Hulu Expands Its Streaming Deal With Fox to Include Huge Libraries of Classic Shows Like M*A*S*H

Nearly 3,000 episodes will be added to Hulu's offerings

Fan favorite comedies and dramas from 20th Century Fox will be added to Hulu's library. Sources: Hulu, Fox, CBS
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Hulu subscribers will now have access to some of television’s longest running and most watched series.

As announced today, the streaming platform and live TV service has expanded its deal with 20th Century Fox Television Distribution to add nearly 3,000 episodes from both classic and modern series.

Long-running shows like How I Met Your Mother, Burn Notice, Bones and Glee will soon be available, as well as shows like M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and St. Elsewhere, plus many more.

This announcement comes amid other streaming rights conversations with Fox, like the decision to include more of the company’s animated series, such as Bob’s Burgers and Futurama, on the streaming platform.

The combination of cult hits like Dollhouse and Wilfred next to the libraries of The Bob Newhart Show and Hill Street Blues is a winning strategy that Hulu, and other SVOD services, have been playing with over the last couple of years. Viewers are just as interested in libraries of older shows as they are for weekly updates of current shows.

The acquisition team scoured social media to see which shows have been hard to find for fans, which resulted in its decision to add The Golden Girls to its streaming supply earlier this year. Netflix, too, has added fan favorites like Friends and Gilmore Girls to its collection in recent years, capitalizing on new audiences and returning fans.

“At Hulu, we’re able to help series evolve with the changing television landscape. We understand that a fan-favorite series has great potential to flourish beyond its initial linear and broadcast run,” said Craig Erwich, svp and head of content for Hulu, at the time of The Golden Girls announcement.

That show ended up exceeding executives’ expectations with new audiences.

“Our team did a great job of really sussing out online, looking at social media, and we realized there was this groundswell of love for that show,” Hulu’s CEO, Mike Hopkins, told Adweek earlier this year. “You really couldn’t get it [online] anywhere else. And so, when the opportunity came up to license it, we pounced on it. It’s exciting.”

With the expansion of more Fox titles into deeper libraries (M*A*S*H alone has 11 seasons), Hulu is clearly hoping new and returning fans of those shows will keep coming back for more.

@samimain Sami Main is social editor for Adweek, where she posts Adweek content onto social platforms and looks for creative ways to communicate what's new.