Hulu, BBC to co-produce new ‘Thick’ episodes

Fourth season to air simultaneously in U.S., U.K.

BBC series “The Thick Of It” will air its upcoming fourth season in the U.S. simultaneous with its U.K. run thanks to a deal announced Wednesday between Hulu and BBC Worldwide Americas.

Pact represents Hulu’s first international co-production, entitling the streaming service to the first three seasons of “Thick,” a political satire from “Veep” creator Armando Iannucci, in addition to a exclusive U.S. window on the coming season. The first three seasons of “Thick” will be available on Hulu beginning July 29, in addition to a pair of specials.

Hulu will get the fourth season of “Thick” even before BBC America, which won’t air the new half-hour episodes until early next year.

“Thick” is set in the halls of power inside the British government. The fourth season brings back popular characters from the earlier seasons.

“Thick” is the latest sign that Hulu is getting increasingly aggressive about licensing the first window of programming as an alternative to its core offering: next-day access to primetime series from the broadcast networks. Earlier this week, Hulu licensed “Larry King Now,” a weeknight talk show featuring the former CNN anchor, from new venture Ora TV.

BBC and Hulu have done business before, including a recent catalog deal to supply 600 hours of programming to Hulu Japan. Last year, Hulu obtained syndication rights to BBC-produced series “Whites” and Misfits.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The seven-episode fourth season of “Thick” will premiere on BBC2 this fall.