Resurrected Development: Hulu saves The Mindy Project from cancellation (Update)

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It’s official, Hulu has picked up The Mindy Project following the show’s cancellation by Fox. The Hollywood Reporter reports that Hulu will host a massive fourth season of the show, comprised of 26 episodes, which will put the series past the magic number required for syndication as reruns. The launch date for the series at its new home has yet to be announced.

Rumors had pegged a possible fifth season of the show in the works in the deal with Hulu as well, but it appears the streaming platform will be content with the elongated single season for now, which is the highest single-season order in the platform’s history. THR reports that several other networks expressed interest in the show prior to Hulu’s acquisition, including TBS, which is undergoing a major evolution in content, as well as NBCUniversal’s Bravo network.

Like so many before it (Arrested Development, Community, Party Down, 30 Rock etc.), The Mindy Project was popular among a loyal group of devoted fans, but clearly didn’t bring in enough ratings for network brass to keep it in the Fall lineup. The move by Hulu is yet another indicator about the difference — and similarities — between online streaming video and traditional TV, as the line between the two continues to blur.

Related: Yahoo saves cult comedy Community from cancellation

While other streaming platforms have been a haven for shows that couldn’t quite hack it on traditional TV, Hulu makes good sense for Mindy Kaling’s quirky sitcom. Hulu already offers previous seasons of the show, so whether Fox deemed the program unworthy of its lineup or not doesn’t matter. If people are watching seasons 1 through 3 on Hulu, they’ll likely want to watch 4 and beyond, too.

The new acquisition by Hulu puts the series in good company. Netflix won the hearts of die-hard Arrested Development fans everywhere after it resurrected the popular show years after its much-disputed cancellation, coincidentally, also from Fox. Community, another show with a cult following that wasn’t pulling in the network numbers it needed on NBC, premiered online through Yahoo! Screen earlier this year for its sixth season. And the Tina Fey produced-series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt never even made it to NBC where it was originally slated to launch, becoming a Netflix original series instead.

On the show, star Mindy Kaling (The Office) is an obstetrician on the hunt for love. According to The Verge, while the show didn’t bring in huge ratings during live air times, it did perform well through DVR playback and streaming online. Could it be that The Mindy Project, which arguably targets millennial females, is a show that appeals mainly to cord cutters? And what does that say about traditional TV if progressive, youthful shows like all of the aforementioned ones bode better via streaming TV? Something to think about. As far as the show itself, fans can be content that the Season 3 cliffhanger won’t remain as such, moving from the halls of sitcom purgatory into, hopefully, a satisfying conclusion.

Updated 5/15/15 by Ryan Waniata: After rumors surrounding the cancellation, Hulu has picked up The Mindy Project for a 26-episode fourth season

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