There had been discussions around a reboot of the beloved animated series in 2017, but momentum stalled at the time. Former writer Brent Forrester revealed the renewed interest in a recent Reddit AMA after being asked by user vancity screnwriter, “Have you heard any updates as to the possible King of the Hill revival? Aging the cast of characters would be a stroke of genius and practically reinvent the show (in an awesome way!)”
Forrester obliged with an answer: “I am sure Greg Daniels and Mike Judge will murder me for sharing this but… HELL YES. They are in hot negotiations to bring back King of the Hill. The Trump administration made it suddenly very relevant again. The characters have all aged 15 years. The project is sooooo good. Okay I’ve said too much :)”
That the reboot might be relevant to the Trump administration is both obvious and jarring. King of the Hill debuted on Fox in 1997, and followed propane salesman Hank Hill, his wife Peggy, their middle-aged son Bobby, and college-aged niece Luanne for 13 seasons. The series was set in the fictional town of Arlen, Texas and while its satire was always aware of the broader culture wars, it was more concerned with its characters’ core values than their policy positions.
That won’t be as easy to manage in today’s charged atmosphere. How would a revival approach Dale Gribble’s vast gun collection and obsession with conspiracy theories in the wake of the Capitol insurrection? And if Hank’s father Col. Hill is still alive, how will the show tackle his racist anti-Asian outbursts as violence against Asian Americans is on the rise? Even with familiar characters, an updated King of the Hill will probably feel very different.
That’s if Judge and Daniels can even agree to terms with Fox. Both creators have gone on to enjoy sustained success with other projects, with Judge wrapping the sixth and final season of HBO’s Silicon Valley in 2019, while Daniels went on to create the classic sitcom The Office, as well as Amazon’s Upload and Netflix’s Space Force.