King of the Hill: FOX Animated TV Show Staying Cancelled

King of the HillThough King of the Hill has escaped the network grim reaper in the past, it seems like the TV show’s time is up. FOX recently announced that they were cancelling the series after 13 seasons. Shortly thereafter, rumors surfaced that ABC might be considering picking it up. At the recent Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour, fans got their answer.

Created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels, King of the Hill centers around the Hills, a blue-collar family living in Texas. The animated series debuted on January 12, 1997 and features the voice talents of Mike Judge, Kathy Najimy, Pamela Adlon, Johnny Hardwick, Stephen Root, Brittany Murphy, Toby Huss, David Herman, Ashley Gardner, Lauren Tom, Tom Petty, Breckin Meyer, Jonathan Joss, and Phil Hendrie.

Hill enjoyed very good ratings for a number of years but in 2005 the numbers had slipped and it was due to be cancelled after 10 years. But, before the end of the season, the ratings picked up and the show was renewed.

In late October 2008, FOX execs announced that they were again cancelling the series, after 13 seasons on the air. The network’s other animated shows outperform Hill and execs want to make room for a new cartoon comedy from Mitch Hurwitz. Shortly after the cancellation notice came down, there were rumors that ABC might be interested in picking up Hill as a companion for its own upcoming animated series from Judge, The Goode Family.

Should ABC have saved Hill?

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As nice as that scenario may sound, Judge isn’t optimistic about Hill’s chances of survival this time around. He recently told iFMagazine, “It’s dead. It’s deader than it was when it was last cancelled [on FOX].” He also wasn’t very optimistic about the possibility of ABC picking it up for season 14.

It turns out that Judge’s instincts weren’t wrong. At the recent TCA press tour, ABC president Steve McPherson talked at length about the network’s plans to include more sitcoms on their upcoming Fall schedule. Unfortunately, those plans don’t include a certain 13-year old animated comedy from FOX. McPherson says that ABC definitely has no plans to save Hill.

Other networks have apparently considered rescuing Hill but it hasn’t gone any further than that. Most believe that the series is over but it could certainly be revived some day in the future.

On the bright side, there are still quite a few episodes that haven’t aired yet. Though FOX ordered them awhile ago, it seems doubtful that they’ll all air on the network.

FOX renewed Hill for a 13the season of a baker’s dozen of episodes back in April 2008. Because of the long lead time needed to produce animated shows, the network’s been airing episodes from season 12.

Season 13 is scheduled to debut on February 8th and run until April 12th, what the network is calling the series finale. If the network sticks to its schedule, that means that only 10 of the 13 episodes will have aired by that time.

If the network doesn’t air all of its Hill episodes, they will certainly turn up in syndication on (Hill recently began airing as part of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming block) and eventually on DVD. With over 240 total episodes having been produced, it’s not likely that the Hills will be leaving the airwaves anytime soon.

Canceled and renewed TV show

35 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Paul says

    This show has been run to the ground. It was a good show (with a really long hiatus!) but there is nothing new here anymore. Mike Judge is very talented, the show’s voice actors really do a great job, but I’m bored. Bored bored bored. 240 episodes is more then enough, it’s overkill. And that’s not the propane talking.

  2. Barry Gabriel says

    I shall miss King of the Hill. It is/was probably the most intelligent animation series in the Fox line-up. Hank, like Bob Newhart, embodies the only sane man in an insane world. Very funny.

  3. Travis says

    Agreed with everyone above, King of the Hill is the last of the greats! Don’t let this one great cartoon die, it’s sad when this is actually a clean fun and free cartoon that tells things like they are! You can’t even get that in Reality TV…lets not loose this one piece of true reality…save king of the hill for those of us who like the show or at least give us a chance to hold on to it through DVD!

  4. Ian says

    I think it’s a bummer Fox has to be like this. Family Guy’s success can;t last forever, but they seem to be banking on the fact that it will. And they gave Cleveland a spin-off, not Quagmire. Seth Macfarlane should know that he doesn’t need to make another Simpsons style family centered show (He has 2, he doesn’t need 3) if Quagmire got his own show it would actually be a breath of fresh air in the Fox line up.

    ABC is stupid to not pick up King of the Hill on top of it. They need to bring on another show to help Mike Judge’s new sow The Goode Family. I doubt that the show will be able to bring in the crowds without any help. But I hope it does succeed, I love every one of Mike Judge’s shows.

  5. Vittore says

    ABC is stupid for not grabbing it, especially since they would have been the only network airing the series. Oh well, more win for [adult swim].

  6. Matt says

    ABC is stupid but not as stupid as fox. fox is taking a chance on the cleavland show it will likely bomb like family guy di in its first couple seasons i hope fox doesnt air all of the king of the hill episodes because if the clevaland show bombs the could possibly put king of the hill back on

  7. David says

    One of the best and most clever animated series in history. Definitely a favorite of mine, but even I stopped watching 2 or 3 years ago. Though I stopped watching The Simpsons long before that. King of the Hill had a great run — nothing to be sad about.

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