Hulu announces Marvel’s Runaways, Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 & more!
Today at the Hulu Upfront Presentation at Madison Square Garden Theater, the company announced a multitude of innovative advertising tools, original series orders and content licensing agreements, and reported significant audience growth to 47 million total unique viewers. Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins, SVP of Advertising Sales Peter Naylor and SVP and Head of Content Craig Erwich took the stage to unveil the company’s newest advances in technology, content and advertising, alongside Hulu Original Series like Marvel’s Runaways, with talent including J.J. Abrams, Elisabeth Moss, Samira Wiley, Alexis Bledel, Sarah Silverman, Mindy Kaling, Jeff Daniels and Josh Hutcherson.
“As we expand our business to offer live TV, we’re also more than doubling our investment in original programming and exclusively licensed content to continue growing our premium streaming library,” said Hopkins. “Coupled with all of the new product and measurement solutions we’re offering advertisers, Hulu is delivering the most compelling, engaging and valuable TV experience to consumers and brands alike.”
Hulu’s 2017 Upfront announcements include:
Hulu Original Series The Handmaid’s Tale Renewed for Season 2
On the heels of its extraordinary week one premiere, Hulu is pleased to announce that it has picked up The Handmaid’s Tale for a second season, set to debut in 2018.
Based on the award-winning, best-selling novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale premiere has been watched by more Hulu viewers than any other series premiere – original or acquired – on the service, drawing acclaim from both fans and critics.
“The response we’ve seen to ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ in just one week since its premiere has been absolutely incredible. It has been an honor to work with this talented team of cast and creators to develop a series that has struck such a chord with audiences across the country,” said Erwich. “As we continue to expand our strong slate of original programming, The Handmaid’s Tale is exactly the type of gripping and thought-provoking storytelling we want to bring to viewers. We can’t wait to explore the world of Gilead and continue Margaret’s vision with another season on Hulu.”
The Handmaid’s Tale follows the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly part of the United States. The series is created, executive produced and written for television by Bruce Miller (The 100), who serves as the series’ showrunner. The Handmaid’s Tale is executive produced by Miller, Warren Littlefield (Fargo), Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears and Ilene Chaiken. Margaret Atwood is a consulting producer for the series. The Handmaid’s Tale is produced by MGM Television and marks the first collaboration for an original series between Hulu and MGM.
Gripping Drama Series The First and Marvel’s Runaways Ordered to Series
Today, Hulu announced the addition of two new series to its slate of original programming.
The streaming service has picked up Marvel’s Runaways in its first series order with Marvel Television. The fan-favorite and groundbreaking comic book series will be brought to life on Hulu by the team behind The O.C. and Gossip Girl, Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. Schwartz and Savage will serve as Co-Showrunners/writers and will executive produce the series along with Marvel’s Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory.
Marvel’s Runaways is the story of six diverse teenagers who can barely stand each other but who must unite against a common foe – their parents. The popular classic explores the younger side of the Marvel Universe in a coming of age, new action series that will premiere on Hulu in the winter.
In addition, Hulu announced a straight-to-series order for The First (working title), a drama set in the near future about the first human mission to Mars. The series is created and written by Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe, and BAFTA Award-nominated Beau Willimon (House of Cards, Ides of March), who also serves as executive producer alongside his producing partner Jordan Tappis.
The First explores the challenges of taking the first steps toward interplanetary colonization. “It’s a story about the human spirit,” said Willimon. “About our indomitable need to reach for unknown horizons. About people working toward the greatest pioneering achievement in human history. And about the cost of that vision, the danger and sacrifice – emotional, psychological, and physical – that’s required to achieve it. How ordinary, imperfect people band together and overcome a myriad of obstacles to grasp the extraordinary.”
The series will go into production later this year and is slated to premiere on Hulu in 2018. Westward Productions – founded by Willimon and Tappis – will own and produce The First. The series will be co-financed by Hulu, Channel 4 and IMG.
The First and Runaways join Hulu’s growing original programming slate, which includes The Handmaid’s Tale, The Looming Tower, Future Man, The Mindy Project, I Live You, America, National Treasue, Casual, The Path, Difficult People, Shut Eye and Chance.
