Hulu, the web video site that delivers quality network and cable television shows to web viewers, has announced their slate of new programming called the “Summer Series”. This is the dawn of a new era similar to the dawn of cable networks. Instead of just replaying the network programs, web video providers will now be creating their own series, and if they get even just one hit, users will have a whole new source of programming, thereby cleaving the market.
Hulu, while branded like YouTube and designed like an independent site, is actually owned by NBCUniversal (Comcast/General Electric), Fox Entertainment Group (News Corp) and Disney-ABC Television Group (The Walt Disney Company). Those three networks, 3 out of the big 4 (CBS isn’t included), deliver most of the quality content to Hulu at this point. That will change now that Hulu has created their own summer lineup which has some big names attached and covers a variety of genres from comedy to science fiction.
Some notable series include:
“Spoilers”, a half hour movie review show hosted by Kevin Smith (writer/director of Clerks). This one launches on June 4th. Kevin mentions that the show will be focused on enjoying film: “As a filmmaker and lover of movies, I understand that ultimately it’s the fans who make the film. So in this show, we do not review movies, we revere them.”
Filmmaker Richard Linklater, a personal favorite, will helm a travel series called “Up To Speed”. Hulu will also be premiering “We Got Next”, a male co-comedy.
I feel that these are smart programming choices. A unique spin on a travel series could pick up steam, a web celebrity hosting a joyous movie celebration show and a male comedy. We’ll keep an eye on the progress of the various shows.