HULU Expands Original Slate & Add New Content Deals

Posted by Justin D Williams

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Today at the Television Critics Association’s Winter Press Tour at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, Hulu Chief Content Officer Joel Stillerman unveiled a series of announcements that continue to fuel momentum for Hulu as it expands its original and library content catalogue — the largest of any streaming video on demand service in the U.S. The company’s announcements included new deals to add more premium TV series and films to Hulu in 2018, as well as the premiere date of the highly-anticipated second season of The Handmaid’s Tale. Hulu also presented panels for its slate of upcoming original series including The Looming Tower, Hard Sun and The Handmaid’s Tale season two.

“We are committed to creating a curated, diverse, and boundary-pushing collection of content,” said Hulu Chief Content Officer Joel Stillerman. “And, we are doing just that by adding even more beloved shows like ER, as well as expanding our offering of brand defining original series, all within a world class on-demand experience. As we continue to explore what it means to make content in a streaming world, we are incredibly bullish on Hulu’s prospects for this year and beyond.”

 Hulu Teams with George Clooney, Paramount Television and Anonymous Content to Produce Seminal Novel Catch-22 as Six-Part Hulu Original Series

Today, Hulu confirmed a full series order for Catch-22, a six-part limited series event from George Clooney, Paramount Television and Anonymous Content based on one of the most significant novels of the twentieth century. Clooney will portray Colonel Cathcart, and will direct the series alongside his Smokehouse Pictures partner Grant Heslov. The series will go into production in 2018.

Catch-22 will be executive produced by Clooney and Heslov on behalf of Smokehouse Pictures, along with Richard Brown and Steve Golin on behalf of Anonymous Content. Luke Davis and David Michôd are attached as co-writers and executive producers for the series.

Based on Joseph Heller’s seminal novel of the same name, Catch-22 is the story of the incomparable, artful dodger, Yossarian, a US Air Force bombardier in World War II who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy, but rather his own army which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to avoid his military assignments, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule which specifies that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers which are real and immediate is the process of a rational mind; a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but a request to be removed from duty is evidence of sanity and therefore makes him ineligible to be relieved from duty. 

Although the original novel was published over 50 years ago, Catch-22 has continued to be regarded as the origin story of the geopolitical here-and-now.

Catch-22 is a rare story that has withstood the test of time, not only as a literary masterpiece, but as a story that still resonates in today’s political and social conversation,” said Stillerman. “These are exactly the types of stories we want to be programming at Hulu, and we couldn’t be happier to partner with George Clooney, Paramount TV and this phenomenal group of creatives to bring one of the most well-known books of all time to viewers in a way that has never been seen before.”

Catch-22 will join a growing slate of premium original programming from award-winning creators on Hulu, including the award-winning drama, The Handmaid’s Tale; the upcomingThe Looming Tower, a limited series based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning expose by Lawrence Wright from Academy Award-nominated Writer Dan Futterman and Academy Award and Emmy Award winning Director Alex Gibney; and Stephen King and J.J. Abrams’ upcoming series, Castle Rock.

 Emmy® Award–Winning and Fan-Favorite Series ER Makes Streaming Debut on Hulu Today in New Agreement with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution

Hulu announced a new agreement with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution that will mark the streaming debut of fan-favorite series ER. After being one of the most-watched shows in America during its run, all 15 seasons – more than 330 episodes – are available in SVOD for the first time ever exclusively on Hulu today.

Since its premiere in 1994, ER has gone on to become the most-nominated drama in Emmy® Award history. The iconic series also helped launch the careers of actors such as George Clooney, Noah Wyle and Julianna Margulies.

The medical drama combined the extraordinary talents of best-selling author/medical doctor Michael Crichton and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television with Peabody-, Humanitas- and Emmy®-winning executive producer John Wells (The West Wing, Shameless, Animal Kingdom). It follows the inner workings of an urban teaching hospital in Chicago and the critical issues faced by the dedicated physicians and staff of its overburdened emergency room. The series was produced by Constant c Productions and Amblin Television in association with Warner Bros. Television. In its 15-season run, the show became the longest-running primetime medical drama in American television history, and has won a total of 23 Primetime Emmy® Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series. ER has received a total of 124 Emmy® nominations, which makes it the most-nominated drama series in history.