Award Winning FX Series Atlanta to Stream Exclusively On Hulu
Today, Hulu also announced that it will be the exclusive subscription streaming home to FX’s award-winning, breakout freshman comedy series, Atlanta.
Following its critically-acclaimed first season on FX, Atlanta took home two 2017 Golden Globe Awards for Best TV Comedy series and Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy for star Donald Glover. The complete first season of the series will become available to stream exclusively on Hulu ahead of its second season premiere, slated for 2018 on FX, and subsequent seasons will become available to stream on Hulu following their run on FX.
Atlanta follows two cousins who work through the Atlanta music scene in order to better their lives and the lives of their families. The series stars Donald Glover, who also serves as Executive Producer, along with Paul Simms and Dianne McGunigle. Atlanta is produced by FX Productions.
The series comes to Hulu through a robust, multi-year output agreement with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution that was first announced in December 2014. The landmark agreement granted Hulu the exclusive subscription video on-demand rights to FX Networks’ Original Series produced by FX Productions. In addition to Atlanta, the deal locked in the subscription video on-demand rights to popular series including You’re The Worst, Baskets and more.
Alec Baldwin Cast as a Guest Star in Hulu’s Original New Drama Series The Looming Tower
Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Alec Baldwin has been cast to guest star in Hulu’s The Looming Tower as George Tenet, the Director of Central Intelligence for the CIA. He is Richard Clarke’s (Michael Stuhlbarg) partner in fighting al-Qaeda, though he may know more than he is letting on. Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-Winning 9/11 expose will be adapted for television in a new drama series from Legendary Television.
The Looming Tower will be adapted for Hulu as a 10-episode, hour-long drama series from Academy Award-nominated Writer Dan Futterman (Foxcatcher, Capote) and Academy Award and Emmy Award winning Director Alex Gibney (Going Clear: Scientology and The Prison of Belief, Taxi to the Dark Side, and We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks). Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning exposé by Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower traces the rising threat of Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, and takes a controversial look at how the rivalry between the CIA and FBI may have inadvertently set the stage for the tragedy of 9/11 and the war in Iraq.
Futterman, Gibney and Wright will serve as executive producers. The Looming Tower is a Legendary Television production for Hulu in the U.S. Legendary Television Distribution will distribute the series worldwide.
The cast of The Looming Tower includes Jeff Daniels (John O’Neill), Tahar Rahim (Ali Soufan), Peter Sarsgaard (Martin Schmidt), Michael Stuhlbarg (Richard Clarke), Bill Camp (Robert Chesney), Virginia Kull (Kathy Shaughnessy), Louis Cancelmi (Vince Stuart), Ella Rae Peck (Heather), Sullivan Jones (Floyd Bennet) and Wrenn Schmidt (Diane Priest). Principal photography began today in New York.
Hulu Launches New Live TV Streaming Service
This morning, during its annual Upfront presentation, Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins announced the launch of the company’s brand new live TV streaming beta service, along with its groundbreaking new user experience, to the public. Beginning today, viewers who subscribe to the Hulu with Live TV (Beta) plan can enjoy live and on demand programming from more than 50 popular sports, news, entertainment and kids’ channels — plus Hulu’s deep existing premium streaming library — all for $39.99 per month, with no setup costs or hidden fees. This includes 50 hours of recording storage, up to six individual profiles and two simultaneous streams per account, with options to upgrade to an enhanced Cloud DVR and unlimited in-home screens.
The company also announced a new affiliate agreement with lifestyle media leader Scripps Networks Interactive to bring its popular networks, including HGTV, Travel Channel and Food Network, to both Hulu’s new live service and existing premium streaming offering.
“Nearly a decade ago, Hulu forever redefined the way people watch TV. Today, as we add live sports, news and entertainment and introduce a more intuitive Hulu, we want to redefine the way people experience TV,” said Hopkins. “By bringing together thousands of live, on-demand and library shows and movies — and serving them up in a uniquely personalized way – Hulu can now be a viewer’s primary source of television. It’s a natural extension of our business, and an exciting new chapter for Hulu.”
