Hulu content chief Craig Erwich announced this morning the streaming service will release episodes of its new original series on a weekly basis, rather than all at once for binge-watchers.

“We want to give viewers the opportunity to discover their shows every week,” he told reporters at the Television Critics Association Summer Tour.  “We value the shared experience and the joy of the water-cooler that is television,” he said, adding that this play pattern has the advantage of allowing Hulu to get series out to viewers faster without having to wait until all episodes are complete.
Once all episodes of series have been made available, they will then remain so in their entirety for binge-viewing aficionados.

Shortly after his remarks, Liz Tigelaar, EP for Hulu’s new Casual, confessed she preferred the play pattern, likening binge watching to binge eating. Viewers can’t “process” the content properly when they’re bingeing, she said, and also don’t get to enjoy the water-cooler conversation.

The announcement that Hulu would shift closer to broadcast-TV play pattern for its new original series seemed to take reporters by surprise. Hulu released earlier original series a season at a time. Meanwhile, broadcasters have been toying with the binge experience. In April, NBC announced it would make all 13 episodes of its David Duchovny drama “Aquarius” available for online and VOD viewing following the series’ May 28 broadcast premiere.