FX and Hulu Try to Win Super Bowl With Colossal Shōgun Ad

The companies are betting big on the upcoming series

No offense to the Kansas City Chiefs, the San Fransisco 49ers and even Taylor Swift—but FX and Hulu are trying to win the Super Bowl all by themselves.

On Sunday, the companies bet big on the upcoming series Shōgun by rolling out a 30-second second quarter Big Game ad for the show ahead of its Feb. 27 premiere.

The series has been in the works for years and is already the most expensive in FX history, so what’s another $7 million-ish for an ad?

See the Shōgun Big Game spot below:

FX

The ad, which teases scheming, deceit and plenty of battles, directs viewers to see the extended Shōgun trailer, which FX released ahead of the game. Additionally, FX has released “The World of Shōgun,” a five-minute immersive video introducing fans to the history behind the show.

A colossal adaptation of James Clavell’s bestselling novel, the series is set in Japan in the year 1600, as warlords plot and plan to take the title of Shōgun. However, the arrival of a mysterious European ship and its English pilot (Cosmo Jarvis) could help tip the scales for Lord Yoshii Toranaga, played by producer Hiroyuki Sanada.

The series is largely seen as Disney’s attempt at the next Game of Thrones, so it makes sense that FX is pulling out all the stops. In addition to the Super Bowl ad, trailers, teasers and promos, Shōgun also brought 100 actors dressed as Samurai warriors to Disney’s 2023 upfront, with sword fighting happening throughout the crowd before Disney shared an early look at footage.

TV has finally peaked

At the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour on Friday, FX chairman John Landgraf revealed the time of studios cranking out series is coming to an end, with 2023 dropping to 516 scripted shows, down 14% from the 600 that premiered in 2022. Instead, it’s time for Hollywood to focus on quality over quantity, and that’s exactly what the company is going for with the new series.

The show was created by Rachel Kondo and Justin Marks, with Marks serving as showrunner and executive producer alongside Michaela Clavell, Edward L. McDonnell, Michael De Luca and Kondo. 

A 10-episode limited series (for now), Shōgun will premiere on Hulu in the U.S., Star+ in Latin America and Disney+ in all other territories.

For the latest Super Bowl 58 advertising news—who’s in, who’s out, teasers, full ads and more—check out ADWEEK’s Super Bowl 2024 Ad Tracker and the rest of our stories here. And join us on the evening of Feb. 11 for the best in-game coverage of the commercials.

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