Hulu and rival Netflix have begun to venture into the production and distribution of original programming. Netflix announced last year that they were going to revive the critically acclaimed, Arrested Development series. Hulu responded with their own deal this past summer when they reached an exclusive distribution and production agreement with popular British television series, “The Thick of It.” According to the deal, Hulu receives an exclusive all-media window to broadcast the newest season of the show and the three past season and two specials already done.
One of the most interesting aspects of the deal is that Hulu will post the newest episode of the show the same moment it airs on BBC 2. Normally with BBC shows, the American audience usually has to wait upwards to a year to see new episodes of shows through BBC America. Also, Hulu will air all of the episodes uncensored. “The Thick of It” is known for its strong usage of profanity and for American audiences; BBC America has edited the show to take the profanity out. The show’s creator, Armando Iannucci, said in an interview that he was happy Hulu will air the shows uncensored and that it takes away from the experience of the show not watching it the way it was made.
So far, the deal with Hulu has been working out great for the show’s producers and creator. They get to air the show the way it was intended to be and the American audience gets to watch the show right away rather than wait a year for a censored version. According to the producers, Hulu has not interfered with any of the production and has not shied away from the shows usage of profanity. Hulu reached the agreement with the show after the show had already been finalized. But in future season, will provide funding for the show and allow the creators to continue to do what they have done.
So is this the future of television? Online streaming services getting into the production end of television, so, they can broadcast the content exclusively on their website. It will be interesting to see if more people have joined Hulu just because of the exclusive rights for “The Thick of It” and if this deal works out for them.
(The picture is of the cast of The Thick of It. The man on the phone is the main character Malcolm Tucker who is player by Scottish actor Peter Capaldi)