Upon hearing news around the series becoming available on Hulu, star George Clooney stated: “It was such an honor to be a part of this show. I was lucky to have worked with so many writers, actors and directors all at the top of their game. Most importantly I’ve made friends for a lifetime. I’m excited it will finally be streaming on Hulu."

Second Season of Emmy® and Golden Globe Award-winning Hit Series, The Handmaid’s Tale to Premiere April 25th on Hulu

Award-winning and hit drama series, The Handmaid’s Tale, will return for season two on April 25th with two new episodes, and subsequent episodes released every Wednesday only on Hulu.

The 13-episode second season will be shaped by Offred’s pregnancy and her ongoing fight to free her future child from the dystopian horrors of Gilead. “Gilead is within you” is a favorite saying of Aunt Lydia. In Season Two, Offred and all characters will fight against – or succumb to – this dark truth.

The Handmaid's Tale comes to Hulu from MGM Television and is created, executive produced and written by Bruce Miller. Executive produced by Warren Littlefield, Elisabeth Moss, Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears, and Ilene Chaiken. MGM serves as the international distributor for the series. The series stars Emmy® and Golden Globe Award-winning actress Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Samira Wiley, Alexis Bledel, Ann Dowd, Max Minghella, Madeline Brewer, O-T Fagbenle and Amanda Brugel.

Hulu Picks Up Second Installment of Peabody-Award Winning Drama Series, National Treasure

The company today revealed that a second, four-part installment of the Peabody Award-winning drama series – National Treasure – will premiere in its entirety on April 4th as part of the Hulu Originals slate.

After its record-breaking debut on Channel 4 in the UK, season two — titled Kiri — will make its US-debut only on Hulu. The new season will unfold around the abduction of a young black girl, named Kiri, who is soon-to-be-adopted by her white foster family, and the trail of lies, blame, guilt and notoriety that follow.

National Treasure: Kiri is created and written by BAFTA-winner Jack Thorne. George Ormond (National Treasure, Ackley Bridge, Great Expectations) and George Faber (Shameless, National Treasure, The Devil’s Whore, Skins) returns as executive producers of the acclaimed series. The series is produced by Toby Bentley (National Treasure, No Offence) and directed by Euros Lyn (Happy ValleyDamilolaOur Loved Boy).

Hulu Adds March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step to Award-winning Documentary Slate

On March 23rd, Hulu will present the sequel to one of the highest-grossing documentaries of all time: March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step.

After its theatrical release in 2005, March of the Penguins went on to win the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. For March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step, Filmmaker Luc Jacquet and narrator Morgan Freeman will return to the Antarctic to revisit the Emperor Penguins who call the frozen continent home.

Over a decade after making the Academy Award winning March of the Penguins, Jacquet spent two months shooting in the Antarctic winter using the new technology of 4K cameras, airborne drones, and under-ice diving to show the astonishing lives of these mysterious creatures in an entirely new light.  March of the Penguins 2 tells the story of two penguins, a father and son, as they face and overcome the almost unimaginable challenges of life in this hostile land.

March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step joins a growing list of award-winning and critically acclaimed documentaries presented by Hulu, including The Beatles: 8 Days a Week – The Touring YearsToo Funny to Fail, Obey Giant, Becoming Bond, Dumb and Batman and Bill.

Final Season of Golden Globe Nominated Hulu Original Casual to Premiere on July 31st

After three critically acclaimed seasons, the fourth and final season of Casual will premiere in its entirety on July 31st.

Since its premiere in 2015, Casual has gone on to become the first Golden Globe-nominated original series for Hulu, and has earned acclaim from fans and critics alike. Created by Zander Lehmann, Casual is executive produced by Jason Reitman, Zander Lehmann and Helen Estabrook. Stars Michaela Watkins, Tommy Dewey, Tara Lynne Barr, Nyasha Hatendi and Julie Berman will return for the final season. The series comes to Hulu from Lionsgate Television.

All episodes of Casual are now available to stream on Hulu and will remain part of the company’s growing offering of original comedy series.