After postponing the series debut of sci-fi-tinged crime drama Almost Human by two weeks, Fox is giving Hulu-watchers a sneak peek at the premiere episode. The Karl Urban-fronted series airs in a two-night event on Sunday and Monday, November 17-18. Check out this eight-minute clip:
Elaine Paul has joined Hulu as CFO, the first major move by the streaming service since Mike Hopkins boarded as CEO last week. Hopkins made the announcement today to staff on the Hulu blog. Paul was SVP of Corporate Strategy at Disney and, Hopkins noted, was involved in Disney’s original investment in Hulu back in 2009. At Disney, Paul led various acquisitions, new business initiatives, and strategic investments. In addition to her work in Corporate Strategy, she previously served as VP, Business Development for the Walt Disney Internet Group. The fate of the streaming service controlled by Fox, Disney and Comcast was in doubt early this year. The owners entertained bids for it before deciding in July to keep it, and supply $750M to accelerate its growth. Paul begins her new job on Monday.
EXCLUSIVE: Hulu and Hulu Plus are getting an infusion of fan-favorite horror titles just in time for Halloween. Fangoria magazine and its distribution partner Brainstorm Media have teamed with Hulu on a new genre channel at hulu.com/fangoria, where a batch of curated horror flicks including William Lustig’s Maniac Cop 2, Takashi Miike’s Audition, and Lucio Fulci’s The House By The Cemetery will be made available. New titles will be added on an ongoing basis including releases from Magnolia, eOne, Phase 4, Millennium Entertainment, Scream Factory, Uncork’d and Doppelgänger Releasing.
Listen to (and share) episode 55 of our audio podcast Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman. In this special edition of the podcast, Deadline’s executive business editor talks with Harvard Business School Professor Anita Elberse about her new book, Blockbusters: Hitmaking, Risktaking And The Big Business Of Entertainment, and what it means for making movies in Hollywood these days. David also talks with host David Bloom about how much longer the big bull run for media stocks can continue; a sudden hiccup in the confirmation of a new FCC chairman; and where Hulu might be headed under its just-named CEO as it considers taking on Netflix.
Deadline Big Media, Episode 55 (MP3 format)
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The new Hulu CEO is best known for his years crafting carriage deals for Fox cable channels including FX and, more recently, Fox Sports 1. That suggests a change in strategy — a shift in focus from producing content to expanding distribution — for the streaming service controlled by Fox, Disney and Comcast. Mike Hopkins replaces Andy Forssell, the former SVP Content who championed original programming including The Awesomes after he replaced Jason Kilar on an interim basis beginning in March — and now is leaving Hulu. Hopkins “has a strong understanding of programming, digital distribution and consumer behavior, and a great vision for Hulu’s next chapter,” says Disney/ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney. Hulu’s fate was in doubt early this year. The owners entertained bids for it before deciding in July to keep it, and supply $750M to accelerate its growth. Many believe that backers will invest even more to turn it into a full-fledged competitor to Netflix, especially as recent shows from broadcast and pay TV services begin to appear on cable and satellite TV Everywhere streaming platforms. Liberty Media’s John Malone raised that possibility last week. And last month Disney CEO Bob Iger said that Netflix hadn’t yet cornered the streaming video market, presumably leaving room for Hulu. Here’s today’s release from Hulu: Read More »
Hulu‘s animated superhero comedy The Awesomes has been renewed for a 10-epiosode second season. The series co-created by Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker launched in August and is one of the top 10 most-watched shows on the streaming service, Hulu says. As for Season 1, the first of a two-part season finale airs today, and the finale and all episodes will be available on Hulu and Hulu Plus on September 26. The Awesomes is a Hulu co-production with Broadway Video. Bento Box Entertainment will return as the animation studio for Season 2, which will be exec produced by Meyers, Shoemaker and Broadway Video’s Andrew Singer. Judd Winick will continue as a writer and consulting producer.
In what is its biggest content deal since it was taken off the auction block, Hulu has partnered with BBC Worldwide North America to bring some iconic TV shows to the service. Included in the multi-year package are programs like Doctor Who, Torchwood, Sherlock and Luther. For the time being, this will be library, rather than current, content. Doctor Who launches today, while Sherlock, Luther, Blackadder, Top Gear and others will be available starting in the fall. The deal will bring some 144 titles to Hulu in the first year; many will be accessible via subscription service Hulu Plus. In all, there are more than 2,000 episodes with a few hundred available from this week. The non-exclusive arrangement follows the July announcement that Hulu owners Disney, 21st Century Fox, and Comcast would not sell the company and instead would supply $750M to accelerate its growth. Of the BBC deal, acting CEO Andy Forssell told The Wall Street Journal, “We’re kicking back into action. This is us doing a bunch of stuff that we’ve really wanted to do and had been put on hold for a while.” Last month, Hulu gave a 10-episode series order to Deadbeat, a subversive half-hour comedy from co-creators Cody Heller and Brett Konner, Lionsgate TV and Brad Pitt‘s Plan B Entertainment.
