'South Park' seasons reduced to 10 episodes

Trey Parker and Matt Stone are scaling back on South Park. The Book of Mormon creators are reducing their commitment to the long-running Comedy Central hit from 14 episodes per year (split into two short seasons) to 10.

“Why did we do seven and seven to begin with?” Stone said in a New York Times story earlier this week. “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 … 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.”

Added Doug Herzog, president of Comedy Central-owner Viacom Entertainment Group: “We’re happy to take as many or as few as they can produce. Frankly, I’m surprised it took them this long to get to a schedule like this.”

The South Park guys have been busy empire building lately. They’re finishing a South Park videogame, recently announced they’re forming a production company and overseeing the ongoing expansion of Mormon to new cities.

South Park has aired for 16 seasons on Comedy Central and returns on Sept. 25.

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