South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have signed an enormous $900 million deal with ViacomCBS to continue producing their long-running series for six more years.
In addition to continuing their long-running Comedy Central series, the duo will make a second South Park feature film, as well as spin-off films, according to Bloomberg.
The move is intended to help boost the profile of ViacomCBS’ streaming service Paramount+ — formerly CBS All Access — where the new films will be released.
Going strong: South Park creators Trey Parker (R) and Matt Stone, have inked an enormous $900 million deal with ViacomCBS for six years of more South Park and spin-off movies; seen in 2017 in Melbourne, Australia
The first big project, the South Park film, is expected to be released before the end of the year.
They previously released the hit movie South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut in 1999, just two years after the series’ debut.
ViacomCBS is reportedly hoping to raise the profile of Paramount+ and attract new subscribers.
The service rebranded in March to emphasize the greater variety of offerings from the Paramount library.
Since changing the name, Paramount+ has increased subscribers, though it still trails larger services like Netflix and Disney+.
Back to the movies: First, the duo will make a South Park film, the first since 1999’s South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
As of June, ViacomCBS had attracted 42 million subscribers, though they’re spread out among its services Paramount+, BET+ and Showtime.
Parker, 51, and Stone, 50, were approached by MTV Entertainment Group President and CEO Chris McCarthy about continuing their South Park deal and creating more content related to the hit Comedy Central series.
Parmount+ is reportedly focusing on creating spin-off content based on popular television shows to lure new subscribers.
McCarthy previously tried out the strategy when he lured writer and director Taylor Sheridan, who created Paramount Network’s Kevin Costner–starring Yellowstone, to make a spin-off series for the streamer.
ViacomCBS’ new strategy is to get TV creators to lure new subscribers to Paramount+ with spin-offs, like it did with the Kevin Costner–starring series Yellowstone
As part of their new deal, Parker and Stone will create six more seasons of South Park on Comedy Central through 2027.
They’ll also make a whopping 14 films that will premiere on Paramount+ in that timeframe.
The creators already have a hugely profitable stake in the series, as they own 50 percent of its streaming rights.
That kind of favorable deal is practically unheard of now, and dates back to a 2007 deal with Viacom to create a website that would stream recent episodes of South Park for free.
Their stake helped them found the production company Park Country, now valued at more than $1 billion.
According to Stone, he and Parker have been laser-focused on the weekly series after making the show’s first film more than 20 years ago.
‘We did a South Park movie in 1999, and we’ve never done another one because the show has been so satisfying,’ he told Bloomberg. ‘Now we’re older, and the idea of what streaming movies can be is pretty promising.’
Years of work: Parker and Stone will create six more seasons of South Park through 2027, plus a whopping 14 spin-off films for Paramount+; seen in 2016 in San Diego
Despite the show’s adult-oriented humor and its tackling of hot-button political and social issues, the duo have faced few limits on their creative vision throughout the decades.
‘We do whatever we want, and they are pretty supportive of it,’ Stone continued. ‘We’re the luckiest guys in TV in that way.’
Parker and Stone were inspired to make ‘longer-form’ episodes after taking a rare break from producing a regular South Park season last year amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, though they did produce two special episodes.
During his interview, Stone was reluctant to use the term ‘cinematic universe,’ which has been widely used by Marvel and DC to describe their interconnected superhero films.
However, it seems to fit the bill, as the upcoming spin-offs will take place in the same animated world of South Park, though they’ll introduce new characters and topics.
Soaring value: HBO Max outbid ViacomCBS to steam South Park for five years, which increased the series’ value in negotiations
Although Parker and Stone have a deal with ViacomCBS, South Park fans have to go to HBO Max to stream the series, as WarnerMedia outbid the company to be the home of the series for five years.
‘That was one of the better things that happened in our financial life,’ Stone said of the purchase, which increased the value of South Park. ‘We took it to market and established its worth. That’s rarely done right now.’
Stone and Parker plan to use the money from their deal to found a documentary series and a marijuana label, along with a South Park video game.
‘South Park’ pays the bills and then some,’ Stone continued. ‘Trey and I have used that to pay for other stuff we want to do.’
Over time, he said they plan to follow Reese Witherspoon’s example by eventually selling Park Country for another massive payday.
‘We’re proud of the fact that years ago we said, “Let’s put the show online and build that audience,”‘ Stone said. ‘What a great time to be an independent dealer. This is something we’ve worked on a long time, and life did come our way.’
Expanding: Parker and Stone eventually plan to sell their production company, now valued at $1 billion. They also plan to start a documentary series and a weed company with the proceeds from their new deal; seen in 2016 in Beverly Hills