In the annals of American animated comedies, King of the Hill still stands out as an almost entirely unique concept. Few other series have dared to make their protagonists both blue collar and rigidly, politically conservative—a position that King of the Hill handled with the utmost of care in order to make Hank Hill’s outlook on life both amusing and sympathetic, despite him often being on what one might dub the wrong side of history. The key to Hank’s likeability was always an innate good-naturedness he possessed despite also harboring views that were often outdated or exaggeratedly close-minded. One gets the sense, observing the character, that he’s not a bad fellow—just one who was raised in a very cloistered environment, and has rarely ventured outside of his comfort zone.
But a return of King of the Hill in a modern setting? Now that would be a tricky proposition, but it’s one that could be on the horizon according to writer Brent Forrester. In a recent AMA on reddit, the writer for everything from The Office and The Simpsons to King of the Hill said that series creators Greg Daniels and Mike Judge were working hard to bring back a modern revival of the show, in “hot negotiations” with Fox to make it happen. That series would return to sleepy Arlen, TX, where all the characters would age up by about 15 years.
“I am sure Greg Daniels and Mike Judge will murder me for sharing this but… HELL YES,” said Forrester when asked if he’d heard about a King of the Hill revival. “They are in hot negotiations to bring back King of the Hill. The Trump administration made it suddenly very relevant again. The characters have all aged 15 years. The project is sooooo good. Okay I’ve said too much :)”.
This is a project that has been gestating for a while now, as co-creator Greg Daniels had pitched it to Fox previously, only for the network to pass. It seems now, however, that the negotiations are heating up once again. King of the Hill ran on the network for a long 13 seasons, ending in 2010, but it has remained easily accessible on Hulu in the U.S.
It’s not hard to imagine why execs at Fox would potentially be reticent to bring back a series like King of the Hill in the current political climate. As a Boomer who would now be in his mid-50s, all eyes would immediately be on Hank to confirm or deny one thing in particular: Did Hank Hill become a MAGA Trump supporter? Although he is depicted as a lifelong, dyed-in-the-wool conservative, our hearts say no—Hank is many things, but it’s hard to imagine he would ever condone Trump’s racist rhetoric, public philandering or general crudeness. In fact, Donald Trump’s boorish behavior seems like exactly the sort of thing that would typically provoke Hank to declare he’s about to kick someone’s ass. Perhaps Hank would become a third party voter, or the sort of person Trump now would declare a “RINO”? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see where Mike Judge lands on that particular question, if the King of the Hill reboot becomes a reality.