The late-night talk show host’s pet side project won’t make a cameo on the upcoming Primetime Emmys telecast that he’s hosting, but Seth Meyers mentioned during The Awesomes panel at Comic-Con that his team is writing “filmed segments featuring many of this year’s nominees.”
Season 2 of his animated superhero Hulu series is upping its profile with the addition of his Saturday Night Live pals Amy Poehler, Maya Rud0lph and Will Forte voicing new characters. While Season 1 focused on a ragtag misfit superhero team (inspired largely by DC’s Justice League), in Season 2 we find The Awesomes getting more respect. Meyers’ lead toon hero Prock falls in love with a fierce lawyer, Jaclyn Stone (Poehler), who when it comes to fighting adversaries in court will “sue their dicks off.” There’s also a new vigilante hanging around, Metal-fella, who is a lot like Marvel’s Iron Man. Whether the production will face any litigation from Marvel, Meyers quipped: “No one knows who came up with which one first. Maybe we’ll sue people.” We’ll also see the family members of Season 1 villain Dr. Malocchio (fellow SNL alum Bill Hader) including Lady Malocchio (Rudolph) and Malocchio Jr. (Forte), the latter plotting revenge. Other zany plotlines for Season 2 include Perfect Man (voiced by brother Josh Meyers) getting in a bind and learning he needs the help of The Awesomes in court. Said Seth Meyers: “Perfect Man is a racist because he’s stupid. He’s even against Atlantic Islanders, the people from Nantucket.” Read More »
Hulu head of content Craig Erwich announced at TCA today that the streaming website was landing the exclusive steaming rights to South Park“. Starting July 12, Hulu will stream all 244 episodes for free until September 24 when they switch to Hulu Plus. “South Park ranks in our top 10 shows each month and hits the sweet spot for our demo,” said Erwich, “We’ll have every season of the series.” The deal is between Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s South Park Studios, a joint venture between Viacom and the South Park creators.
In a surprise appearance at the Hulu, Parker and Stone expounded on the news. Said Stone, “We worked with the Viacom player a few years ago, and there would be glitches and bugs following the upload of South Park. However, Hulu was out of the gate fast and had a better player. We looked at their player with envy, and we always wanted to have the best possible platform for our show.”
Parker quipped about Hulu, “We wanted to rip off their technology.” Read More »
Australia’s longest-running drama Neighbours will make its U.S. debut July 14 on Hulu and Hulu Plus, the TV-network-backed streaming service announced today. New episodes will debut daily, Monday through Friday, airing four weeks after the Australian broadcast. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: There is a glimmer of hope that there could be a sixth season of cult comedy series Community. I have learned that Hulu is in talks with Community producer Sony Pictures TV for more original installments of the show, which was cancelled by NBC earlier this month. Sources stress that conversations are preliminary and it is unclear whether they would lead to a deal, but I hear there is will on both sides. That includes Community creator Dan Harmon, who confessed on his blog that he had warmed up to the possibility of continuing the show elsewhere, changing his stance from “eh” when Sony TV called him with the news of the series’ cancellation by NBC to “sure, let’s talk” two days later. Said Harmon, “I’m not going to be the guy that re-cancels cancelled Community.”
