It may be a fraction of Netflix's size, but Hulu is no small fry when it comes to the online video business. At an advertising conference in New York, the company has revealed that it has won the exclusive streaming rights to Seinfeld. It's a big deal for the outfit, since Sony had reportedly offered the series to every online media company, including Netflix, but all had balked at a reported cost of between $700,000 and $1 million per episode. If those figures are close to being true, and Hulu is staying tight-lipped, then the site will have paid out anything between $130 and $180 million just for the show about nothing.
While AMC's hit shows, including Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, are closely associated with Netflix, that relationship is no more. That's because Hulu has spent big to tie the channel into a long-term exclusivity deal that'll see new shows coming to its service. For now, the only show that we know will be a part of the agreement is Fear the Walking Dead, but there'll be plenty more to add to the roster (IFC, BBC America, Sundance TV and WE tv are included also) in the near future.
Hulu made a few other key announcements as well, mentioning that it's grown to 9 million subscribers, and claiming viewers are watching at least 30 percent more content than they were last year. As far as its Cablevision deal, the company said it will be available "directly to Optimum subscribers in the New York area" but didn't provide any other details. It's also working on "custom integrated commercials" which are supposed to provide an integrated brand story tying Hulu and the advertiser together -- whatever that means Finally, it laid out a slate of upcoming original shows, which you can check out below. If you're not already a Hulu subscriber, you've got until June to change your mind, assuming you want to be all set up and ready the moment those Seinfeld episodes arrive.
Premiere date: 2016
Cast: James Franco, Daniel Webber, Sarah Gadon, Chris Cooper, Cherry Jones, George MacKay, Lucy Fry, Leon Rippy and Brooklyn Sudano
Crew: Executive Produced by J.J. Abrams, Stephen King, Bridget Carpenter and Bryan Burk
Synopsis: Nine-hour limited event series based upon the best-selling 2011 novel written by Stephen King. 11/22/63 is a thriller in which high school history teacher Jake Epping travels back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy - but his mission is threatened by Lee Harvey Oswald, his falling in love and the past itself ... which doesn't want to be changed.
Premiere date: Summer 2015
Cast: Julie Klausner, Billy Eichner, Andrea Martin, James Urbaniak, Gabourey Sidibe, Cole Escola
Crew: Executive Produced by Amy Poehler and Dave Becky. Created by Julie Klausner
Synopsis: Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner star as best friends living in New York City. Their typical, irreverent behavior lands them in some very awkward situations.
Premiere date: 2015
Cast: Tommy Dewey, Michaela Watkins
Crew: Executive Producer / Director Jason Reitman, Writer / Creator Zander Lehmann, Producer Helen Estabrook
Synopsis: Casual follows the story of a dysfunctional family with a bachelor brother and his newly divorced sister. Together, they coach each other through the crazy world of dating (on-line and off), while living under one roof again and raising a teenager.
Premiere date: Winter 2015
Crew: Executive Producer Jason Katims, Creator / Writer Jessica Goldberg, Producer Michelle Lee
Synopsis: The 10-episode drama series examines a family at the center of a controversial faith–based movement struggling with relationships, marriage and power. Each hour-long episode will take an in-depth look at what it means to choose between the life we live and the life we want.
RocketJump: The Show
Premiere date: Fall 2015
Cast: Freddie Wong and the RocketJump team
Crew: Created / Produced / Written by Freddie Wong and the RocketJump team
Synopsis: Each half-hour episode of the comedy series will chronicle the filmmaking behind RocketJump's newest short. The eight full episodes will be released on Hulu on a weekly basis and the newly-created shorts will premiere on Hulu.