Hulu announced a new slate of original and exclusive programming Monday morning, as the video site ventures further into creating its own content. For Hulu, it’s a way to begin controlling its own destiny and distinguishing itself from all the content produced by parents and part-owners Fox, NBC and Disney.
For its originals, Hulu is teaming up with Hollywood big shots like Kevin Smith and Richard Linklater. Smith will work on a show called Spoilers, which will invite movie fans to discuss all the biggest movies being released. Linklater’s Up To Speed is a travel show built around Speed Levitch (you might remember him from Linklater’s Waking Life, if you’re into that sort of thing) and his travels around the world. And We Got Next, a bro-mantic comedy set in a basketball gym? Ok, maybe I’m kind of interested.
That’s it for the originals… Hulu is also getting an exclusive set of series that were produced by others. Its summer exclusives include:
- Rev. – Follows the Rev. Adam Smallbone, who moved from a sleepy, rural parish to the busy, inner-city world of St. Saviour’s in East London.
- The Yard – A mockumentary miniseries that juxtaposes two rival cliques of elementary school children. Originally appeared on HBO Canada.
- Derren Brown: Inside Your Mind – Follows Derren Brown, a performer who uses psychology, magic, showmanship and suggestion to mess with people.
- The Booth at the End – All about an enigmatic character played by Xander Berkeley, who occupies the corner booth of a diner. Riveting.
- Pramface – Follows the lives of Jamie and Laura, two young, free and single teenagers who hook up at a party and end up getting Laura pregnant. Like Knocked Up for teenagers.
- The Promise – A four-part political thriller and love story that examines the origins of the Middle East conflict in events that took place under British rule sixty years ago.
- Little Mosque – A light-hearted, comedic fish-out-of-water tale about a small Muslim community that rents the parish hall of a small town church to use as a mosque.
The new original and exclusive programming will debut during the summer, a time when TV programming from the broadcast networks begins to slow down. That might be able to help Hulu, which tends to see a seasonal dip in viewership.
Of course, Hulu isn’t the only one signing up new original content and exclusive access to series online. Netflix also is making a big push for original content with series from the likes of David Fincher, horror master Eli Roth, Weeds creator Jenji Kohan, and the triumphant return of Arrested Development. YouTube is also spending more than $100 million on about 100 channels of new, original programming. Yahoo and AOL have also announced their own slates of original programming, hoping to cash in on growing interest for streaming video.