Streaming service also nabs exclusive rights to 'Rizzoli & Isles,' 'Smallville' and 'Southland'
Hulu has acquired exclusive U.S. subscription-streaming rights to “Blindspot” and “Lucifer,” among the top-rated TV freshman dramas this season, along with other shows in a multiyear pact with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.
Under the pact, Hulu also will have exclusive rights to all past seasons “Rizzoli & Isles,” “Smallville” and “Southland.” The WB TV deal underscores the continuing fierce competition among Hulu and SVOD rivals Netflix and Amazon to secure top-rated TV programming.
“We are honored to announce that, in our first licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Television, we will be bringing two of the year’s biggest hits, ‘Blindspot’ and ‘Lucifer,’ exclusively to Hulu,” said Craig Erwich, Hulu senior VP and head of content. Erwich, formerly an exec with Warner Horizon Television, joined Hulu in 2014.
“Blindspot” season one will debut on Hulu following its run on NBC, and the streaming service has rights to future seasons. The show stars Jaimie Alexander as a woman with no memory of her past, who is found naked in Times Square covered in intricate tattoos that provide the FBI clues to a larger conspiracy of crime. The show is created by Martin Gero, who exec produces along with Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Mark Pellington and Marcos Siega. NBC has renewed “Blindspot,” from Berlanti Prods. in association with Warner Bros. Television, for a second season.
“Lucifer,” currently in its first season on Fox, is based on characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg for DC Entertainment’s Vertigo imprint. In the show, the titular fallen angel (Tom Ellis) has retired to Los Angeles, where he teams up with an LAPD detective (Lauren German) to help punish criminals. “Lucifer” is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Television in association with Warner Bros. Television, exec produced by Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, Joe Henderson, Ildy Modrovich and Len Wiseman.
The first five seasons of cop procedural “Rizzoli & Isles,” which will end its run on TNT this summer after seven seasons, will be available on Hulu beginning in April. The final two seasons of the show, starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander, will be available to stream on Hulu after airing on TNT.
Additionally, library titles from Warner Bros. Television including “The O.C.,” “Southland” and “Smallville,” will also become available to stream on Hulu. All episodes of “The O.C.” will become available to stream in April, and “Southland” and “Smallville” will make their streaming premieres exclusively on Hulu later this year. Hulu also will add library films “JFK” and “Thirteen Days” later this year through the new licensing agreement.
The new deal builds on Hulu’s relationship with Warner Bros. for event series “11.22.63,” which premiered last month on the service. The show, based on Stephen King’s time-travel novel about the JFK assassination, is produced by Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, from executive producers J.J. Abrams, Stephen King, Bridget Carpenter, Kevin Macdonald, Bryan Burk and series star James Franco.
Hulu, in addition to its originals, has focused on assembling a lineup of exclusive TV show pickups. Last year, it obtained exclusive rights to Fox’s hit drama “Empire,” as well as “The Last Man on Earth,” “The Goldbergs” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
Hulu is owned by Comcast’s NBCUniversal, 21st Century Fox and Disney. The company also is currently in talks with Time Warner about selling an ownership stake in Hulu.