For other uses see King of the Hill (disambiguation).
King of the Hill is an American television animated series created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels, for the Fox Broadcasting Company. It centers on the Hills, a small-town Methodist family proud of its Texas heritage. It attempts to retain a realistic approach, seeking humor in the otherwise conventional or sometimes even mundane.
Judge and Daniels conceived the series after a successful run with Judge's earlier Beavis and Butt-head on MTV, and the series debuted on the Fox Network on January 12, 1997, becoming an early hit. The series' popularity has also led to syndication by many local affiliates, the FX network, Adult Swim, as well as a number of international networks. The show has risen to become one of FOX's longest-running series, and the second longest-running American animated series, behind The Simpsons. In 2007, it was named by Time Magazine as one of the greatest television shows of all time. The title theme was written and performed by The Refreshments. King of the Hill has won two Emmy Awards and has been nominated for seven since its inception.
See main article: List of King of the Hill episodes.
|2||23||1997 - 1998|
|3||25||1998 - 1999|
|4||24||1999 - 2000|
|5||20||2000 - 2001|
|6||22||2001 - 2002|
|7||23||2002 - 2003|
|8||22||2003 - 2004|
|9||15||2004 - 2005|
|10||15||2005 - 2006|
|12||22||2007 - 2008|
|13||2008 - 2009|
In early 1995, after a run of Beavis and Butt-head on MTV, Mike Judge co-created King of the Hill with former The Simpsons writer Greg Daniels. Judge, a former resident of Dallas, Texas suburb Garland, considered the basis of the setting of the series, the fictional Arlen. Judge loosely based his creation of Hank Hill on a character in Beavis and Butt-Head, Mr. Anderson. Mike Judge came up with the idea for the show, drew the main characters and wrote a pilot, and Fox, as was its usual practice, teamed the cartoonist with an experienced prime-time TV writer. Greg Daniels rewrote the pilot and came up with several important characters who weren’t in Judge’s first draft (Luanne, Cotton) as well as some characterization ideas (making Dale Gribble a wacked-out right-wing conspiracy theorist).
After its debut, the series became a huge success for the Fox Network and was named one of the best television series by various publications, including Entertainment Weekly, Time and TV Guide. For the 1998 season, the series outperformed The Simpsons in ratings, and brought more viewers to its lead-out program The X-Files. It quickly became one of the highest rated programs, finishing behind The X-Files and ahead of The Simpsons. Fox also earned a double profit from the series success, since Twentieth Century Fox produced the show. During season 5 and 6, Mike Judge and Greg Daniels became less involved with the show. They eventually focused on the show again, though Greg Daniels steadily began to lose focus on King of the Hill as he became involved with other projects.
Recently, King of the Hill joined the ranks of other Fox Network series like Futurama and Family Guy in its placement within a questionable time slot and has faced frequent preemptions from sporting events featuring overtime play and post-game commentary. The series' tenth season was largely composed of episodes that did not get to air the previous season. During the tenth season in 2005, the show was scheduled to be canceled; however, the series managed to attract high ratings and was renewed. Fox renewed it for seasons eleven and twelve, making it the second longest-running animated television series after The Simpsons.
On October 31, 2008, it was announced that Fox plans to cancel the series after the 13th season to make room for new shows as part of their "Animation Domination" block that airs every Sunday at 8:00pm during the football season. One of the shows will be The Cleveland Show, which premieres in Fall 2009. Initially, reports indicated that ABC might secure the rights to the show. but in January 2009 ABC president Steve McPherson said he had "no plans to pick up the animated comedy." Adult Swim started airing King of the Hill every night at 10:00pm on January 1, 2009.
The 13th season episode Lucky See, Monkey Do became the first episode of the series to be produced in widescreen high-definition when it aired on February 8, 2009.
