Today in TV History: “King of the Hill”

15 years ago today, the animated comedy King of the Hill debuted on Fox.

King of the Hill, created by Mike Judge (Beavis and Butt-Head) and Greg Daniels (My Name is Earl) centered on a the daily lives of Hank Hill and his family and friends in fictional Arlen, Texas.

After the shows debut of over 19 million viewers, King of the Hill quickly became a popular entry on the Fox schedule, sometimes outperforming its Fox counterpart The Simpsons in the ratings. During its second season, Hill received its best season ever, ranking 15th overall on television, averaging 16 million viewers per week.

The last three seasons of King of the Hill tended to be tough for the series. Even though ratings were steady, its tough timeslot – Sundays at 730p.m. often faced preemption from NFL coverage on Fox. in 2008, Fox unexpectedly announced the cancellation of King of the Hill due to the rising popularity of the Seth MacFarlane cartoons Family Guy and American Dad. When Fox announced the Family Guy spin-off The Cleveland Show, it would be moving into King of the Hill‘s timeslot on Sunday nights, forcing the show to end. There was one last chance of revival for King of the Hill.

During the 2008-2009 season, Mike Judge had another animated on ABC, The Goode Family, which was strikingly similar to King of the Hill. ABC was interested in securing the rights of Hill, moving it to ABC and making it a companion to The Goode Family. In January 2009, the ABC entertainment president at the time dismissed all rumors of King of the Hill moving to ABC after The Goode Family failed to gain an audience.

King of the Hill aired its series finale on September 13th, 2009 after 13 th season. King of the Hill is still on of Fox’s longest running shows ever, and is the third longest running animated sitcom ever behind The Simpsons and South Park. 

Syndicated episodes of King of the Hill can still be seen on local stations and every night Adult Swim.

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