Fox extends ‘King of the Hill’s reign

Network orders another 13 episodes

Long live the “King of the Hill.”

The animated comedy, which has been presumed dead, then quickly revived several times in recent years by Fox and producer 20th Century Fox TV, has now seen its reign extended by another season. Fox confirmed Thursday that it has ordered 13 more episodes of the skein.

Pickup hinged on a deal with exec producer and star Mike Judge (who provides the voice of “King” patriarch Hank Hill). With Judge reupped, many of the show’s long-running scribes went back to work last week.

“King” wasn’t hit hard by the recent writers strike, thanks to the unusual schedule for animated series: The show’s most recent season had already been written by the fall work stoppage.

With so many episodes still in the can from the last production cycle, Fox felt it only needed 13 more segs this go-round. But the net and studio have also left open the door to order additional segs later on.

Judge and Greg Daniels created/exec produce “King of the Hill,” which is also exec produced by Jim Dauterive, Garland Testa, Dave Krinsky, John Altschuler, Howard Klein and Michael Rotenberg.

Next year will rep “King’s” 13th on the air. That easily makes it primetime’s second longest-running animated series ever, only behind “The Simpsons.” It also makes “King” TV’s second-longest running sitcom on the air — again, only behind “The Simpsons.”

“King of the Hill” has garnered critical praise and several major awards throughout its run, including the Emmy for outstanding animated program.

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