Tuned In

South Park: Not Bigger, Not Longer, but Unstruck

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Since the writers’ strike started looming, one of the most frequent questions among Tuned Inlanders has been what would happen to South Park, which–unlike most animated shows–is finished at the last minute and thus doesn’t bank episodes in advance. My most frequent answer had been, “Um, good question.”

As it turns out, we get our answer tonight, as South Park debuts a new episode, “Guitar Queer-o.” (As you might have guessed, it’s about the video game Guitar Hero, following on the success of “Make Love Not Warcraft.” The SP production blog has more.) The reason: South Park is not a union show, like many animated cable shows, including Comedy Central’s Drawn Together.

To anticipate your next question: Fox’s Sunday night animation shows are union, largely thanks to the efforts of Futurama writer Patric Verrone, who now heads the writers’ guild. To anticipate your next question after that: I don’t know! Stop harassing me with your constant interrogation! What is this, Gitmo?

So the good news for South Park fans: we get a new episode tonight. The bad news: we get only one more episode, next week, when the season ends. Then the show is on break until March, when, of course, the strike will long be over. Won’t it? Won’t it?