Related: ‘Community’ Creator Dan Harmon Reacts To Cancellation & Potential Resurrection
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International online streaming service DramaFever has entered an exclusive licensing and distribution deal for Spanish mini The Time In Between. The award-winning period drama will begin airing on July 4 on the DramaFever platform, and will be syndicated through Hulu. The October 2013 debut of the 11-episode adaptation of María Dueñas’ novel was the most watched TV premiere in Spain ever. Adriana Ugarte stars as a young seamstress who leaves Madrid before the start of the Spanish Civil War. By twist of fate, she is forced to open a custom tailor workshop in Morocco where she becomes the most sought-after couture designer for the socialite wives of German Nazi officers. She also begins working for the British government, passing information to the Secret Service. This will be the 38th Spanish-language series streamed on DramaFever with English subtitles. The service gets about 20 million monthly unique visitors. Read More »
“Our goal is to continue to lead the online video advertising market,” CEO Mike Hopkins says in a blog post — echoing the message he delivered this morning at Hulu‘s Newfront presentation in NYC. The TV network backed streaming service says that its Hulu Plus subscription service has more than 6M subscribers — nice growth albeit still far behind Netflix‘s 35.7M domestic online customers. But Hulu’s forte is ad sales and the company offered some impressive stats to buyers: Desktop viewers spend about 50 minutes per session with Hulu, longer than any rival ad-supported premium video site in comScore’s top 100. It also will offer three new ad “experiences,” Hopkins says: It will enable users to make purchases without leaving Hulu; Pizza Hut is the launch partner. The service will offer cross-platform interactive ads with an algorithm that “predicts the appropriate audience for the brand.” And it’s introducing the Hulu 360 Ad that can tailor messages depending on where the viewer is accessing the programming. “We know which device a viewer is on, and we go beyond the traditional video ad to serve a groundbreaking viewing experience,” Hopkins says. On the programming front, Hulu announced that it’s ordering a second season of Deadbeat.
Charlotte Koh, head of content development at Hulu Originals, has departed the streaming company. The move comes just more than a week after Hulu hired seasoned TV development executive Craig Erwich. The former president of Warner Horizon was tapped as SVP and head of content March 31, tasked with leading the content and programming strategy for Hulu and Hulu Plus as one of the first major hires by new CEO Mike Hopkins. That move apparently made things more crowded with Koh, who helped launch Hulu originals like animated The Awesomes (renewed for Season 2 to air this summer), comedy The Wrong Mans and docu-series Behind The Mask. (Koh unveiled 17 original series on tap for 2014 in a January blog post.) But that push came at a time when Netflix and Amazon made major strides establishing slates of network-quality comedy and drama series, and the hiring of Erwich signaled Hulu’s intention to become a major player in those arenas. The service’s most recent original series, comedy Deadbeat starring Tyler Labine, debuted today. It centers on a man whose life revolves around helping ghosts reach the afterlife. Read More »
The exclusive licensing deal announced today makes Hulu Plus the exclusive destination for all previous seasons of Universal TV’s The Mindy Project and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, with Bravo series like The Real Housewives and Top Chef franchises and E!’s Keeping Up With The Kardashians also available exclusively in the coming weeks — and Parks And Recreation coming non-exclusively. The multi-year SVOD rights deal follows similar Hulu pacts inked in February — one an extension with CBS for 2,600 new episodes of shows including Undercover Boss, United States Of Tara, Everybody Loves Raymond, Ghost Whisperer and library fare like The Brady Bunch and Laverne & Shirley; and another with Disney/ABC Television group that netted SVOD rights to Nashville. Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins announced the deal via a blog post today.
Hulu is making a statement in the original content arena with the hire of seasoned TV development executive Craig Erwich. Erwich, who recently exited his post as president of Warner Horizon, has been tapped as SVP and head of content to lead the content and programming strategy for Hulu and Hulu Plus. This marks one of the first major hires for new Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins, who made the announcement. “Craig is ready to hit the ground running and lead us as we increase our overall content offerings,” Hopkins said. “Craig is the perfect guy for the job — he has been developing shows and programming networks for over 20 years. He has impressed me and others who’ve met him with his collaborative approach, humility and tenacity to do what he believes.” While Hulu has had traction with some originals, including animated comedy The Awesomes, which returns for Season 2 this summer, the online service has been overshadowed by rivals Netflix and Amazon, which have established slates of network-quality comedy and drama series that, in the case of Netflix, already go toe to toe with the traditional network fare for awards consideration. Hiring an experienced TV executive like Erwich signals Hulu’s intention to become a major player in the arena and possibly expand into drama. Hulu’s next original series, comedy Deadbeat starring Tyler Labine, debuts April 9. Read More »
It’s nothing nefarious, but some California subscribers to the streaming service have a gripe with the way their accounts have been handled. A 52-page class-action lawsuit (read it here) filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court claims that Hulu since December 2010 has made automatic renewal offers throughout California but failed to specify the terms “in a clear and conspicuous manner,” charged cards or accounts without subscribers’ “affirmative consent” and “failed to provide an acknowledgement that includes the automatic renewal or continuous service offer terms, cancellation policy, and information regarding how to cancel in a manner that is capable of being retained by the consumer”. Plaintiff Nathan Kruger of Beverly Hills claims all of the above violates California law. He and others who upgraded their accounts online to Hulu Plus are seeking a jury trial, restitution, declaratory and injunctive relief and attorneys’ fees. Kruger and the class are represented by attorneys Julian Hammond and Ari Cherniak of HammondLaw in Los Angeles.
