Hulu Pacts with BBC for ‘Doctor Who,’ ‘Fawlty Towers’ and Other Brit TV Fare

About 2,000 episodes from 144 titles will come to Hulu Plus subscription-video service

Hulu is bulking up its subscription biz for Anglophiles, in a multiyear pact with BBC Worldwide North America that will add 2,000 episodes to Hulu Plus.

The 144 BBC titles covered under the deal will give Hulu Plus one of the largest collections of British imports in the U.S., including: “Doctor Who,” “Top Gear,” “Fawlty Towers,” and “Blackadder.”

SEE ALSO: Hulu Pledges to Double Originals, Acquisitions

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Agreement is not exclusive to Hulu; BBC has streaming deals in the States with Netflix and Amazon.com as well.

For Hulu, a joint venture of Comcast’s NBCUniversal, 21st Century Fox and Walt Disney Co., the new BBC deal is part of a larger attempt for the Internet TV company to boost its base of paying subscribers, which is now north of 4 million. Hulu’s parent companies were in the process of evaluating bids for the JV before they reverse course this summer and announced they would invest $750 million to expand programming and personnel.

Starting Wednesday, Hulu Plus subscribers can start streaming “Doctor Who” and spinoffs “The Sarah Jane Adventures” and “Torchwood,” as well as natural history and nonfiction programming including “Blue Planet” and Richard Hammond’s “Crash Course.”

This fall, the Internet TV service will add “Top Gear,” “Sherlock,” “MI-5” and “Luther”; comedies including “Fawlty Towers,” “Twenty Twelve” and “Blackadder”; sci-fi series “Bedlam,” “Red Dwarf” and “Primeval”; and natural history shows including selections from David Attenborough’s “Life in the…” series. In addition, other titles like “Upstairs, Downstairs,” “Wallander” and “Bleak House” will be available.

Additional series will roll out throughout the year, ultimately giving Hulu Plus subscribers access to more than 2,000 episodes of new and library BBC Worldwide titles. A subset of the BBC library will rotate through the free Hulu.com service.

“Hulu has enjoyed a strong collaboration with BBC Worldwide North America, from international co-productions to breakthrough exclusive shows that have been embraced in the U.S. by extremely passionate audiences,” Andy Forssell, acting CEO and senior VP of content for Hulu, said in a statement. “By adding this expansive collection of premium BBC Worldwide programming, Hulu Plus solidifies its role as a top streaming platform for the best British programming available in the U.S.”

Hulu and BBC Worldwide North America started their relationship in 2010. Since then, Hulu has exclusively offered U.K. programming such as “Misfits,” “Moone Boy,” “The Thick of It,” “Rev.” and “Pramface.” In addition, Hulu and the BBC have co-produced the fourth season of “The Thick of It” and the upcoming Hulu original “The Wrong Mans.”

The deal with Hulu was brokered via Beth Clearfield, senior VP of digital distribution for BBC Worldwide North America.

BBC Worldwide is the main commercial arm of the British Broadcasting Corp. whose operations include BBC America and BBC.com.

Watch the Hulu trailer for the BBC content:

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • 'The Muppets' Short-Form Series Coming to

    'The Muppets' Short-Form Series Coming to Disney Plus

    Kermit, Miss Piggy and co. are coming to Disney Plus. A short-form unscripted series starring the goofy puppets is set to premiere on the forthcoming Disney streaming service in 2020. The news was announced at the Disney Plus D23 Expo event. The announcement came with a brief teaser of Kermit and Joe the Legal Weasel [...]

  • Succession HBO

    'Succession' Composer Nicholas Britell on Making Music for the One Percent

    The Roys, the media empire family at the heart of HBO’s “Succession,” are ridiculously rich. They’re manipulative and cruel. They’re also a bit delusional and absurd. When Nicholas Britell conceived the show’s score, he wanted to capture all of that. “I wrote in this almost late-1700s, dark classical zone,” says Britell, the Oscar-nominated composer of [...]

  • Ewan McGregor of 'American Pastoral'Variety and

    Ewan McGregor Confirms Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney Plus Series to Shoot Next Year

    Ewan McGregor has confirmed that he will be reprising the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi for a Disney Plus series centered around the powerful Jedi, after Variety previously reported that he was in talks for the series. At Disney biennial D23 convention in Anaheim, Calif. on Friday, McGregor provided more details about the prospective show and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content