“We have always believed that TV should fit your lifestyle, not the other way around,” said Ben Smith, Hulu’s SVP and Head of Experience. “You shouldn’t have to think about whether something is live, recorded or on demand, or care about which device you’re using. TV is about connecting with the shows, movies and sports you love – and we want to make that really easy for you, no matter where you’re watching.”
Live and On Demand Channels, Originals and Library TV — All in One Place
With today’s launch, Hulu becomes the only pay-TV service to offer live and on demand channels, original series and films, and a library of premium streaming TV shows and movies, all in one place. This includes content from the four major broadcast networks, ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, with local live broadcast affiliate programming immediately available in many markets, with more to follow; the biggest live sporting events from top pro and college leagues on channels including CBS Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports and TNT, as well as regional sports networks available in many markets; top news channels CNN, CNBC, Fox News, Fox Business and MSNBC; popular lifestyle programming from Bravo, E!, Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel; and fan favorites like A&E, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Disney Channel, Freeform, FX, HISTORY, Lifetime, National Geographic, TBS, USA Network, Viceland and more.
In addition, the $39.99 per month base package includes Hulu’s existing $7.99 premium streaming offering with limited commercials, which offers more than 3500 TV and film titles — and now includes full seasons of Scripps Networks series — as well as acclaimed Hulu Originals such as The Path, The Mindy Project, Golden Globe-nominated comedy Casual, and 2017’s most talked-about new series, The Handmaid’s Tale. Viewers who wish to watch their Hulu Originals, movies, and library content without advertising can subscribe to the company’s on-demand No Commercials plan for an additional $4.00 per month.
TV That Gets You
Hulu now features an easy-to-use, intuitive interface that seamlessly blends together live, recorded and on-demand content. From creating a personal profile to picking favorite TV shows, news channels and movies, Hulu makes it easy for viewers to watch what they love and enjoy the same personalized experience whether they’re at home on the couch or catching up on the go. The more a viewer watches, the more tailored the service gets, adjusting its recommendations based not only on the content they consume, but also time of day and which device they’re using.
For sports lovers, it is especially easy and convenient to customize the Hulu experience. Subscribers to the Hulu with Live TV (Beta) plan can follow their favorite major pro and college teams from leagues including the NFL, NBA, NCAA, MLB, MLS and NHL — and Hulu will surface and record those games live, subject to availability. There is no longer any need to know what channel the game is on.
Hulu also offers a “Kids Mode” for families with children. Setting up a profile in Kids Mode allows young viewers to enjoy Hulu’s full array of kid-friendly programming, without the ability to search or browse the rest of the Hulu catalogue.
All subscribers to the Hulu with Live TV (Beta) plan will automatically get to experience Hulu’s new interface. For Hulu subscribers who do not opt for live TV, the new interface is currently available on Xbox One, Apple TV (4th Gen.) and Android mobile devices.
Premium and Feature Add-Ons
Hulu viewers who choose the Hulu with Live TV (Beta) Plan can further enhance their Hulu experience by choosing premium content or feature add-ons that best fit their lifestyle:
Enhanced Cloud DVR ($14.99/month): Subscribers can upgrade to 200 hours of recording storage and more powerful cloud DVR capabilities, allowing them to record as many shows as they want to at the same time and watch from anywhere — no clunky boxes needed. With the Enhanced Cloud DVR, Hulu will record new episodes of any show or games of any team that viewers have designated as a favorite, and they will be able to fast forward through recorded ads.
Unlimited Screens ($14.99/month): Hulu’s Unlimited Screens add-on gives viewers as many simultaneous streams as they want in the home, and three outside the home, so the entire household can enjoy Hulu at any time.
Enhanced Cloud DVR + Unlimited Screens ($19.99/month): Viewers can bundle both product add-ons together and save $10.00.
SHOWTIME ($8.99/month): Fans of SHOWTIME can add the channel, giving them unlimited, on-demand access to all of SHOWTIME’s award-winning original series, box office hits, documentaries and specials.