Hulu has given 10-episode series order to Deadbeat, a subversive half-hour comedy from co-creators Cody Heller and Brett Konner (Wilfred), Lionsgate TV and Brad Pitt‘s Plan B Entertainment. Deadbeat, the first co-production between Hulu and Lionsgate, will debut next year. It centers on a hapless but gifted male medium who helps New York’s ghosts settle their unfinished business. Troy Miller (Flight Of The Conchords) will direct and executive produce all episodes of the series through his banner Dakota Pictures. Plan B’s Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Sarah Esberg will produce. Production is slated to begin this fall. Deadbeat will be distributed on Hulu and Hulu Plus in the U.S. in 2014; Lionsgate will distribute internationally.
Holding on to Hulu and moving forward was all about relationships said Chase Carey today. “I think it is really a case where we’ve always known the importance of these digital platforms and the opportunity specifically in Hulu. I think the real question is partnerships are complicated and can we get the right strategy that we both believe we can execute to be successful,” said the 21st Century Fox COO Tuesday about working with co-owners Disney and Comcast. Carey was speaking on a conference call Tuesday after the company released its Q4 results. He was joined by Deputy COO James Murdoch and CFO John Nallen. “As we went through this process we really found that of all the constituencies coalesced around a vision of how to really build this and how it can be something exciting for content owners and something exciting for the digital marketplace,” he added. After weeks of speculation that Hulu would be sold, 21st Century Fox, Disney and Comcast announced on July 12 that they would keep the company and supply $750 million to push it’s growth.
Related:Fox Shares Rise As Fiscal Q4 Earnings Beat Expectations
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Hulu came to the press tour today to preach New Model and show off some of its new programming. TV critics showed up in dribs and drabs. Those who came stuck around until the final session — but that’s only because it included Seth Meyers and they wanted to ask him about — NBC’s Saturday Night Live. This morning, Hulu was pitching:
*The Wrong Mans – a comedy/thriller from James Corden and Matthew Baynton about two lowly office workers who become caught in a deadly criminal conspiracy when one of them finds a ringing cell phone at the scene of a horrific car crash.
*Behind The Mask – a documentary about sports mascots.
*Quickdraw — a half hour Western/CSI spoof about a Harvard-educated sheriff trying to introduce the emerging science of forensics to an unruly Kansas town in the late 19th century.
Related: TCA: Seth Meyers Talks About New ‘SNL’ Casting, Plugs New Hulu Series Read More »
Saturday Night Live head writer Seth Meyers came to TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2013 this morning to plug Hulu’s first original animated comedy The Awesomes, which he co-created with Late Night With Jimmy Fallon EP Michael Shoemaker. The new series, produced by Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video, is about the greatest superhero team in history — after its A-listers bail and it has to re-staff with reject superheroes. You’ll recognize voices of SNL cast and alums including Kenan Thompson, Bill Hader, Emily Spivey, Bobby Moynihan, Taran Killam, Rachel Dratch, and Paula Pell. Meyers, who will remain on SNL through the fall season (Fallon’s scheduled to replace Jay Leno on Tonight Show following the Winter Olympics in February) was asked how he’s juggling three gigs. “We’re in the very early stages on Late Night. More than anything else we’re staffing — we know how important it is to put together a strong staff of writers. I’ll go back to SNL in the fall and work there up until Late Night [debuts]. The nice thing about The Awesomes is that we’re pretty much through with the work on it, thankfully, because there’s going to be less and less time.” Read More »
The companies couldn’t agree on a price, Reuters reports citing information from “two people with knowledge of the negotiations.” While they could always return to the bargaining table, there are no plans to do so. The break down of negotiations with Time Warner Cable follows the decision this month by Hulu owners Disney and 21st Century Fox to keep the streaming service and supply $750M to accelerate its growth. (Comcast also is an owner, but in 2011 agreed not to participate in ownership decisions in order to persuade federal regulators to OK its effort to buy NBCUniversal.) In the end there were just two serious bidders: Peter Chernin in a team with AT&T, and DirecTV.
EXCLUSIVE: Hulu is showing the first episode of its original animated series The Awesomes at Comic-Con with the help of Seth Meyers and other members of the voice cast. The plan is to launch a sneak peek of the series July 25 on Xbox Live, with the first two episodes set for Hulu and Hulu Plus on August 1. The superhero series is one of four original series that will debut this year on the streaming service. Here’s the first trailer that panel attendees are seeing now:
Listen to (and share) episode 43 of our audio podcast Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman. Deadline’s executive editor talks with host David Bloom about the big Hulu non-sale announcement; Tribune’s next step out of bankruptcy; drooping broadcast ad prices; the Apple e-book loss; and Viacom bear changes his rating, but with a big caveat.