After taking itself off the selling block last summer, Hulu now appears to be focusing its attention on the domestic front. Mike Hopkins, came to Hulu as CEO in October, said in a blog post today that Nippon TV is buying Hulu’s Japan operation — which launched in September 2011 as the streaming service’s sole venture outside the U.S. “We have now reached a point in the growth of the business in Japan where we feel the best path forward is to sell the company to a strategic buyer,” Hopkins wrote, adding later, “Nippon TV will take the service to new heights, with the added benefit of allowing us to focus on our growing business here in the U.S.” He said Hulu, which is controlled by Fox, Disney and Comcast, will license its brand and technology and continue to provide services to the Japan business. Nippon TV, the country’s highest-rated TV network, will add some of its titles to the service, which now includes content from 50 partners totaling more than 12,000 TV episodes and 1,000 movies. Terms of the deal were not announced.
Related: CBS Expands Licensing Deal With Hulu Plus, Nearly Doubling Episodes
The 2,600 new episodes going to the streaming service in the non-exclusive arrangement will include Undercover Boss, United States Of Tara, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Ghost Whisperer, the companies just announced. Also in the package are hits from the CBS vaults including Taxi, The Brady Bunch, Laverne & Shirley, Melrose Place, and 7th Heaven. CBS and Hulu didn’t disclose terms for the multi-year licensing agreement, an expansion of their 2012 deal, which brings Hulu’s collection of CBS shows to more than 5,300 episodes. Shows will hit the subscription-based Hulu Plus “in the coming weeks,” the companies say, and some will appear on the free Hulu.com. “CBS programming on Hulu Plus has performed exceptionally well,” says the network’s Chief Corporate Content Licensing Officer Scott Koondel. Last week the companies said that the streaming service would have exclusive subscription video on demand rights for previous seasons of the crime drama Elementary as well as a deal for previous seasons of Blue Bloods.
Disney/ABC Television Group has inked an exclusive multi-year licensing agreement with Hulu Plus for SVOD rights to the drama series. Beginning now, all past Nashville episodes and clips are available on the subscription service. Currently in its second season, Nashville, produced by Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Opry Entertainment, stars Connie Britton as music legend Rayna Jaymes and Hayden Panettiere as sassy up-and-comer Juliette Barnes. Cast also features Charles Esten, Eric Close, Clare Bowen, Jonathan Jackson, Sam Palladio, Chris Carmack, Lennon Stella and Maisy Stella. Dee Johnson, R.J. Cutler, Callie Khouri and Steve Buchanan executive produce.
