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Top 50 Power Showrunners 2011

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    Trey Parker & Matt Stone
    Trey Parker and Matt Stone
    South Park (Comedy Central)

    University of Colorado pals Parker and Stone celebrated the Oct. 5 fall premiere of the second half of their 15th season by revealing the method of their madness in Arthur Bradford's doc about them, 6 Days to Air: The Making of South Park, which aired on Comedy Central Oct. 9. They tell how they spun their multimillion-dollar empire out of a single 1995 animated short, The Spirit of Christmas, that went viral, making them the first internet-spawned TV success. (Fred Armisen's new hit, Portlandia, took a similar internet-to-hip-network route.) Besides making Comedy Central viable in much the way Quentin Tarantino made the Weinsteins' studio viable, Parker, 42, and Stone, 40, also went on to make more than $134 million worth of movies, break Broadway records with their musical The Book of Mormon and sign a contract to keep South Park on the air through 2013, for a sum said to be greater than their previous $75 million deal.

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