Fall TV Preview
King of the Hill
King Of The Hill FOX, 8:30-9 PM
Last season, King of the Hill was as funny as ever…if you could find it. Frequently, viewers in some parts of the country tuned in for the Texas escapades of Hank Hill and his family during the show’s 7:30 p.m. Sunday time period, only to find that Fox’s football coverage had preempted Hank, wife Peggy, son Bobby, and niece Luanne. That changes this season.
”We’re psyched,” says cocreator-executive producer Greg Daniels. ”They’re putting us on at 8:30. That’s our old time slot.” He promises a ”back-to-the-basics season,” concentrating on Bobby and Hank. Since animated shows have an accelerated production schedule, ”the whole season’s completed,” says Daniels, who, consequently, is one big font of plot information.
”Our premiere is — well, we’ve done a lot of research into the world of competitive eating, so we have an episode in which Hank is upset, on a patriotic level, that America can’t win the hot-dog-eating contest; the Japanese have taken the mustard-yellow belt. Kid Rock and Pam Anderson are guest stars on that.”
In another edition, showbiz-lovin’ Bobby gets Hank to take him and some pals to a boy-band concert. ”We made up a band called 4Score,” says Daniels, ”who have a hit called ‘God Must Be Sad (Since He Let You Out of Heaven).’ We wrote the song, too. Wanna hear some of it?” You bet! Daniels holds the phone to a tape deck, and a darned fine parody of Backstreet Boys-ish treacle can be heard. ”Hank thinks the concert is going to be wholesome [based on hearing] ‘God Must Be Sad,”’ says Daniels, but then 4Score do another hit, ”Freak Fiction,” and ”Hank is appalled, because the band starts stripping and stuff on stage.” Will & Grace’s Debra Messing guest-stars in that one as a ”hip, liberal mom” who’s pro-4Score, much to Hank’s annoyance.
”We like to take off on real things,” says Daniels, so in another King of the Hill, he notes, ”there’s an actual thing in Canada…a sport where you train your dog to dance, kind of like ice dancing. So we have Bobby getting into that — the costumes and the figure-skating moves. Hank finds out and tries to put a stop to that, so Bobby starts dancing with a neighbor’s dog.” Count us in for that one.
Other episodes will feature guest voicings by Jennifer Aniston as ”a motorcycle chick called Pepperoni Sue” and by boxer and grill master George Foreman. ”In that show, Luanne starts [exhibition] boxing in bars, and [Foreman] and Hank meet and start arguing about grilling,” says Daniels, who confides that the burger-crushing pugilist found one of his lines objectionable. ”George is also a minister, and at one point, he had [an insult] line about ‘Joe Frazier in a brassiere,’ and he found that was a bit too much. So he said, ‘Joe Frazier with lipstick’ — that was his fix!” Daniels says, laughing. ”He suggested it, and we thought that was funny, so we said okay.”
George Foreman — boxer, griller, minister…comedy writer. Who knew? (Nov. 3)