Hulu is doubling down on originals, if its new hire is anything to go by: the over-the-top service has snagged Warner Horizon TV executive Craig Erwich just as his contract with Warners expires.
Erwich, evp of Warner Horizon TV, who has a very good reputation, sports a resume including such hits as ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars, NBC's The Voice and Fox's 24. That first line item is bound to be appealing to Huluers—Liars is consistently one of the most popular shows on TV among young women, who comprise much of Hulu's target demo.
With former Fox exec Mike Hopkins as CEO and ex-NBCer Peter Naylor running ad sales, this is the third high-level hire the company has made in a year, and all three have been longtime traditional TV execs with deep experience negotiating the minutiae of the broadcast world (which is important given how much of Hulu's most popular content comes from those networks). Erwich will be svp, head of content for Hulu; he has overseen development, content, and business operations for Warner Horizon for the last seven years.
The platform's two-pronged approach to original content is relatively unique both among traditional networks and in the world of digital video: make prestige-y, big-ticket investments with partners like the BBC, and then get deep sponsorships from advertisers like Chipotle.
"[Erwich] has impressed me and others who’ve met him with his collaborative approach, humility and tenacity to do what he believes," said Hopkins in a blog post this morning.
"My mom used to claim that I always used to watch way too much TV," Erwich was quoted as saying in the same post. "[W]ell, I guess my mom was right, because here I am, still watching way too much TV, and loving every minute of it.”