watch south park now to keep trey and matt on the air so “we the people” don’t lose our commentative forum. trey and matt need to re-discover their anarcho-mojo and get back to their roots. you can find episode 201 by looking up pirromount pictures and scroll down and watch it via a youtube link, but the last few minutes are subtitled without audio. you may be floored by what is revealed and i will tell you, I AM A VERY PROUD ONE!

  8. Love this show! Having seen this whole season, all I can think is, why can’t there be more?!? I know, I’m responding like a child, but I absolutely love South Park. I also really enjoyed this season. Every season that they’ve had, strike that, every episode has gotten me to laugh. To be fair, every season has a couple of great episodes and a couple that are not as great, but they are still relevant and enjoyable after 17 Years! That in itself is astonishing. As far as those saying that Matt and Trey won’t be remembered for anything but South Park, I will never forget Baseketball. Also, I believe they have this award winning play out called “The Book of Mormon” and I know quite a number of people, to include myself, that would kill for tickets to that show. I wish they would do more episodes per season, but I understand. Kudos to Matt and Trey for making a lot of people’s lives that much more enjoyable, and I hope they continue to do so for many years to come.

  9. Get a life Niko.

    More intense? I doubt it. This show has been on a decline since season 8. Should have quit after 10. They just take that weeks news headlines and add cliché jokes around it. They used to completely create stories and inside jokes unique to South Park. Now its just OMG THEY MADE FUN OF PARIS HILTON AND CALLED HER A WHORE HAHAHA…lame

    • Yeah, I have to agree. I almost always have an episode of South Park going on in the background, and I’ve got to say, I do avoid the majority of episodes in seasons 11+
      Not to say that they are all bad…

      Anyways, I think this is b*******, honestly. I was really looking forward to new episodes this spring, like I’ve expected for the past 7 years or so.

      I understand that they have other s*** going on… but… what’s better than comedy?

  10. They can do whatever they want, as long as we get a sequel to The Stick Of Truth. I am a huge South Park fan, and I am a bit crushed to hear 100 minutes of run time in each season is gone.

  11. I love southpark so much! Its my favorite show! Please continue making episodes! I’m so sad each season is only 10 episodes and I only get them in a block once a year. This is so sad! Can’t you have more people write scripts that you look over??? I know its more work, but the money from advertising is really great plus your fans really love this show :(

  12. Why is everyone bagging on the episodes then saying the episodes, that they want more of, were poorly written? I honestly think M&T just look at their comments boards to come up with the ideas for the adults.

  13. Just make it all year round! Do what you have to do! :D

  14. They nedd to write an episode about a couple of guys who find great success in television and try to branch out into other genres of entertainment. Let’s see, they could make a really stupid movie about pornography that has no nudity, and maybe one about sports that makes even less sense if that is possible. After much introspection, they must reinvent themselves. But where can they turn? Certainly not back to us ignorant shmucks that made them successful in the first place. I know, Broadway. Yes, Broadway, where the self-important elisists of show business gather to show the rest of us what true art is. They could create a musical that exploits one of their best satirical television episodes. Perhaps they could win a Tony. Yes, the Tony’s, where the elite gather for a circle-jerk, resulting in a crescendo of mutual masterbatory climax. After this astounding success among the highbrow consumer elites, they will then have to make a choice. They can still pursue success among the elites, or they can return to the creative roots that actually made them household names. Embrace one and screw the other…

  15. i say, trey and matt can do whatever they want, it is “their” show and i think we should all be thankful for whatever they give us. when they got heavily censored for episode 201 in 2010, many fans thought the curtain was about to drop on their heads like an anvil and put an end to it all, but thankfully it didn’t. i think we south park fans should consider ourselves lucky right now our favorite show is still on the air, because those LRH people could have sued them o.o.b. if they really wanted to and bought c.c. but i am very happy it didn’t happen. i own their films too, even the imaginationland trilogy on dvd. whatever trey and matt give us for laughs i am personally thankful for, even if i don’t care for subject matter.

    thank you trey parker and matt stone for all you have given us over the years, we owe you so much. if not for you i would not be as in tune of a libertarian as i am today. please keep up the fantastic work and the sacrifices you have made. you are true icons in your own right!

  16. Keep making South Park i love that show plzzzzzz

    • i want Trey Parker and Matt Stone of south park to succeed for many years to come also!

      but i do certainly hope this coming season the writing will be much better and funnier.

      i thought the best years of were 2003 – 2010 the mid-summer broadcast of “the most censored episode ever” “episode 201″ Teddy bear mock-up of the Muslim prophet…the creators and co-creators of this show got death shreats shortly after by a member of the Muslim-brotherhood which really scared them and now that episode is banned from C.C. broadcast and home video.

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