Following in the steps of competitor Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), Hulu is launching its own original scripted program based in the world of politics. The content service said it would debut the political comedy--Battleground--next month, during the Republican primary. The show is described as cutting edge and purports to take an insider's look at a Democratic candidate's run for a Wisconsin Senate seat.
Click here to watch the trailer for Battleground.
"We've long asked the question, how come the creativity and vibrancy that exists in the indie film world doesn't exist in TV?" Andy Forssell, Hulu's senior vice president of content, said. Hulu execs determined it was mostly due to broadcasting's need to develop immediate successes, something Hulu doesn't have to do with its own programming. "For us, we don't need a show to take off in the first, second or third episode."
The show is scheduled for 13 episodes; it originally was a Fox property, but the network ended up deciding to not produce the show. Fox is Owned by News Corp., one of three owners of Hulu, along with Disney and Comcast-owned NBCUniversal.
"We think the show has the potential to be something that people say: 'This is one of the best things I've seen in the last couple of weeks,' " said Forssell.
Netflix also is targeting politics with House of Cards, a remake of a British political thriller of the same name that Netflix announced plans to produce last year. Netflix on Feb. 6 also will release all eight episodes of its dramedy Lilyhammer.
For its part, Hulu already has some experience with original content, investing in A Day in the Life, Morgan Spurlock's documentary series. The second season of that is set to be shown soon, along with a third project from Hulu, Up to Speed, which looks at "Historic nooks ansd crannies of notable distinction." All three programs will be available on the free and premium Hulu sites.
- see this LA Times article
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