i remember when i was a really little kid, south park was all over the place. not only did everyone know about it, but they talked about it nonstop (even in my elementary school). there were plushies in jc penny for godsakes. south park was that huge. now the show has attained legendary status but does the general public really care about the newer episodes as much as the older ones?
As enjoyable as abuse.
I live in New Zealand where people aren't overally interested in TV shows. So when you start hearing about a TV show on the news or in papers. It's DEFAINTLY popular. And that's what happened when South Park first came out. It used to be on all the time, kids would talk about in nonstop in school, SP shirts were sold everywhere and they even had South Park matathrons every two/three weeks. It was like South Park Mania. Similar to how everybody is talking about Michael Jackson now, that's how they were talking about South Park back then.
But then the publicty started dying down, which coursed viewership to drop. And now only the real fans of South Park care about watching it.
The Chef Aid album was still out from the previous year, we had a series high 18-episode season, the series hit that "third season groove" that most good shows experience, there was the movie and it's killer soundtrack and to top it off, they dropped a Christmas album that year.
You read it! You can't unread it!
While definitely Season 3 and the Movie (1999) was when it was the most exposed... technically, the highest viewer ratings the show ever got was for 'Cartman's Mom Is Still A Dirty Slut' from season 2 with aboot 8 million views, which is super-human for cable apparently.
But still, if you ask anyone, they'll probably have seen 'Make Love, Not Warcraft', maybe that's biased on the kind of people I hang out with though.
Have I ever made myself sound a loser here. Meh.
Its just harder for popularity to be easily quantified in the modern age with the internet. TV show ratings are generally down... but thats just because people are viewing them online through megavideo links that come and go and through the official sites.
The Simpsons ratings were the lowest they've ever been this season, even if it was as watchable (or more so) than it was in recent previous seasons, simply because of a dilution of everything. Its not rocket science.
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