First kids series to make U.S. debut on the service

Hulu is adding “Fraggle Rock” spinoff “The Doozers” as the first exclusive series to its growing library of kids content in the U.S., the streaming service announced Monday.

Fifty two episodes of the animated “Doozers” will be available on Hulu and Hulu Plus beginning April 25. Jim Henson Co. (“Dinosaur Train”), which co-produced the original “Fraggle Rock” for five seasons beginning in 1983, began producing “Doozers” in 2012, with DHX Media (“Yo Gabba Gabba”). “Fraggle” previously ran on HBO, CBC and ITV and is currently available on Hulu as well.

“Doozers” is the latest entry in the rapidly escalating arms race for kids content in the subscription VOD category, which includes Netflix and Amazon Prime in the U.S. All three services have kids-only portals stocked with huge libraries of young-skewing content going back decades in order to hook a new generation of viewers. Last month, Hulu announced a deal for the “Pokemon” franchise.

While Hulu has been a competitive licensor on the kids front, “Doozers” is the first property for kids that is making its exclusive U.S. debut on the service. Netflix and Amazon Prime have been more aggressive, commissioning entire slates of original series for kids.

Hulu is branding “Doozers” as a “Hulu Original” series, though that isn’t technically the case even though the program won’t be available anywhere else in the U.S. Like some of the BBC programming that also counts Hulu as its U.S. home, “Doozers” is licensed to many networks around the globe on a territorial basis. The series was neither developed nor deficit-financed by Hulu.

“Doozers” began its global run in Australia last year, and has since run in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The Doozers were supporting characters in the original series; they are front and center in the spinoff as the quartet of Spike, Molly Bolt, Flex and Daisy Wheel.

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