After an extended hiatus, Comedy Central’s flagship adult animated series South Park has returned with an all-new milestone. The series’ first ever hour-long episode entitled “Pandemic Special” was the most viewed South Park episode of the last seven years, Deadline confirmed today.
The “Pandemic Special” was an extra-long special meant to catch up on everything South Park has missed on since ceasing production right as the COVID-19 Pandemic hit the United States back in March. The episode targets President Trump’s handling of the crisis, Disney re-opening its parks during this pandemic, the national unrest in the wake of police brutality, and much more. The “Pandemic Special” is the first episode of the 24th season and the first special episode in the series’ history.
This episode was a big success for Comedy Central and its parent company ViacomCBS. 2.3 million people watched the episode live or the same day it aired on the Comedy Central channel. There were 168% more viewers for this special than the overall average of season 23. This was the highest amount of viewers watching live and same day out of the past 7 years of the show. Alongside Comedy Central, the special was simulcast on MTV and MTV2, ultimately gaining 4.05 million viewers for live and same day across all three channels.
Chris McCarthy, the President of Entertainment and Youth Brands at ViacomCBS told Deadline that “We’re thrilled with South Park’s return and it’s clear the audience was as well. The success is a testament to Matt and Trey’s creative genius and we used our full portfolio to let everyone know it’s back – propelling it to the No. 1 scripted telecast of 2020 and delivering its highest ratings in seven years.”
South Park is one of the most iconic adult-oriented animated comedy series of all time. The show follows four boys growing up in the fictional town of South Park, Colorado embarking on surreal adventures with dark and offensive comedy. The series is available to stream on HBO Max. Certain episodes are available to stream for free on the official South Park Studios website, including the “Pandemic Special.”