See main article: Arlen, Texas. King of the Hill is set in Arlen, Texas. Arlen is a fictional town, although several references to surroundings are mentioned. In a 1995 interview prior to the show's debut, Judge described the setting as "a town like Humble." It includes main places such as Rainey Street, the main alleyway of the show (perhaps named after Downtown Austin's Rainey Street), Mega-Lo Mart (a parody of big-box stores), Luly's (a parody of Luby's), Bazoom's (a parody of Hooters), and Strickland Propane (the business where Hank works). Like most fictional towns, the basis for the town does not originate from one specific place. Most of the children in the show are enrolled at Tom Landry Middle School (named after the former Dallas Cowboys coach). Early in the series, the school is listed as (according to the school buses) being in the Heimlich County School District, though later seasons changed this to Arlen Independent School District. The school's mascot is a longhorn (named after the University of Texas Longhorns). The local country club is the Nine Rivers Country Club.
See main article: List of characters in King of the Hill.
King of the Hill uses the standard set-up of a situation comedy or "sitcom" as its premise, depicting a family and their lives in a typical American town. It documents the Hills' day-to-day-lives in the small Texas town of Arlen, exploring modern themes ranging from parent-child relationships, to friendship and loyalty, to justice, envy, and hubris. As an animated sitcom, however, King of the Hills scope is generally larger than that of a regular sitcom.
The patriarch of the Hills is Hank Hill, a salesman of "propane and propane accessories," who is obsessed with his lawn, his employer Buck Strickland, propane, and the Dallas Cowboys. He is uncomfortable with intimacy and sexuality but has a healthy relationship with his wife, as well as the rest of his family. Hank's trademark grunting sigh in times of discomfort, his scream of "Bwah!" when scared or surprised, and the phrase "I tell you what!" are running gags on the series; additionally, when someone angers him, he tends to respond with, "I'm going to kick your ass." In contrast with his emotional distance with the members of his family, he dotes unashamedly on his aging Bloodhound, Ladybird. Hank is also known to be passively prejudicial in a sexist manner, disallowing his son Bobby from any nontraditional and "feminine" activities. Hank is married to Peggy Hill, a substitute Spanish teacher who has a poor grasp of the language (referring to it phonetically as "es-pa-nole"). Peggy is also a freelance newspaper columnist, real estate agent, notary public, and Boggle champion. Peggy frequently speaks the phrases "Ho, yeah!" when she exerts effort into a task, and "Oh, Peggy!" a self-compliment after a perceived accomplishment, and "I'm am Peggy Hill! Oh, yeah!". Usually well-meaning and open-minded, she often displays her naïveté and arrogance; with an inflated sense of her intelligence and appearance, she considers herself knowledgeable, clever, and very physically attractive.
The two have a son, Bobby Hill, a chubby 13-year-old, who wants to be a famous prop comic when he is older. Although he is not particularly attractive or intelligent, Bobby has an excellent sense of self-esteem; he is not ashamed of his body or his (often sub-par) performance in sports or other activities. Bobby lacks his father's athletic prowess and dislikes most sports, but enjoys wrestling, baseball, and track, which he played for Tom Landry Middle School. He also attempted to play football and soccer. He has a rather wacky sense of humor that clashes with Hank's more collected and conservative manner. Hank's discomfort with Bobby's proclivities is a regular narrative element in the series, and he has stated this with phrases like "That boy ain't right." Luanne Platter is Peggy's niece and is named after the Lu Ann Platter from Luby's. She was taken in by the Hills after her mother, Leanne, was sent to prison for "stabbing Luanne's father (Peggy's brother) with a fork." In addition to the lead family, the show includes an array of quirky characters: co-workers, teachers, family friends, extended relatives, townspeople, and local celebrities. Occasionally, the series features guest stars.
Ashley Gardner, Toby Huss, Lauren Tom, David Herman, Brad Pitt, Breckin Meyer, Jonathan Joss, Dale Earnhardt, Phil Hendrie, Fred Willard, Johnny Knoxville, Trace Adkins, Jennifer Aniston, Johnny Depp and Tom Petty have recurring roles in the series. Jazz musician Chuck Mangione has a recurring part as himself.Snoop Dogg voiced a white pimp, and the late Bernie Mac played a local repairman. Several other celebrities (including Alan Rickman, Henry Winkler, Owen Wilson, Willie Nelson, Ben Stiller, Lindsey Lohan, Chris Rock and Pamela Anderson) have also voiced for the show. and Duff Goldman, and Geof Manthorne