Newfronts: Hulu’s Star-studded Original Line-up Lacks Luster

/ Apr 30, 2013


Hulu’s presentation – jam packed with a star-studded cast of speakers and performers, tasty hors d’oeuvres and green alcoholic beverages all under the  intricate domed ceiling of the gorgeous Gotham Hall – was more impressive than the slate of original content the video platform previewed today.

Celebrities fronting for Hulu Upfront (not “Newfront”) included Seth Meyers who acted as an official MC between Hulu executives speeches, video montages, content presentations and various performing acts including Chelsea Hightower from Dancing with the Stars and the indie band Grouplove. All the acts functioned as a prop for Hulu’s premium content slate and ended up outshining the offerings.

Hulu’s original programming for the coming summer and fall is comedy heavy with a few outliers like the 10-part documentary series about the lives of four sports mascots titled “Behind the Mask,” Eva Longoria’s animated show about inept parenthood titled “Mother Up!,” and “Quickdraw,” a western comedy about an awkward sheriff from Harvard working in a Kansas town in 1875.

Another animated show Hulu will be premiering this fall is  “The Awesomes,” a comedy about misfit superheroes. It  looks entertaining enough – it’s co-creators are Seth Meyers (from “SNL”) and Michael Shoemaker (from “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”) – but it doesn’t come across as a bona fide hit.  The Wrong Mans, an action-packed comedy about two average (but British) Joes who get caught up in a conspiracy, looks like the only clear winner.

More noteworthy is Hulu’s exclusive library of the daytime soaps “All my Children” and “One Life to Live,” second seasons for their imports (like the British “Pramface” and “The Only Way Is Essex,” and the Israeli series “Prisoners of War”) and the WWE existing library of content.

“The Awesomes” were actually announced at last year’s newfronts,  but the show never aired. Will it actually air this year? Deadline is reporting that Hulu has greenlight a new game show series with actor/comedian Jay Mohr called “Money Where your Mouth Is,” though a preview for that was not shown at the presentation.

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