TV News: Hulu Announces Ambitious Slate of Original Programming

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CHICAGO – Hulu, in addition to being a most enjoyable word to say while jumping out of a plane (Huluuuuuu!) is also one of the most popular websites on the internet for streaming video from television’s biggest channels. Featuring content from FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS and a litany of other networks, has essentially replaced the re-run in eyes of the American lexicon.

Hulu, it appears, is not content with this. Hot on the heels of previous new-content initiatives such as the political drama “Battleground” and British cooking dramedy “Whites,” the powers that be behind Hulu recently announced a huge slate of new shows (and big names!) coming to the digital network.

The most interesting appears to be Richard Linklater’s Travel Show: “Up To Speed.” It’s a cross-country journey featuring some of America’s best attractions you’ve never heard of. Keeping in mind this is a show helmed by the director of “Dazed And Confused” and the criminally-underrated “Me and Orson Welles” it could be interesting to see an actual filmmaker tackle the Travel genre. And besides, do you know what the San Francisco Shoe Gardens are? No? Then you should probably watch and find out. It premieres in August.

Kevin Smith - Spoilers
Kevin Smith - Spoilers
Photo credit: Hulu

Filling the movie-review show void left by the recent Hiatus of “Ebert Presents At The Movies,” Kevin Smith’s “Spoilers” checks in with no thumbs, and instead foul mouths. However, don’t look for this to be a sophomoric Siskel & Ebert. While the show will tackle big blockbusters of the summer season, it will also feature interviews with celebrities, big names in pop culture, and animated shorts. Smith guest hosted Siskel & Ebert a few times, and certainly has no qualms speaking his mind about Hollywood (watch his stuff on Timothy Olyphant). You can catch it June 4th on Hulu.

“We Got Next” looks to be a comedy about pick-up basketball in the style of “The League” and “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.” Produced by the creator of “America’s Next Top Model,” and written by a writer of the long-running sports comedy “The Game,” “We Got Next” appears to be the basketball comedy for the trash-talker in all of us.

Other shows coming to Hulu include:

“Pramface,” a light-hearted pregnant teenager dramedy, “The Yard,” a school-yard mockumentary which aired on HBO Canada and was referred to by the Canuck press as “The Wire” with children, and thus hilarious. “Rev.” about a reverend who trades rural life for the bustling city and the challenges it entails. “The Promise,” a BAFTA-nominated, thrilling docudrama about the history of conflict in the middle east that promises to be both intense and true to life and the events that led to the situation that is consistently evolving there now. On the flip side, Hulu is also offering up “Little Mosque” about a group of Muslims who rent out a church for worship and must contend with the strange looks and culturally differences of a world unfamiliar to them.

Ultimately, it looks like Hulu is offering up something for everyone. Movie geeks, travel geeks, basketball freaks and everyone in between should definitely keep their eyes peeled.

By Paul Meekin
Staff Writer

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