DCNF: Hulu to Invest More in Originals, Renews ‘Deadbeat’

/ Apr 30, 2014


Over the coming year, Hulu plans to quadruple its investment in originals, said Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins at his company’s Newfront event this morning — echoing comments he made earlier in the month at an advertiser event.

As part of that investment, Hulu has ordered a second season of its supernatural comedy series ‘Deadbeat.” Craig Erwich, Hulu’s new SVP of content, said the show was the “top-performing show” on Hulu the day it premiered. A co-production with Lionsgate and set in New York City, it stars Tyler Labine, Brandon T. Jackson, and Cat Deeley.

“Deadbeat” joins other Hulu originals, including “The Awesomes,” “Behind the Mask,” “Quick Draw,” and “East Los High,” which have already received second-season renewals.

In addition to its original series, Hulu previewed an array of international shows it has exclusive rights to in the US, including “The Next Step,” a hit dance drama out of Canada, and Chris O’Dowd’s “Moone Boy” from the UK.

Hulu also plans to market these shows. As witnessed by anyone who saw a “Deadbeat” poster in New York in the past month, Hulu is putting some money aside to drive viewers to their originals. In the coming year, Hopkins said the company will invest three times more on various content marketing and publicity campaigns, across TV, theaters, and out of home.

The full slate of Hulu’s original and exclusive series is listed at the bottom of this post.

Overall, Hulu will spend “several billions” on content in the coming year, including acquiring prior and current-season TV programming. Some of the most popular TV shows on Hulu include “Saturday Night Live,” “The Tonight Show,” “Community,” and “Law & Order: SVU” (which promoted a joke from event emcee Cecily Strong that people are watching NBC, just not on NBC.)

Interestingly, Hulu plans to take more advantage of the appetite for TV content on its platform. Later this summer, the service will make a selection of full, ad-supported TV episodes available on mobile devices, for free.

Up until now, if you wanted to watch Hulu content on mobile, you needed to buy Hulu Plus. The paid subscription offering currently has 6 million subscribers.

Hulu also talked about what it calls “brand-authored content”: original programming produced or presented by brands such as Subway’s “The 4 to 9ers” and Chipotle’s “Farmed and Dangerous.” An area of interest at Hulu, the service is launching more branded shows this year, including “The High Road with Mario Batali” later this quarter.

Another branded series, “Flavor Quest,” is in active development and open for brand sponsorships and integrations, Hulu SVP of advertising Peter Naylor said. The travel/cooking series will find the best ingredients from around the world. “We want to make it with you as partners,” said Naylor to the audience.


“Deadbeat,” a supernatural comedy, stars Tyler Labine (“Reaper”) as a hapless medium who will do anything to finish New York City ghosts’ unfinished business. “Deadbeat” also stars Brandon T. Jackson (“Tropic Thunder”), Cat Deeley (“So You Think You Can Dance”), and Lucy DeVito (“Melissa & Joey”).

CREDITS: Co-produced by Hulu and Lionsgate Television, “Deadbeat” is directed and executive produced by Troy Miller (“Arrested Development,” “Flight of the Conchords”) through Dakota Pictures, co-created by Cody Heller & Brett Konner (“Wilfred”), and produced by Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Sarah Esberg at Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment.

LAUNCH: April 9, 2014

Moone Boy (Season 2)

Moone Boy is a warm family comedy series about a young boy growing up in a chaotic and creative household in late 1980s Ireland. A semi-autobiographical series written by and starring Chris O’Dowd (“Bridesmaids,” “Girls”)  as the imaginary friend of 11-year-old Martin, the youngest child in the large, loud Moone family. Moone Boy is made available to Hulu and Hulu Plus from BBC Worldwide Americas. Six (6) episodes.

CREDITS: A Sprout Pictures, Baby Cow, Hot Cod Productions and Grand Pictures production. Created by Chris O’Dowd, written by Chris O’Dowd and Nick Vincent Murphy, directed by Declan Lowney, produced by Ted Dowd, executive produced by Henry Normal, Gina Carter, Paul Donovan, Chris O’Dowd

LAUNCH: Season 2, April 24, 2014

The Next Step

Dance like everybody’s watching. This reality-style teen drama follows the lives of a group of dancers at The Next Step Dance Studio as they attempt to win the regional dance championships. The tightly knit team of dancers train, rehearse and hang out together within a well-established social order led by star dancer Emily and the E-Girls, a band of dancers who are used to running the studio. A new girl joins the team, challenging alliances and social balance of the studio as the regional championships quickly approach.

CREDITS: A Temple Street (“Orphan Black”) production, “The Next Step” is made available to Hulu and Hulu Plus by BBC Worldwide North America. Created and Executive Produced by Frank Van Keeken.

LAUNCH: Season 1, May 28, 2014

Hotwives of Orlando

“Hotwives of Orlando” is a comedy series that pays homage to the “Real Housewives” franchise that people love to hate but secretly love. “Hotwives” takes us deep into the 97th most glamorous city in the world, Orlando, and the ladies who live there. Watch as these drunk, horny, rich, horrible, women fight, gossip, cheat, backstab and weave-pull their way into your hearts. 7 episodes.

