Adult Swim nabs off-net ‘King’ rights

Cartoon Network acquires Fox series

Adult Swim has acquired off-net rights to “King of the Hill” from Twentieth Television and will use the toon series to help it expand its nightly programming by one hour.

Starting in January, “King of the Hill” will kick off an Adult Swim programming block that will start an hour earlier every night of the week, at 10 p.m. Currently, Turner-owned Adult Swim programs from 11 p.m. to 6 p.m. seven nights a week.

The series will join another Twentieth TV animated skein, “Family Guy,” which Adult Swim had previously licensed.

With the expansion into the 10 p.m. hour, Adult Swim — which launched as an individually rated network in 2005 and has been a top young-male draw in latenight since then — is now competing with broadcast networks and broader-spectrum cablers in the latter part of primetime.

The deal with Twentieth TV gives Adult Swim rights to all 13 seasons of “King of the Hill.” For its part, Fox announced earlier in the week that it will not renew the skein, created and exec produced by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels, for a 14th season. ABC is reportedly in talks to acquire the series.

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