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South Park, the cartoon that introduced the “anal probe” to animated grade-schoolers in small-town Colorado, won a Peabody Award this week for “distinguished achievement and meritous service.” Clearly, the world would be a far more dangerous place without their constant vigilance against organized religion, zombies, cow cults, and Mecha-Barbra Streisand. Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone accepted the award from fellow Comedy Central star Jon Stewart who praised their ability to consistently shock audiences into laughter after ten seasons.
Also winning a Peabody: the NBC News team for their coverage of Hurricane Katrina.
Zap2it has confirmed some shocking news today; the late eighties/early nineties cheesefest Saved By the Bell will join the Adult Swim line-up, known for its wild and eclectic programming. We’re all for originality, but…Saved By the Bell?
Seems like the show is being added simply because many Adult Swim staffers carry fond memories of Zack Morris and the gang. In case you were in a coma during the show’s heyday, it follows the adventures of a group of very well-scrubbed, over-acting teens trying to get through high school with as much silliness as possible. But it wasn’t all bad: it did launch stars Elizabeth Berkly and Mark-Paul Gosselaar into fame with Showgirls and NYPD Blue, respectively.
Even longer-time fans will remember that Saved By the Bell was a spin-off of Good Morning, Miss Bliss, which starred Hayley Mills and followed several of the characters through middle school. How sad is it that I knew that without having to look it up?
Fans of Adult Swim aren’t impressed, though, judging by the flaming comments on message boards, so it’s in doubt whether Saved By the Bell will survive its two-week trial.
Sure, TV is filled with ghosts and aliens and even scrupulous lawyers, but this has got to be the strangest thing we’ve heard in a long, long, time.
Is the sky falling? Did hell just freeze over? No doubt some stuffy television viewers think so. An illustrious Peabody award, long respected for recognizing the best in television writing, has been given to South Park.
That’s right; one of the raunchiest, naughtiest shows on TV has received the award long known for choosing the most dignified, uplifting, respectable television writing. And now that includes…South Park? We only have one question: what took so long to give this show an award like this?
Raunchy it may be, but South Park has long featured some of the wittiest, most enjoyable, socially aware writing on television. Featured in everything from documentaries to college classroom lectures, the adventures of Cartman and the gang can always be counted on to engage thought and conversation. In fact, it is often (dare we say?) downright brilliant. Certainly, this signals a delightful new trend in television: ignoring naysayers and prejudices in the quest to recognize true quality. Congratulations, South Park!
Read More | E! Online
In case you were wondering how the creators of South Park would react to the recent departure of Isaac Hayes—make sure to tune in tonight. As we mentioned last week, Hayes left the show because he felt that the comedy’s affinity for religious bashing had gone too far. Those involved with the show felt that his displeasure really had to do with a specific episode about Scientology.
Although the Hayes announcement was only recently made, co-creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker were able to quickly crank out a response in time for tonight’s season opener. The episode, called ‘The Return of the Chef’, will feature Chef. Question is—who will be voicing him, if anyone? Stay tuned!
Read More | People
Already the longest-running television comedy, Fox is announcing that The Simpsons will be extending its reign even further. Expect to be watching the antics of Homer and clan for another two years. The show, 400-episodes-old this May, will soon reach an unprecedented 18th and 19th seasons. D’oh! The second-longest running comedy ever, The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, only made it through its 15th.
Read More | Variety
After years of bashing everything under the sun, it looks like an episode about Scientology may have been the straw that finally broke Isaac Hayes’ back. The musician, best known in recent years as the voice of ‘Chef’ on South Park, has finally reached his satirical limit and quit the show. Apparently, he felt the show’s reputation for religious bashing had finally gone too far. In a statement given to People magazine, the 63-year-old Hayes states: “There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins.”
Given his willing participation in previous episodes, co-creater Matt Stone wonders if Hayes’ decision has something to do with Scientology specifically, and not religion overall. Turns out that ‘Chef’ is a Scientologist in real-life (who would have guessed?). As many faithful followers of the show know, a November episode of the show was devoted to bashing the often-criticized belief. According to Stone, it was only when that episode aired did Isaac’s opinions come forward. “(We) never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin.”
No word yet as to how the creators will do away with the character…
Read More | People
Fox execs are developing an Internet-based late night talk show, hosted by everyone’s favorite vindictive, dictator-to-be baby, the animated Stewie of Family Guy. Fans are still anxiously awaiting details, as no firm schedule has been set. The show will air on FOX.com and other FOX-owned websites. This novel idea seems like a probable hit…especially if Stewie has anything to say about it.
Read More | Reuters
Hey, it happened to Family Guy; why not to another animated series? A cult hit for the four years it aired, Futurama’s cancellation left viewers frustrated, though repeats are available on the Cartoon Network. Futurama follows the adventures of defrosted pizza delivery guy Philip J. Fry, who must adjust to being thrust 1,000 years into the future among an eclectic bunch of colleagues and friends. The results are always entertaining.
Talks are underway at 20th Century Fox TV, which also produces “Family Guy,” to make a “limited” number of new episodes of the cartoon, which was created by “The Simpsons” guru Matt Groening and David X. Cohen. The discussions haven’t gone so far as to include a place to air any new installments, Variety reports.
Since “Futurama” last aired in August 2003, it has followed the “Family Guy” pattern of earning strong ratings as part of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming and racking up revenue in DVD sales (although not to the then-record levels of “Family Guy’s” first DVD sets). Also, like “Family Guy” on its first go-round, it was something of an orphan on FOX, saddled with long gaps between episodes and unfavorable timeslots.
Read More | Zap2it
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