updated 07:45 pm EDT, Thu April 19, 2012
Hulu steps up original video content
Hulu used its turn at upfronts for TV content to reveal that it was adding four original shows beyond those teased earlier in the year. The strategy would be headlined by The Awesomes, a superhero comedy show due in 2013 that would draw on Saturday Night Live actors Seth Meyers and Michael Shoemaker. A nearer-term committed show, the 2012 basketball series We Got Next, would have The Game's Hale Rothstein and Kenya Barris along with The Office's Danny Leiner.
Two other shows without defined posting windows were coming. Don't Quit Your Daydream will have a "cast of famous musicians" looking for collaborators on a song and is based on a documentary by Adrian Grenier and John Loar. Flow will be a sci-fi fighting drama that will include parkour expert David Belle and show creator Michael Wendschuh.
The four are a significant expansion of Hulu's original plans and show it hoping to reduce its dependency on major broadcasters than it had hinted in the past. While ABC/Disney, Fox, and NBCUniversal all have a stake in Hulu, it hasn't stopped them from periodically withholding content. Fox recently instituted a mandatory delay for all but those who qualify for a specific sign-in option.
Hulu might spend as much as $500 million in getting content in the hopes of appealing to video producers that don't like tight studio controls. However, it added that it made $420 million in ad and subscription revenue just last year, and is hedging that both continued growth with existing content and original shows would help it turn a profit. [via The Hollywood Reporter]