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.
The YouTube channel has started production on the web series, a 12-episode scripted drama written and directed by WIGS co-founder Jon Avnet that is slated to premiere later this spring. Anna Paquin and Maggie Grace star in Susanna as two sisters, Katie (Paquin), the mother of a newborn, and her younger sister, Susanna (Grace), an investment banker on the rise who has no interest in becoming a mother. When Katie develops acute postpartum depression and is hospitalized, Susanna must take care of her sister and her sister’s child while trying to keep the biggest business opportunity of her life from being derailed by her sister’s illness. Virginia Madsen and Rob Benedict co-star.
The female-targeted WIGS in February formed a programming, marketing and distribution partnership with Fox, which aims at expanding WIGS’ offerings as well as testing and nurturing dramatic concepts and talent in the digital realm. The idea is to build content that can be programmed on the network and/or other channels. WIGS has more than 130,000 subs and its content has been viewed more than 30 million times. Its offerings include the Julia Stiles-starrer Blue, which premiered its season 2 on March 15; Serena, starring Jennifer Garner and Alfred Molina; and Jan, about a young woman who’s first job goes away starring Madsen, Paquin’s True Blood co-star Stephen Moyer and Caitlin Gerard.
On the heels of closing a multi-year deal with Fox Broadcasting Co., YouTube’s scripted drama channel Wigs has announced a new drama, Paloma, written and directed by Julia Stiles, and starring Grace Gummer as a young woman dealing with the unpredictability of relationships, both in romance and in the workplace. It joins Blue starring Stiles, which returns for a 26-episode second season March 15, and Lauren starring Troian Bellisario and Jennifer Beals, whose Season 2 will unspool this spring. Paloma, which also debuts in the spring, also features Rhys Coiro and Garret Dillahunt.
Fox is restructuring its current department to include event series and digital programming. Part of that digital programming will be projects introduced under a multi-year pact Fox has signed with YouTube original drama channel WIGS. Fox’s VP Current Programming James Oh has been upped to SVP and will oversee all of Fox’s existing scripted series and manage Fox’s current programming team. He succeeds in the role of Fox’s head of current Marcy Ross who is departing the network. SVP Current Programming Shana C. Waterman will assume the title of SVP, Event Series & Multi-Platform Programming, a newly-created department set out to manage the network’s limited-run and digital programming initiatives. She will commission and develop long-form event series for Fox under the network’s joint initiative with FX, will oversee the network’s multi-platform programming, including Animation Domination High-Def (ADHD), The Short-Com Comedy Hour (working title), WIGS and other digital-to-broadcast efforts. Oh reports to Fox COO Joe Earley, Waterman to chairman Kevin Reilly. In addition, Fox has hired Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, previously SVP, Digital Media at News Corp, as SVP, Multi-Platform Programming. He will serve as the senior operational executive for Fox’s multi-platform programming.