Hulu spotlighted its commitment to original programming — including a new series from one of the stars of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” — as it made its upfront presentation today to ad buyers, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Seth Meyers’ “The Awesomes” is part of a push by Hulu to maintain its momentum in online streaming. The company trumpeted its 2 million paid subscribers and what it says is the fastest-growing video subscription service in U.S. history, the story reports. Hulu also reported $420 million in revenue for 2011.
Hulu was the first of a series of online companies planning upfront presentations in the next two weeks, as they emulate the broadcast and cable programmers they hope to displace.
THR reports: “In a room that included Meyers, ‘Smash’ star Megan Hilty, Morgan Spurlock and Adrian Grenier, the company touted that Americans watched 2.5 billion videos on Hulu in February — about 1,000 videos a second. Hulu also said it held 20 percent of the online video market and 40 percent of the premium video market.”
Much of the traffic for Hulu and its paid Hulu Plus service comes from its 1,900 TV series, the report notes. But it has also stepped up its originals with the political series “Battleground” and “A Day in the Life,” a documentary series from Spurlock.
The new series from Meyers, along with producer Michael Shoemaker, focuses on “an unassuming superhero and his cohorts who battle diabolical villains, the ever-present paparazzi and a less-than-ideal reputation as second-class crimefighters,” the report says. “The Awesomes” was originally being developed at MTV.
The report adds: “Hulu also is greenlighting ‘We Got Next,’ from Kenya Barris (‘Are We There Yet?’), Hale Rothstein (‘Everybody Hates Chris’) and Danny Leiner (‘The Office’), about four unlikely friends who butt heads on the pickup basketball court and on the sidelines of everyday life.
“Other new shows include video game industry star Michael Wendschuh’s ‘Flow,’ about an individual’s quest for justice and redemption after being framed for a crime, and Grenier’s ‘Don’t Quit Your Daydream,’ about famous musicians collaborating with those who gave up their musical ambitions. ‘Up to Speed,’ a new unscripted show from Richard Linklater about tour guide Timothy Levitch’s visits to ignored monuments of America’s cities, was previously announced but also highlighted during the presentation and will be launched in the summer.”