Hulu has signed its largest deal for kids content with Disney, bringing more than 500 episodes of programming from Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD to the streaming service. Hulu SVP Head of Content Craig Erwich, who made the announcement this afternoon at TCA, said kids programming subscribers have grown at a clip of 30% in the past three years.
On that subject, streams of Pokemon are up 340% he noted. “I guess we didn’t catch them all – just 340% more of them,” he joked.
Erwich announced a September 17 Hulu premiere date for Ron Howard’s Beatles documentary, Eight Days A Week.
Erwich also unveiled Hulu’s Limelight documentary series and its initial lineup. that includes a docu telling the story of George Lazenby, the Australian actor who played James Bond for one film only, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, abandoning the role after that. Another looks at the 1996 Dana Carvey Show, which Erwich described as an “historic failure” that helped launch the careers of Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Bob Odenkirk, Robert Smigel and others. Another docu looks at Shepard, Fairey, the artist behind the Barack Obama “Hope” poster.
One year ago at TCA, Erwich caused a bit of a stir when he announced the streaming service would 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 TCA last August. “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. The announcement seemed to take reporters by surprise, because Hulu had released earlier original series a season at a time.