NEW YORK, Sept. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- COMEDY CENTRAL and "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have reached an agreement with Mort Marcus' Debmar Studios for the broadcast syndication rights to the network's top-rated series, it was announced today by Larry Divney, president and CEO, COMEDY CENTRAL. Over 100 episodes of the Emmy-nominated series will be made available beginning fall 2004. "'South Park', which remains our top-rated show six years after its launch, is a huge part of COMEDY CENTRAL's past, current and future success and will be the same for the stations that syndicate it," said Divney. "We couldn't have asked for a better partner than Debmar Studios and Mort Marcus, an entrepreneur who knows the market inside and out and who knows the product and has been a champion of the series since Day One." "'South Park' caught my eye right out of the gate and is a series that I have been trying to get the rights to since 1997 when I was working at Disney," said Marcus. "I am thrilled that Larry, Trey and Matt have chosen Debmar Studios to bring the funniest show on TV to market and am confident that stations will jump at the chance to add this socially relevant and hilarious series to their line-ups." Launched on August 13, 1997, "South Park" has been the highest-rated series on COMEDY CENTRAL in each of its seven seasons and is averaging nearly 3 million viewers during the current season. The series has performed exceptionally well in the elusive M18-34 and M18-49 demographics during the course of its run on COMEDY CENTRAL, finishing as the number one rated entertainment series in these demos every year but one. Locally, the story is even more impressive. In a specially commissioned study by Nielsen Media Research covering the November 2002 sweeps period, "South Park" ranked number one in M18-34 against broadcast competition in most of the top 20 markets, including New York and Los Angeles and was a dominant performer in M18-49 as well. One of the most popular animated series of all time, "South Park's" enormous fan base has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in retail merchandising, including the sale of over 5 million units of home videos and DVDs. Now in its seventh season, the series aired its 100th episode on April 9, 2003. The remaining eight episodes of the seventh season will air on consecutive Wednesdays beginning October 22 at 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT). COMEDY CENTRAL, Parker and Stone reached an agreement earlier this year to continue production for an eighth and ninth season of 15 episodes each, with an option for a tenth season, also for 15 episodes. Parker and Stone are the co-creators and executive producers of "South Park" and are represented by their attorney Kevin Morris of Barnes, Morris, Klein & Yorn and Mike Simpson and Gaby Morgerman of the William Morris Agency. Anne Garefino also serves as an executive producer of the series. COMEDY CENTRAL, the only all-comedy network, currently is seen in more than 83 million homes nationwide. COMEDY CENTRAL is owned by Comedy Partners, a wholly-owned division of MTV Networks. COMEDY CENTRAL is a registered trademark of Comedy Partners. COMEDY CENTRAL's Internet address is http://www.comedycentral.com.
SOURCE Debmar Studios; Comedy Central