Hulu Confirm Third Run of The Awesomes

Just like LegoHulu recognises awesome and rewards it, as they announce Seth Meyers’ animated comedy superhero creation The Awesomes will be renewed for a third season exclusive to the streaming platform.

the_awesomes_titleCurrently airing a 10-episode second season every Monday until 6 October, the format is to return for another run, likely to start airing in early August as before with another 10-episode selection released weekly on Hulu.

Beatrice Springborn, Hulu’s ‘head of original series’, stated: “When we first premiered season one of The Awesomes two years ago, we knew it was going to be a big success for Hulu. With a growing fan base from season to season and a cast featuring some of the funniest people on television, it was a natural decision for us to renew the show for a third season.”

Following the story of ‘the greatest superhero team in history’ after the departure of their best members, the series has had plenty of success through being one of Hulu’s few original series, with headlining voice cast members such as Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Bobby Lee, Bobby Moynihan, Kenan Thompson, Maya Rudolph, Will Forte, and Meyers himself.

Co-created by Mike Shoemaker (not to be confused with any former German racing drivers), with co-production from Hulu, Broadway Video (Saturday Night Live, Late Night With Seth Meyers), and animators Bento Box Entertainment (Bob’s Burgers), The Awesomes has plenty of structure behind it to carry on for a few seasons yet, but how will they fare starting at the end of this week, when an anthropomorphic horse on Netflix enters the online-exclusive animation industry?

Manhattan Coming To Hulu

Hulu has picked up the streaming rights to WGN America‘s new historical drama, Manhattan. The streaming company revealed that the entire 13 episodes of the first season will be available on the pay-to-view Hulu Plus platform.

MAnhattanManhattan made its debut last Sunday and will become available to stream on Hulu Plus from Monday. Each episode will then become available weekly, and the entire season can be viewed as soon as it finishes airing on TV. For those that do not subscribe, the five most recent episodes will also be available on the free Hulu service, but the latest episode will not be available until 3 days after airing.

Manhattan is set in the 1940’s in WWII America in a town who’s very existence is classified. The federal government has set up a top secret project to research the first atomic weapons, and the military and scientists who inhabit the community keep secrets from each other.

The deal will be the first time that Hulu has secured streaming rights to a TV series before it even airs. Speaking about the deal, Senior Vice President and Head of Content at Hulu, Craig Erwich said, “After seeing the episodes, and enjoying every minute, I knew this series represented the kind of high-quality, addictive programming that we strive to bring to Hulu. That’s why this deal marks the first time that Hulu has committed to a series before a single episode had even aired.”

For Lionsgate, President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution, Jim Packer said, “We’re delighted to extend a partnership with Hulu that should help further expand the audience for this deserving show. We believe that this innovative arrangement will be a win/win/win for Lionsgate, our partners and, most of all, our audiences.”

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Hulu Gets South Park Streaming Rights

Fans of South Park can get a little excited as the entire back catalog of shows is coming to Hulu and Hulu Plus. All the 240 plus episodes are available to stream on both Hulu’s with new episodes being made available the day after airing on broadcast TV.

South-Park-HuluBut if you want to watch them free then you had better start watching soon, as Hulu will host the cult cartoon until September 24 after which they head over to subscription only Hulu Plus.

Reported by The New York Times, the deal is said to be worth a reported $80 million+, and was inked by he South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The deal gives Hulu streaming rights to all 17 seasons of the show.

Currently fans can watch all episodes on the official South Park site,  South Park Studios which will still have the full library available until season 18 premieres, then the website will just offer a changing selection of free episodes.

Speaking for Hulu, chief Craig Erwich said of the show which debuted in 1997, “South Park has revolutionized TV and pushed boundaries with unparalleled topicality and daring humor. South Park has been one of the top 10 most popular shows of all time on the platform. We’re thrilled to offer the series to fans in its entirety.”

Matt Stone said of the deal,  “Content came out of its hole, saw its shadow and ran back down the hole for protection. What we do is expensive; it takes a lot of people; and it makes sense to put it through windows in a way that produces a lot of value. We do what we do because we act like we own the stuff and try to surf whatever wave is out there.”

He said that by giving Hulu streaming rights will mean that, “the new stuff is always available to fans”,  and will handily bring in mor revenue as they will now enjoy both, “advertising and subscriptions.”

Australian Soap Neighbours Comes To Hulu

Hulu serves up US TV to a US audience, but in a bid to expand viewers horizons somewhat, the streaming company are launching the Australian soap neighbours.

