Socially distanced classroom in the South Park Pandemic Special
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Credit: Comedy Central / South Park Studios

WIRE Buzz: South Park back with hour-long special; Cobweb nabs The Boys’ Anthony Starr; more

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Sep 15, 2020, 9:07 PM EDT (Updated)

Comedy Central is going down to South Park for a special episode set to tackle the topic that’s dominated all of 2020, taking Cartman and the gang back to school for a mid-pandemic tour of life in the time of COVID-19.

With the cops taking over the classroom, Randy staging his usual attempts at misguided heroics, and Cartman looking more than a little under the weather, the hour-long “Pandemic Special” will be the long-running series’ first-ever 60-minute episode, per The Hollywood Reporter. Comedy Central released a teaser for the upcoming episode, and, as usual, Stan and Cartman don’t see eye to eye when it comes to pretty much everything — and that includes social distancing:

South Park Studios on YouTube

Via Comedy Central, the episode is all about exploring the funny fortunes of South Park’s residents as they grapple with a new reality — one where the town is on high alert to avoid infection, while enforcement of a new set of social rules puts everyone at odds.

“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 network teases. “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.”

While the show’s upcoming 24th season hasn’t yet been given an official debut date, this month’s special marks the first new episode from the Trey Parker and Matt Stone-created series since the Season 23 finale aired last December. Watch for the South Park "Pandemic Special" to land at Comedy Central on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. ET.


From Homelander to horror — that’s the new move that The BoysAntony Starr is making, joining the just-announced cast of new horror-thriller, Cobweb. Starr, who's already showed off his dark side as leader of The Boys squad of corrupt superheroes, is reportedly set to make the jump from Amazon to the big screen alongside Lizzy Caplan (Annie Wilkes in Hulu’s Castle Rock), Cleopatra Coleman (The Last Man on Earth), and young actor Woody Norman (Poldark, The War of the Worlds miniseries).

THR reports the Lionsgate project unfolds “in a small town where a young boy hears a mysterious tapping from inside the walls of his home and suspects his parents are hiding a terrible secret.” Norman will play Peter (the boy who’s hearing the creepy noises), while Starr and Caplan will play his parents. Coleman will play Miss Devine, Peter’s elementary school substitute teacher. Filming on Cobweb is reportedly set to begin soon in Bulgaria.

Directing Cobweb will be Samuel Bodin, who created and directed the French horror series Marianne at Netflix, along with other credits that include the 2009 Batman: Ashes to Ashes short and a music video for French metal band Gojira. Chris Thomas Devlin, who’s writing the upcoming Texas Chainsaw Massacre reboot, will reportedly write the script, with a list of producers that includes Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and James Weaver under Rogen and Goldberg’s Point Grey Pictures, as well as Roy Lee through Vertigo Entertainment.

There’s no early word on a release date for Cobweb, so keep the lights on — and the broom handy.


In an honor roll of TV projects that make the grade when it comes to equitable casting and behind-the-scenes creation, a long list of genre shows are right at the front of the pack. The inclusion-minded coalition at ReFrame has revealed its lineup of recognition-worthy TV series from the 2019-2020 season. Via Deadline, it’s a group that includes plenty of sci-fi, comics, and horror favorites.

Putting the “ReFrame Stamp” of approval on more than two dozen series drawn from “an in-depth analysis of IMDbPro data on the 100 most popular scripted shows,” per the report, the group’s partial listing gives a well-earned nod to several shows for recruiting women of all backgrounds for prominent roles and creative duty. Among those making the grade are:

Altered Carbon Season 2 (Netflix)

American Horror Story Season 9 (FX)

Batwoman Season 1 (The CW / HBO Max)

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 (Hulu)

The I-Land Season 1 (Netflix)

Jessica Jones Season 3 (Netflix)

Killing Eve Season 3 (BBC America / Hulu)

The 100 Season 6 (The CW)

Star Trek: Picard Season 1 (CBS All Access)

The Walking Dead Season 10 (AMC)

Watchmen Season 1 (HBO)

Westworld Season 3 (HBO)

You Season 2 (Netflix)

The organization reportedly says there’s been a 57 percent increase in “the number of shows that have earned the ReFrame Stamp this season,” in particular giving a shout to Watchmen star Regina King, as well as Star Trek: Picard director Hanelle Culpepper — the latter for “making history as the first woman to direct a pilot or debut episode of a Starfleet series in the franchise’s 53-year history.”

To check out this year’s complete ReFrame Stamp listing for TV, visit the organization’s website.


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