Hulu packed the newly named Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden this morning during the company’s Upfront Presentation. The video-streaming platform outlined new series from Mindy Kaling and new horror projects from Jason Blum, as well as confirmed renewals for fan-favorites.
According to Hulu, it was another year of fantastic growth for the company. Hulu has now surpassed 20M U.S. subscribers and has grown total engagement on the platform by more than 60%. In addition, Hulu revealed that 78% of viewing on the service takes place in the living room, on connected TVs.
“Hulu is the complete TV experience for consumers, offering both live and on-demand programming and more consumer choice than ever before,” said Freer. “We are the only place that delivers award-winning content, ad loads less than half that of traditional television, with ads that are always viewable and always in a brand-safe environment — and we are leading the TV and advertising industries into the future.”
A for new shows, Hulu has given a new series orders for “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” and “Ramy,” which join upcoming Hulu Originals “Castle Rock,” Hulu’s second project from J.J. Abrams and Stephen King; and “Catch-22,” from George Clooney and starring Kyle Chandler. Also coming to Hulu is “The First,” from Beau Willimon and starring Sean Penn; and “Little Fires Everywhere,” from Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, based on the acclaimed novel of the same name.
“Four Weddings and a Funeral” will be a limited series written and executive produced by Mindy Kaling and Matt Warburton. The series was inspired by the 1994 British romantic-comedy. The show will follow a group of friends as their lives intersect through five events. Kaling and Warburton – who teamed up together for The Mindy Project – will executive produce alongside Jonathan Prince, Howard Klein (3 Arts), Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner (Working Title).
Hulu also confirmed a series order for “Ramy,” a new comedy series based on the real-life experiences and comedy of Ramy Youssef. The series takes viewers into the world of Ramy, a first generation American Muslim who is on a spiritual journey in his politically-divided New Jersey neighborhood. Ramy will bring a new perspective to the screen as it explores the challenges of what it’s like being caught in between an Egyptian community that thinks life is moral a test, and a millennial generation that thinks life has no consequences.
Ramy is written, executive produced, created by and starring Ramy Youssef, and executive produced by Jerrod Carmichael, co-creators Ari Katcher and Ryan Welch as well as A24’s Ravi Nandan. The series marks the first original series order for Hulu from A24, an award winning New York-based media company focused on the distribution, financing, development and production of television and feature film projects.
There is also a new series in partnership with Blumhouse Television called “Into The Dark“. The new horror-event series will include 12 standalone episodes, with a new installment released on the first Friday of every month throughout the year. Each episode is inspired by a holiday from the month of it release, but all will feature Blumhouse’s signature genre/thriller spin on the story. Blumhouse Television will be working with a broad section of filmmakers, creators and actors to bring the unique series to Hulu audiences.
The first story, “The Body,” premieres on Friday, October 5th. Set in the selfie culture of Los Angeles on Halloween night, The Body follows a sophisticated, overconfident hitman who always carries out his work in style. He decides to take things even further one day by transporting his latest victim in plain sight, correctly assuming that self-absorbed LA partiers will simply be enamored with his elaborate “costume.” Eventually, as his window of opportunity to dispose of the body begins to close, Wilkes’ true colors reveal themselves to some groupies that have latched on to him. It becomes a battle of will and wits.
Based on a short film of the same name, “The Body” will be directed by Paul Davis and will star Tom Bateman (Murder on the Orient Express, Vanity Fair) as Wilkes, the suave, professional hitman, and Rebecca Rittenhouse (The Mindy Project, Blood & Oil) as Maggie, a feisty, whip-smart, woman who becomes captivated by Wilkes the more she learns of his real profession. Aurora Perrineau (Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare) plays Dorothy, who uses her cynicism and resourcefulness to try to outwit Wilkes. She is joined by David Hull (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Insecure) as Allan, and Ray Santiago (Ash vs Evil Dead, Meet the Fockers, In Time) as Jack — both are Hollywood and Internet wannabes whose cluelessness complicates the evening time and again. The script was co-written by Paul Fisher, who will also serve as a producer on the project, and Davis. Alexa Faigen (Safe House, Love Happens) is executive producing for Blumhouse.
“Into the Dark’s” second installment, to be released on Friday, November 2, will be “Flesh & Blood,” directed by Patrick Lussier (My Bloody Valentine, Dracula 2000). Dermot Mulroney (August: Osage County, Shameless, The Wedding Date) stars as Henry, a doting father trying to help his daughter, Kimberly, a teenager suffering from agoraphobia, who has not left the house since her mother’s still-unsolved murder. Kimberly is played by newcomer Dana Silver, and Tembi Locke (Dumb and Dumber To, Eureka) plays her therapist. Set on the eve of Thanksgiving a year after her mother’s death, Kimberly begins to suspect that she is in danger in the home, but she can’t leave and doesn’t know who she can trust.
Hulu also took the opportunity to confirm that the platform has renewed the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning series “The Handmaid’s Tale” for a third season. Since its premiere in April 2017, The Handmaid’s Tale has gone on to become the first series ever on a streaming video on-demand service to take both the Golden Globe and Emmy Award for Best Drama Series. The Handmaid’s Tale is an eight-time Emmy Award-winning drama series and has garnered more than 30 prestigious awards to date, including a 2018 Peabody Award.
Based on the award-winning, best-selling novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale became the most-viewed series debut on Hulu ever in its first week and has drawn acclaim from both fans and critics since its series premiere. Starring Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Alexis Bledel, Madeline Brewer, Ann Dowd, O-T Fagbenle, Max Minghella, Samira Wiley, and Amanda Brugel, the series is created for television by Bruce Miller, who serves as the series’ showrunner. The Handmaid’s Tale is executive produced by Miller, Warren Littlefield, Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears, Ilene Chaiken and Elisabeth Moss. Margaret Atwood serves as a co-executive producer for season three of the series.
Under a new agreement with Sony Pictures Television, Hulu is now the exclusive SVOD streaming home to ABC’s hit drama series “The Good Doctor“. The complete first season of the series is now available on Hulu, and future episodes will become available the day after their original broadcast on ABC. Following last year’s acquisition of NBC’s “This Is Us,” this marks the second consecutive year Hulu has secured exclusive SVOD rights to broadcast’s #1 new drama.
“The Good Doctor,” which just wrapped up its first season, was recently renewed for a second season following a breakout premiere. The series stars Freddie Highmore, Antonia Thomas, Nicholas Gonzalez, Chuku Modu, Beau Garrett, Hill Harper, Richard Schiff and Tamlyn Tomita. The series is from Sony Pictures Television and ABC Studios. David Shore is writer and executive producer. Daniel Dae Kim, David Kim, Seth Gordon and Sebastian Lee are also executive producers.
The company also announced its first-ever multi-year deal with DreamWorks Animation, making Hulu the exclusive streaming home to future slates of DreamWorks Animation feature films, as well as iconic DreamWorks library films. In addition, Hulu will work with DreamWorks Animation Television to develop original kids & family series for exclusive streaming based on the company’s popular franchises and upcoming feature films. This marks the first time Hulu has partnered with a major studio in a multi-series commitment to debut original kids & family content.
Through the deal, Hulu will become the exclusive U.S. streaming home to future theatrical releases from the studio beginning in 2019, including upcoming franchise films “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” “The Boss Baby 2” and “Trolls 2,” in the pay one window. It will also expand Hulu’s film offering in the coming years with a catalog of popular library films from the studio including “Shrek,” “Shrek 2” and “Shark Tale,” the first time DreamWorks Animation titles will become available to stream on Hulu.