CREDITS: A Paramount production. Executive produced by Jon Stern and Paul Scheer. Directed by Alex Fernie. Written by Danielle Schneider and Dannah Phirman. Starring Casey Wilson, Angela Kinsey, Kristen Schaal, Tymberlee Hill, Danielle Schneider and Andrea Savage.

LAUNCH: Season 1, July 15, 2014

The Awesomes (Season 2)

“The Awesomes” is an animated show for adults that combines the thrills of comic book storytelling with the irreverent and inspired comedy that is the hallmark of show co-creators Seth Meyers (“SNL”) and Michael Shoemaker (“Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”). It is the story about the greatest superhero team in history, The Awesomes, and what happens after all the most powerful members leave. The team is led by the possibly under-qualified Professor Doctor Awesome, voiced by Meyers, who is determined to bring these funny-if-flawed superheroes to glory. Meyers and Shoemaker called upon their many friends in the comedy world to voice the characters, including some of “SaturdayNight Live’s” most celebrated cast and alumni Kenan Thompson, Bill Hader, and Taran Killam. This first animated Hulu Original Series is executive produced by Meyers, Shoemaker, and Broadway Video. Ten (10) episodes.

CREDITS: A Broadway Video production in association with Hulu. Created by Seth Meyers and Michael Shoemaker, written by Seth Meyers, Michael Shoemaker, Judd Winick and Josh Weinstein, produced by Broadway Video, executive produced by Seth Meyers, Michael Shoemaker

LAUNCH: Season 2, August 4, 2014

Quick Draw (Season 2)

“Quick Draw” is a comedy western set in 1875 centering on Sheriff John Henry Hoyle (John Lehr), a Harvard graduate, who brings the latest criminology and forensics techniques to the wild west town of Great Bend, Kansas. Season two of the procedural western comedy starts off with a bang, literally, promising more laughs, romance and gun-slinging action. Deputy Eli (Nick Brown), saloon owner Honey Shaw (Allison Dunbar), outlaw Pearl Starr (Alexia Dox) and undertaker Vernon Shaw (Robert Clendenin) return.  The series is co-created and executive produced by Nancy Hower and John Lehr (“10 Items or Less,” “Jailbait”) and co-executive produced by Keith Raskin (“Key & Peele,” “The League”). 10 episodes.

CREDITS: Created and written by Nancy Hower and John Lehr, directed by Nancy Hower, executive produced by Nancy Hower, John Lehr, Keith Raskin

LAUNCH: Season 2, August 7, 2014

Behind the Mask (Season 2)

“Behind the Mask” takes viewers on a behind-the-scenes adventure into the colorful and never-before-seen world of sports mascots. Through the eyes of four dedicated performers at the high school, college, minor league and NBA pro levels, “Behind the Mask” takes an authentic look at the sports world’s most unsung heroes. Funny, entertaining, and at times poignant, this show tells the moving stories of these real-life Clark Kents, capturing their highs and lows, both inside and outside the suit. “Behind the Mask” is created by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Josh Greenbaum and produced by Occupant Entertainment (“Better Living Through Chemistry,” “The Wackness”). Ten (10) episodes.

CREDITS: An Occupant Entertainment production in association with Hulu. Created and directed by Josh Greenbaum, produced by Felipe Marino, Joe Neurauter, Richard Naing, Kate Sharp

LAUNCH: Season 2, Fall/Winter 2014

East Los High (Season 2)

Welcome back to “East Los High”! The Hulu Original Series returns hotter than ever as romance, sex, dance and mystery fill the East Los High hallways with a new cast of students. Ceci returns to coach the Bomb Squad and struggles to take the unruly dance team to state championships. And get ready as this new class at East Los High finds themselves in unexpected love triangles and true-to-life situations, a scandalous turns of events makes it another breathtaking and suspenseful year at this inner-city high school! 12 episodes.

CREDITS: Produced by Population Media Center in association with Prajna Productions, Into Action Films, and The Alchemists.

LAUNCH: Season 2, July 9, 2014


On April 25, Hulu debuted its first original series for Hulu Kids, “Doozers,” an animated preschool series inspired by the wildly popular Henson characters from “Fraggle Rock,” encouraging children to design, create and innovate. “Doozers” is available exclusively on Hulu Kids, Hulu’s hub just for kids featuring current-season hits and past favorites such as “Fraggle Rock,” “Pokemon,” “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Thomas and Friends,” “Caillou” and more at http://www.hulu.com/kids.

CREDITS: “Doozers” comes to Hulu Kids exclusively from The Jim Henson Company (“Dinosaur Train” and “Sid the Science Kid”) and DHX Media (“Yo Gabba Gabba” and “Johnny Test!”)

LAUNCH: April 25, 2014


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