South Park shut down by power cut

South Park characters Kyle, Kenny and Stan The first episode of South Park aired in the US in 1997

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Comedy Central was forced to repeat an old episode of South Park after a power cut prevented this week's scheduled episode from being finished.

Computers at South Park Studios in Los Angeles were down for three hours on Tuesday, halting work on the episode Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers.

Co-creator Trey Parker told fans "it sucks" but admitted it was inevitable.

"After all these years of tempting fate by delivering the show last minute, I guess it was bound to happen," he said.

It is the first time he and Matt Stone have missed one of their tight deadlines in 16 years, after famously starting each show from scratch just six days before it is due to air.

Most animated TV shows are written several months in advance, but South Park's creators hope to keep the show current and fresh by working to a tight deadline.

The US office of Comedy Central said in a statement on Wednesday: "From animation to rendering to editing and sound, all of their computers were down for hours and they were unable to finish episode 1704, Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers, in time for air tonight."

The planned episode was replaced with a repeat of Scott Tenorman Must Die, an episode featuring British band Radiohead, which fans had voted their second favourite of all time in a poll in 2011.

The team posted pictures of the blackout on the show's Twitter feed and revealed that Goth Kids 3 was now scheduled for next week.

Matt Stone and Trey Parker Stone and Parker were without power for three hours

Earlier this year Parker and Stone's musical The Book of Mormon opened to rave reviews in London's West End, after a sell-out debut on Broadway.

They confirmed two years ago that they would continue animating the adventures of South Park's Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman until 2016.

The show recently kicked off its 17th series in the US to its highest ratings since 2011, with 4.3 million viewers tuning in across three broadcasts.

The taboo-breaking animation is broadcast on Comedy Central in the UK at a week's delay and Goth Kids 3 is now expected to air on 30 October at 22:00 BST. Scott Tenorman Must Die will be broadcast in its original slot on 23 October.

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