Thursday at Upfronts 2012, a two-week long event where media companies divulge their strategies to potential advertisers, Hulu announced four new Web-based programs to its original programming line-up.
Original television content made for the Web is a new market, with several technology powerhouses at the helm including Hulu, Yahoo and YouTube. All three companies hope to capture the elusive mainstream audience, but we’re inclined to place our bets on Hulu after the announcement of its new line-up of Web-based shows.
Hulu’s first initiative into original content programming began with its critically acclaimed League of Extraordinary Dancers, and the high-profile show The Confession, starring Kiefer Sutherland. The latter hinged on the former 24 front man’s celebrity, and garnered accolades, but the mainstream audience didn’t bite.
The latest four announced Hulu shows boast notable actors, including Danny Leiner, Seth Meyers of Saturday Night Live, and documentary filmmaker and Entourage star, Adrian Grenier.
The full list and description of the newly announced Hulu shows are as follows:
We Got Next (2012): Four unlikely friends butt heads on the pick-up basketball court and on the sidelines of everyday life. Starring: Kenya Barris (THE GAME, ARE WE THERE YET?, AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL), Hale Rothstein (THE GAME, EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS), Danny Leiner (THE OFFICE, MODERN FAMILY, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, FREAKS AND GEEKS, HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE, DUDE WHERE’S MY CAR?)
The Awesomes (2013): An unassuming superhero and his cohorts battle diabolical villains, the ever-present paparazzi, and a less-than-ideal reputation as second-class crime fighters. Starring: Seth Meyers (SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE), Michael Shoemaker (SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON) and animation studio Bento Box (BOB’S BURGERS, ALLEN GREGORY).
Don’t Quit Your Daydream: A cast of famous musicians travel across America in search of could-have-been musical artists to collaborate on a new song giving them a second-chance at stardom. Based on an award-winning documentary by Adrian Grenier and John Loar. Starring: Adrian Grenier; Produced by Virgin
Flow: When Ed Dante, a hard-working kid from the wrong side of the tracks is framed for a crime he didn’t commit, he begins an epic quest to deliver true justice. To achieve his goal, he must discover the mysteries of an ancient art, uncover hidden worlds and become a hero to a generation. Starring: Michael “Dooma” Wendschuh (show creator, co-founder and president of sekretagent studios: ASSASSIN’S CREED II (2009), ARMY OF TWO (2008), ASSASSIN’S CREED (2007); David Belle (Founder of Parkour); Produced by Agility Studios (producers of The LXD) and the Shine Group (WHO KNEW? IT’S EVERYBODY’S BUSINESS, APPETITE FOR LIFE)
This year, Hulu will be aggressively investing $500 million in licensing content and creating new original Web shows, made possible by a growing audience. The site served up 2.5 billion videos in February alone, or an astounding 1,000 videos per second.
Between original Netflix renewing shows like Lillyhammer, YouTube’s original content channels, and now Hulu, competition among Web-based services to offer original programming is just beginning to heat up.