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Adult Swim Expands Into Primetime, Acquires 'King of The Hill'

Adult Swim is expanding its programming hours into primetime, and is adding Fox comedy King of The Hill to its lineup. The Turner owned network, which shares channel space with Cartoon Network, currently begins programming at 11 p.m., running through 6 a.m., seven nights a week. Beginning in January, it will start its programming at 10 p.m. each night. Adult Swim will fill that new hour with King, as well as additional new and acquired programming.

“We have always wanted King of The Hill, and we knew that once we acquired the show we would have enough episodes to expand,” Mike Lazzo, senior VP of programming and production for Adult Swim told B&C. “There are only a finite number of shows out there that can play in primetime and have enough episodes.”  

By expanding into the 10 p.m. hour Adult Swim will now compete directly with the broadcast networks, as well as cable channels such as Comedy Central, which programs its new episodes in that slot.

King has been in the news this week, as word came down that Fox was canceling the show and that ABC was rumored to be in the running to pick it up, possibly pairing it with another animated Mike Judge series, The Goode Family.

The deal with Adult Swim gives the cable network rights to all 13 seasons that aired on Fox, including the ones still to air on the broadcast network later this season.

Lazzo joked that a move to Adult Swim might also help King stay on the air.

 “If Fox cancels the show, we can just pick it up and turn it into a bigger hit,” he says. 

Another cancelled Fox show, Family Guy, became a smash hit on Adult Swim, leading to Fox picking up new episodes a few years after the fact. Since then it has become one of the network’s most successful shows, expanding into two spinoffs.

Since its debut in September 2001, Adult Swim has continued to build credibility and ratings with the young male demographics that advertisers are eager tor each. The network originally had three hours of programming two nights a week, next year it will program eight hours a day, seven nights a week.