CBS has signed a non-exclusive content licensing agreement with Hulu Plus for Blue Bloods, the CBS TV Studios drama that earlier this week landed off-net deals with ION and WGN America. The news of an SVOD partner is the final piece of the multi-platform syndication pie for the Friday cop procedural, now in its fourth season; it’s the same model used to recently sell another CBS TV Distribution product, CBS’ Elementary. Hulu will begin offering the first four seasons of Blue Bloods beginning later this year. Read More »
Hulu will premiere its new supernatural comedy Deadbeat on April 9. Directed by Troy Miller, the series is Hulu’s first co-production with Lionsgate TV. Hulu also announced today it is re-upping teen drama East Los High for a second season and will distribute reality TV satire The Hotwives Of Orlando from Paramount Digital Entertainment. Casey Wilson, Angela Kinsey, Kristen Schaal, Tymberlee Hill, Danielle Schneider, and Andrea Savage star as six of Orlando, Florida’s hottest housewives who are ready to drink, fight, and cry, sometimes all at the same time. In addition, Hulu will release the original Scandinavian version of the drama series The Bridge, recently adapted for U.S. audiences by FX, as well as the Canadian reality-style dance drama The Next Step, acquired from BBC Worldwide North America. And the second season of Chris O’Dowd’s semi-autobiographical comedy Moone Boy will make a return in the spring.
In the second half of 2014, Hulu will release second seasons of Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker’s animated The Awesomes, Josh Greenbaum’s docu-series Behind The Mask and John Lehr and Nancy Hower’s Western comedy Quick Draw. Tom Hollander also returns in season three of Rev. Click over for the full lineup: Read More »
Deadline Financial Editor David Lieberman and host David Bloom talk with Chris DeWolfe, CEO of SGN Games and former CEO and co-founder of MySpace, about the very big and very quickly evolving businesses of online video games and social media. The Davids also talk about the creepy-cool future of TV that is just around the corner and why Ernst & Young thinks most of Hollywood isn’t ready for it; and the maturation into major players by two long-time little guys, Lionsgate, which is offering its first quarterly dividend, and Hulu, which generated $1 billion in revenues in 2013
Deadline Big Media episode 64 (.MP3 version)
Deadline Big Media episode 64 (.M4A version)
The .M4A version of this podcast is designed to run on any device using Apple’s iTunes software, and includes enhanced graphics and links to stories and other resources. The .MP3 version of this podcast is designed to play on virtually any device capable of playing digital audio.
To hear past episodes of “Deadline Big Media,” go here. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, on Deadline’s SoundCloud page, and on the iOS app AGOGO. If you are using non-iTunes software to listen to the podcast with “podcatcher” software, you can … Read More »
Hulu‘s not a public company, so it can disclose just the financial information it wants. And of course the numbers CEO Mike Hopkins just revealed in a blog post look pretty good — suggesting that Hulu’s making progress after owners Disney, Fox and Comcast in July scrapped a plan to sell the service. He says that Hulu Plus has more than 5M subscribers, up from a little more than 3M last year, with more than half streaming in the living room. Hopkins also talks up his content offerings, saying that they include “premium programming from more than 488 content partners, providing over 86,000 TV episodes, 2,900 TV series, and 68,000 hours of video on Hulu and Hulu Plus (and growing).” Viewers streamed more than 1B content videos in each quarter, with each session averaging 50 minutes in Q4. As a result, “Hulu remained #1 in engagement among top ad supported online video sites, and #1 in market share of all premium online video providers, maintaining our commitment to building the world’s most effective video advertising service and delivering industry-leading results for our advertising partners.” The service has more than 1,000 brands advertising, up 15% vs last year. The employee base also is up 20% to 725, with 140 new hires in the second half of this year. ”As we scale the business in 2014, we will continue to invest in content, technology and people.” For what it’s worth, Netflix is … Read More »
Hulu has ordered 10 episodes of docu-series Behind The Mask, a behind-the-scenes look into the world of sports mascots. Season 2 will introduce three new characters at the high school, college and professional levels. There are four episodes left in Season 1 with the season finale set for December 17. Behind The Mask will be directed by Josh Greenbaum (The Short Game) and executive produced by Occupant Entertainment partners Felipe Marino and Joe Neurauter along with Occupant exec Kate Sharp. It is slated to premiere on Hulu and Hulu Plus in 2014.