End of an era: SBS cancels ‘South Park’ after 23 years

South Park has been pulled from SBS and forced to find a new home on Australian television after over two decades on the network.

After being home to South Park in Australia for 23 years, SBS has decided to part ways with the controversial and boundary-pushing animated series. “After 23 years, SBS made the decision to let South Park go, mmkay,” an SBS spokesperson announced.

The spokesperson went on to say that SBS Viceland would be focusing the resources from South Park on original content created for the network.

Kanye on South Park

Back in the ’90s, SBS had the foresight to purchase the Australian rights to South Park, an ambitious move considering the backlash the series was receiving at the time. “Comedy Central couldn’t get meetings with 10, with Seven, nobody would return their calls,” SBS Commissioning Editor Mark Atkin described in an interview with SBS.

The backlash surrounding the show throughout its 20+ years was present from Season 1. To grasp the scope of it, you need to only glance over the entire Wikipedia page dedicated to the series’ controversies.

SBS’s trust in the show paid dividends as the series ran for over two decades and became a cultural touchstone throughout the ’90s and early 2000s. According to Atkin, “everybody was talking about it and all these people who had never watched SBS before started tuning in, and through that finding out what else was on the network.

This recent announcement had some South Park fans concerned for the future of the show, but it’s not going anywhere. Its US network, Comedy Central, has renewed it through to 2022.

South Park reruns will continue to be available in Australia on SBS Viceland and Netflix, with Channel 10’s new free-to-air channel, 10 Shake, set to take ownership of future episodes.

10 Shake will premiere a new episode of the show titled The Pandemic Special on Thursday, October 1st, and is expected to run Season 24.