After a lengthy and extensive search, Hulu has tapped Joel Stillerman for the newly created position of Chief Content Officer. Stillerman, most recently President of Original Programming and Development for AMC and SundanceTV, emerged as a frontrunner for the high-level Hulu job weeks ago though it took some time for him to work out his exit from AMC Networks.
As Chief Content Officer, Stillerman, who will start in the summer, will oversee all aspects of Hulu’s content business including original programming, content acquisitions and content partner management teams. Stillerman will be relocating from New York to Los Angeles, CA, working out of Hulu’s Santa Monica, CA office.He will report to Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins.
Hulu has been in expansion mode, growing its original series slate and recently launching a live TV service.
“Over the past several years, we’ve grown our audience and our content offering exponentially, and now is the right time to add Joel’s creative and strategic leadership to the team and drive the next phase of Hulu’s content business,” said Hopkins.
Craig Erwich, who has been overseeing all content for Hulu as SVP, Head of Content, will remain as SVP, focusing on original content and reporting to Stillerman. Since joining the platform, Erwich helped ramp up the original-series portfolio from a couple of lower-budget comedy series to a roster of high-end drama, limited and comedy series including The Path, Casual, 11.22.63, the recent breakout Handmaid’s Tale and the upcoming Castle Rock, from J.J. Abrams and Stephen King; Marvel’s Runaways and Beau Willimon’s The First. In addition to continuing to increase the volume of drama and comedy series, Erwich will be tasked with expanding Hulu’s original offerings into other areas including kids’ programming.
On the acquisition side, Hulu over the last couple of years has added such off-network titles as Empire, Homeland, Black-ish, The Goldbergs, the The Golden Girls library and, most recently, This Is Us.
Stillerman joins Hulu after a near-decade-long tenure at AMC Networks, most recently as President, Original Programming and Development for AMC and SundanceTV, a position he had held since June 2015. As head of original programming for AMC, which he joined in 2008, he oversaw the development and production of such original series as The Walking Dead, Talking Dead, Hell On Wheels, the Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul, Fear The Walking Dead, Into The Badlands and The Night Manager and also shepherded the Emmy-winning runs of the network’s Mad Men and Breaking Bad.
“It has been an absolute pleasure working with Joel Stillerman for the last near-decade. In addition to being an extremely talented programming executive, he’s a truly good person, friend and valued colleague,” said Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios. “Joel has played a major role in the transformation of AMC from a movie channel into an established leader in original programming. We wish him nothing but the best in his move to the West Coast, his future endeavors with our partner, Hulu, and – perhaps most challenging – his search to replace his New Jersey bowling team, the Emus, who will surely miss him as much as we will.”
The company will be searching for a new head of programming for AMC and SundanceTV. In the interim, the heads of scripted, non-fiction and international co-productions/acquisitions at AMC and SundanceTV, who used to report to Stillerman, will report to Collier.
Stillerman joined AMC from Yolo Films, his own independent film and television production company, which produced the HBO movie Sometimes in April among other projects. Prior to that, Stillerman was the top content executive at Walden Media, supervising the acquisition and development of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Holes. In 1995, Stillerman co-founded Spanky Pictures with Ted Demme. overseeing the acquiring, developing and producing of film and television projects, including the features Blow and Rounders, as well as the Emmy-winning HBO movie A Lesson Before Dying.