Daniels takes reins of ‘King’

Co-creator to helm seventh season alone

Showrunners Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger have abdicated the throne on “King of the Hill,” leaving creator-executive producer Greg Daniels to once again oversee the animated Fox laffer.

Sources said tensions behind the scenes at “King” led to the departure of Aibel and Berger late Monday night. Daniels, who created the show with Mike Judge, has officially taken over as showrunner for the immediate future.

Production has been completed on season six of “King,” which is scheduled to premiere Sunday, Nov. 4. Fox also already has picked up a seventh season of “King,” which is produced by 20th Century Fox TV. Given that animated shows require a lengthy lead time, production on “King’s” 2002-03 shows will begin shortly — with Daniels at the helm.

Daniels, who has an overall development deal at 20th Century Fox TV, had remained deeply involved with “King’s” production as one of the show’s exec producers. Daniels served as showrunner on “King” for the show’s first three seasons, then shared those duties with Rich Appel in season four.

Appel took over as showrunner in “King’s” fifth season and Aibel and Berger ascended to the top spot in season six. With production on season six complete and post-production winding down, Aibel and Berger now will focus on developing new series as part of their deal at 20th Century Fox TV.

Aibel and Berger joined “King” during its first season as executive story editors. The duo most recently had served as co-executive producers last season before taking the top slot this year. They have earned two Emmy noms for “King” and won the trophy for animated series (one hour or less) in 1999.

Aibel and Berger met while working for a consulting firm in Boston; they worked together on skeins such as “The George Carlin Show” and “Can’t Hurry Love” before landing the “King of the Hill” gig.

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