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UPDATE: News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch and Disney CEO Bob Iger continue to express confidence in their decision, along with Comcast, to hold on to Hulu. “I think it’s a hell of a good business – or it can be,” Murdoch told our sister pub Variety today from the Allen and Co. Conference in Sun Valley, ID. He said the subscription service’s partners needed to get on the “same page” with regards to Hulu, and that Disney “wavered” but in the end Disney, 21st Century Fox and Comcast agreed not to sell it. “We ultimately concluded that, even though we had some very compelling offers on the table, the future of Hulu is bright,” Iger told Bloomberg. “And if the future of Hulu is bright we should hold on to it.” Also, Bloomberg reported Friday that Time Warner Cable remains in talks with the Hulu owners to buy a stake in the service.
PREVIOUS: Once again we see an effort to sell Hulu collapse. Disney, 21st Century Fox, and Comcast said today that they plan to keep it and supply $750M to accelerate its growth. “Disney and its partners are committing resources to enable Hulu to achieve its maximum potential,” Disney CEO Bob Iger says. 21st Century Fox COO Chase Carey adds that while the owners ”had meaningful conversations with a number of potential partners and buyers, each with impressive plans and offers … Read More »
Now there are two: Guggenheim Digital Media and KKR have dropped out of the bidding for the video streaming service, CNBC reports from the Allen & Co. conference that draws hundreds of moguls each year to Sun Valley, Idaho. The sole remaining bidders for Hulu are DirecTV and the Chernin Group/AT&T partnership. Meanwhile, Bloomberg is reporting that Time Warner Cable offered to acquire a stake in the company. Hulu’s owners Fox and Disney want about $1B for the company. (Comcast also is a co-owner but relinquished control over Hulu’s affairs as a condition to win government approval to buy NBCUniversal.)
Related: Reports: Hulu Deal Expected In Under 2 Weeks
Hulu has received binding bids from DirecTV, a partnership of AT&T and the Chernin Group and the team of Guggenheim Digital Media and KKR, The Wall Street Journal reported citing people familiar with the matter. At the same time, Bloomberg is reporting that Time Warner Cable offered to acquire a stake in the company. The deadline for final offers was last Friday. Hulu’s owners Fox and Disney want about $1B for the company. (Comcast also is a co-owner but relinquished control over Hulu’s affairs as a condition to win government approval to buy NBCUniversal.) A definitive agreement is expected to be reached with one of the suitors in the next week or two, a Journal source said. Conventional wisdom is that DirecTV remains the bidder to beat. It’s said to be interested in bundling Hulu with its pay TV packages as well as offering a stand-alone option. AT&T is understood to be intrigued by the possibility of making Hulu the centerpiece of a new wireless video business that would ask studios to help pay for costs to transmit video to mobile devices. Time Warner Cable, says Bloomberg, is eyeing an alternate route by seeking to become an investor alongside the current Hulu owners.
Forget the speculation that Peter Chernin has lost interest in teaming with AT&T to bid for Hulu ahead of the Friday deadline for final offers. He and the telco will be there, along with a group that’s expected to include DirecTV, Guggenheim Digital, investment firm KKR, Silver Lake Partners with WME, and Time Warner Cable — with Yahoo a question mark. Some people began to wonder about Chernin’s intentions Monday after Fox unveiled a deal to license shows to Netfllix. The arrangement meant that Hulu lost its access to full seasons of the Chernin Entertainment-produced sitcom New Girl. (It will only be able to offer a few episodes at a time.) Yet we’re told that he’s still eager to help AT&T. Company watchers say that the telco’s intrigued by the possibility of turning Hulu into the centerpiece of a new wireless video business that would ask studios to help pay for the costs to transmit video to mobile devices. It was a coup for the company to align with Chernin who’s popular in Hollywood and helped to develop Hulu back when he was No. 2 at News Corp. Read More »
Fox announced today that the most popular drama on the WIGS slate, the Julia Stiles-starring Blue, is available on Hulu and its subscription service Hulu Plus beginning today in TV-length episodes. In the near future fellow WIGS series Lauren, starring Troian Bellisario and Jennifer Beals, and Jan, starring Caitlin Gerard, Stephen Moyer and Virgina Madsen, will become available. The expansion of the scripted drama series is part of Fox’s multi-year programming, marketing and distribution partnership with WIGS inked in February, with an eye toward building digital content that can be programmed on Fox and/or other channels. Blue, written and directed by WIGS co-founder Rodrigo Garcia, recently passed 20 million views on YouTube. It stars Stiles as a single mom trying to protect her son from the consequences of her secret career as an upscale escort. Mark Consuelos, Sarah Paulson and Holly Robinson Peet co-star.