Hulu is attempting its first original longform series, teaming with Morgan Spurlock on unscripted project “A Life in a Day.”
Six half-hour episodes were ordered of the skein, which chronicles a day in the life of prominent figures including will.i.am, Russell Peters and Girl Talk. The “Super Size Me” filmmaker exec produces with Jeremy Chilnick through his Warrior Poets shingle. Debut episode on Aug. 17 follows Richard Branson.
“Life” represents a slight departure for Hulu, which has subsisted mainly on primetime series from its owners, including News Corp., Disney and NBCUniversal. The venture, currently being shopped to prospective buyers, has dabbled in licensing exclusive windows for programs as well. But “Life” marks Hulu’s maiden voyage into developing and financing a series, though the company commissioned one shortform original production: “The Morning After,” a highlight reel of TV’s top moments that launched in January.
The ad-supported service may be looking to diversify its content offerings as its grip on next-day programming begins to loosen. Later this month, Fox will impose an eight-day delay on its primetime offerings on Hulu as it looks to reserve the next-day window for multichannel subscribers. Dish Network is the first distributor Fox has signed on to give its subs authenticated access, and more are expected to join. Other broadcasters could follow suit.
Hulu has been doing more exclusive licensing as of late, bringing in a trio of British series including BBC’s “Misfits.” The company first dabbled in that territory back in February 2010 with “If I Can Dream” from 19 Entertainment.A growing number of emerging platforms are attempting original fare to distinguish themselves in an increasingly crowded field. Netflix raised eyebrows earlier this year with the order of over 22 hours of an adaptation of BBC drama “House of Cards” to feature Kevin Spacey. Sony portal Crackle and Google-owned YouTube alre also exploring original efforts.