Neighbours-HuluHulu have signed a deal with FremantleMedia International which gives them exclusive streaming rights for the US to broadcast the current season of the soap opera from down under..

The soap tells of the goings on in the fictional suburb of Erinsborough and concentrates on the residents of Ramsay Street. Launching on Monday, July 14,  a new episode will become available each weekday on both the free, ad-supported Hulu and the Hulu Plus subscription service.

Speaking for FremantleMedia who produce the show, VP of digital distribution and home entertainment, Jeff Siegel said, “Neighbours provides a delicious daily dose of Australian sunshine to soap-opera fans, and thanks to Hulu, we’re coming to the U.S. at a perfect entry point for first-time viewers.”

The Neighbours soap is the longest running Austalian daytime drama having over 6,900 episodes made. It was first broadcast in Australia in 1985, so Hulu have plenty of backdated content if it proves popular.


Netflix Still Best For Content Over Rivals Says Report

In the ever growing battle for streaming viewers dollars, Netflix still tempts the most thanks to having the best offering of content. Research shows that rivals such as Amazon and Netflix are still playing catch up.

Netflix-new-logoThe research by Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson look at the top streaming services in Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, as well as Redbox Instant and made a comparison by looking at who had the top box office movies and TV shows with the highest ratings.

Looking at movies, the report showed that Netflix had available 12% of the biggest box office hits from each of the last 3 years, Redbox Instant had 7%, Amazon Prime came in at 6%, with Hulu with just 1%.

When it came to TV shows, the report looked at the 75 highest rated series across the last 4 seasons. Hulu Plus unsurprisingly came out on top with 52%, but then they are owned by the major US networks and act as their catch-up TV conduit. Netflix came second offering 32%, Amazon Prime Instant had 12%, and Redbox had 0%.

The report showed that while Netflix had slipped 1% for TV shows from a year ago, Amazon had “caught up significantly”, increasing 5% from last year. Piper Jaffray said that, “While significantly inferior to Netflix, and even more to Hulu, we believe Amazon is driving video in the right direction by focusing on TV shows. TV series are easier to acquire, as the contracts tend to be non-exclusive and less locked up than movie content.”

Netflix may be slightly declining as they pump the budget into a slew of original offerings. Piper Jaffray predicts that the Netflix catalog of shows and movies will, “continue to contract as content dollars shift towards originals; a prudent strategy assuming ongoing ability to create hits.”


Half of Households In USA Have Internet TV Service

New research produced by the Leichtman Research Group has found that the coverage of TV sets now ‘connected’ is on the edge of being the majority, with a verdict that 49% of American households have at least one set that can claim such an ability.

leichtman_research_group_logo_lrgWith 38% recorded at the same point in 2012, following on from the 24% recorded for 2010, it is only a matter of time before the industry can claim the coveted ‘over half’ status, in measurements taken on TV sets that had an online presence either through itself, or when attached to a device such as a games console, connected Blu-ray player, or a set-top box/dongle.

Figures also show an improvement in the number of people who actually use their connected boxes for video watching (at least once a week), with the biennial proportions since 2010 going from 5%, to 13%, and now 24% of all American adults.

Leichtman Research said of the findings: “Connected television use is heavily skewed towards Netflix subscribers, with 49% of Netflix subscribers watching video from the internet via a connected device weekly, compared to 8% weekly use among all non-Netflix subscribers. Among Netflix streaming video users, 78% say that they watch Netflix on a TV set – a similar level to the previous three years.”

Meanwhile, it was also discovered that the practice of ‘cord-cutting’ was also on the rise, as whilst 47% of homes carried a streaming service subscription (in this slightly restrictive instance meaning ‘one or more from Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus‘) and 31% report watching video through ‘non-TV’ screens (including desktop, smartphones, tablet computers, and e-readers), an interesting statistic was that of how many Netflix subscribers also subscribe to a pay-TV service. The results found that number at 88% in 2010, but it has dropped over the two-year gaps first to 85%, and then to 80% of all Netflix subscribers.

In addition, it was noted that 48% of people that claim not to be subscribed to any traditional pay-TV platform did pay to use Netflix figures up from 16% and 29% demonstrating a clear area in which the movie rental and streaming giants are excelling in.

Leichtman Research Group’s president & ‘principal analyst’ Bruce Leichtman summarised: “Emerging Video Services have truly emerged over the past two to three years. This recent growth was spurred by Netflix’s decision in the third quarter of 2011 to focus on streaming video, coupled with the proliferation of connected TV devices, smartphones, and iPads and tablets.”