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Comedy Central’s South Park Goes High Definition

Comedy Central, a cable and satellite television channel in the United States, and its famous comedy show “South Park” are making news again. The popular show will now be available in high definition, thanks to the Xbox Live Marketplace. The first episode, “Good Times with Weapons’ has been made available for free downloads for Xbox Live members from March, 5, 2007. Members can avail this facility for two weeks.

Comedy Central primarily focuses on comedy programming-original as well as syndicated. It started as a small cable network and has grown to a hugely popular media channel. In 1997, the channel started its show “South Park,” after which the channel made huge waves in the media industry. By 1998, the channel gained huge popularity, though it carried mature content. It was one of the first channels to boast of TV-MA ratings for mature audiences. The channel has spread its reach to Germany and Poland, since January 15, 2007.

South Park, an Emmy award winning, animated series, is about four fourth grade school boys residing in South Park, Colorado. The series has been written and created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker. Both Stone & Parker are Emmy-Award winning American animators, screenwriters, actors, voice actors, and film directors. Parker is also a musician.

Best Buy Corporation, Inc., one of the largest retailers of consumer electronics in USA and Canada, is offering free HD DVDs of the episode with every purchase of an Xbox 360 console or a HD DVD drive. The offer is valid from March, 20 until April, 3. The Fortune 100 Company has over 1000 stores in Canada, USA, and China. Its subsidiaries include Geek Squad and Future Shop in Canada.

The high definition, referring to an increase in resolution, episodes will be available via the Xbox Live Marketplace, a virtual market for Xbox 360 users, which allows members to download media content. It offers movie trailers, game demonstrations, Xbox Live Arcade games amongst other services. The service launched on November 22, 2006, has roped in content partners such as CBS, TBS, UFC, NBC, MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Bros, Home Entertainment.

The “Weapons” episode first appeared in the show’s 8th season in 2004. It features among the 10 episodes on the "South Park: The Hits" DVD, released last year. Starting from March 13, uncensored episodes will also be available via Xbox services. Comedy Central also has a special feature- “The Secret Stash,” a special time slot on Saturday that features unedited versions of comedy programs that carry a huge adult content.

Seasons 5-9 of the show and the 1999 feature film, "South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut," already are available via Xbox. The feature film is a musical satire based on the show. The film parodies Disney films such as The Beauty and The Beast. It features 12 songs by Trey Parker and Marc Shaiman. One of the songs, “Blame Canada,” was nominated for an academy award. Paramount Pictures produced the film in collaboration with Warner Bros.

Along with the usual characters i.e. Stanley Marsh, Kyle Broflofski, Eric Cartman, and Terrance & Philip, the movie also featured two new characters unique to the movie-Gregory of Yardale and The Mole.
South Park starts its 11th season on Wednesday, March, 7, 2007.