King of the Hill (also known as Hank of the Hill in some parts of Western Europe) is an American animated dramedy series created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels, that ran from January 12, 1997, to May 6, 2010, on Fox network. It centers on the Hills, a working-class Methodist family in the fictional small town of Arlen, Texas. It attempts to retain a naturalistic approach, seeking humor in the conventional and mundane aspects of everyday life while dealing with issues comically.
Judge and Daniels conceived the series after a run with Judge's Beavis and Butt-head on MTV, and the series debuted on FOX as a midseason replacement on January 12, 1997, quickly becoming a hit. The series's popularity led to syndication around the world, and episodes run every night on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. The show became one of Fox's longest-running series, and at the time of its cancellation the second longest-running American animated series. In 2007, it was named by Time magazine as one of the top 100 greatest television shows of all time. The title theme was written and performed by The Refreshments. King of the Hill won two Emmy Awards and was nominated for seven. It is now the third longest running primetime animated series after South Park and The Simpsons.
Fox canceled King of the Hill and aired its series finale on September 13, 2009, with four episodes from season 13 unaired. The remaining last four episodes aired in syndication on local stations from May 3 to 6, 2010, and on Adult Swim from May 17 to 20, 2010.
In early 1995, after the successful run of Beavis and Butt-head on MTV, Mike Judge co-created the show King of the Hill with former Simpsons writer Greg Daniels. Judge was a former resident of Garland, Texas, upon which the fictional community of Arlen was loosely based; however, the show was based more specifically on Richardson, Texas, a Dallas suburb, as Judge stated in a later interview. Mike Judge conceived the idea for the show, drew the main characters, and wrote a pilot script.
FOX teamed the cartoonist with Greg Daniels, an experienced prime-time TV writer. Greg Daniels rewrote the pilot script and created several important characters that did not appear in Judge's first draft (including Luanne and Cotton), as well as some characterization ideas (e.g., making Dale Gribble a conspiracy theorist). While Judge's writing tended to emphasize political humor, specifically the clash of Hank Hill's social conservatism and interlopers' liberalism, Daniels focused on character development to provide an emotional context for the series' numerous culture clashes. Judge was ultimately so pleased with Daniels' contributions that he chose to credit him as a co-creator, rather than give him the "developer" credit usually reserved for individuals brought on to a pilot written by someone else.