'South Park' Sets Hourlong "Pandemic Special" Episode

South Park
Comedy Central/Photofest

South Park

South Park has set a one-night, hourlong "Pandemic Special" that will tackle the numerous issues of 2020 as only the long-running cartoon can, Comedy Central announced Tuesday.

The usual 30-minute show has done several multiple-part series in the past, but never an episode running longer than a half-hour in the show's 23-year history (not counting the feature film, South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut). The special will air Sept. 30 at 8 p.m.

It is unclear when a new, full season will premiere.

"Randy comes to terms with his role in the COVID-19 outbreak as the on-going pandemic presents continued challenges to the citizens of South Park. The kids happily head back to school but nothing resembles the normal that they once knew; not their teachers, not their homeroom, not even Eric Cartman," reads a summary of the special. A clip (below) was also released.

Last fall, South Park was renewed through 2022. The show's entire library recently moved from Hulu to HBO Max in a deal reportedly worth $500 million. However, a number of episodes were kept off the platform because of the depiction of a religious figure.

South Park made major headlines around the globe last season for its sharp critique of the way Hollywood tends to shape its content to avoid offending Chinese government censors. In response, South Park was banned in China; the country's internet and streaming services totally scrubbed of the show. Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone laughed off the move.

"Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts," the duo said then in a statement. "We too love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn't look like Winnie the Pooh at all. Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10! Long live the great Communist Party of China. May the autumn's sorghum harvest be bountiful. We good now China?"