TVBizwire

'South Park' Creators Launch Production Studio NY Times

The creators of the irreverent animated show "South Park" are creating their own production studio, based on revenue from the Comedy Central show and their Broadway hit, "The Book of Mormon," reports The New York Times.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone's new studio will have an estimated value of $300 million, the story says. It will have the ability to create television, movie and theater projects, with one of the planned projects being a movie version of "The Book of Mormon."

“Having worked with several different studios over the years, we came to realize that our favorite people in the world are ourselves," Parker and Stone said in a news release announcing the new venture, which will be called Important Studios.

They are following a tradition of Hollywood types who have created their own studios to gain creative and distribution control, the story notes.

Merv Griffin and Dick Clark are among those who created their own studios, with Dick Clark Productions continuing beyond Clark's death in 2012, the story notes. More recently, Ryan Seacrest created Ryan Seacrest Productions, which has produced reality shows such as "Keeping Up with the Kardashians."

Stone and Parker have also tapped investors for funding, including Raine Group chief Joseph Ravitch, who has invested $60 million for a stake of about 20%. Ravitch's firm is a boutique merchant bank with a focus on entertainment and sports.