Hulu is stirring a healthy dollop of comedies into its 2014 slate of original series, which includes the “Hotwives of Orlando” — a satire of Bravo’s “Real Housewives” reality franchise.
Most of the 16 new and returning shows in Hulu’s 2014 originals and exclusives slate have been previously announced. Those include comedy “Deadbeat” from Lionsgate, which premieres April 9, as well as the second seasons of Seth Meyers’ animated superhero comedy “The Awesomes” and mascot documentary “Behind the Mask” later in the year.
Hulu has released original programming since 2011, but it has recently stepped up its focus on bringing first-run series to the service. The company, owned by Disney, 21st Century Fox and NBCUniversal, expects to double the number of originals over the next few years.
“We have a lot of content exclusively that will drive growth in the year ahead,” Charlotte Koh, head of development for Hulu Originals, told Variety. “These are shows that will bring people to the service because they can’t get them anywhere else.”
Hulu will exclusively distribute reality TV satire “The Hotwives of Orlando” from Paramount Digital Entertainment, whose credits include “Burning Love” on Yahoo and E!. The premiere date for the seven-episode series has not be set. The show revolves around six of Orlando’s “hottest housewives, who are ready to drink, fight and cry, sometimes all at the same time.”
“When we found out that shows like ‘The Real Housewives’ and ‘Basketball Wives’ weren’t actually parodies, we figured we needed to get on it ASAP,” said exec producers Jonathan Stern (“Childrens Hospital”) and Paul Scheer (“NTSF:SD:SUV”).
“Hotwives” stars Casey Wilson (“Happy Endings”), Angela Kinsey (“The Office”), Kristen Schaal (“Flight of the Conchords”), Tymberlee Hill (“Drunk History”), Danielle Schneider (“Upright Citizens Brigade”) and Andrea Savage (“Step Brothers”). Watch the trailer for the show here.
Hulu also is announcing the second season renewal of teen drama “East Los High,” the first English-language series with an all-Latino cast. The show was one of 10 most popular shows on Hulu and Hulu Latino throughout the summer of 2013, according to the company.
In addition, Hulu on Jan. 14 will premiere the original Scandinavian version of 10-episode drama series “The Bridge,” distributed by ZDF Enterprises. (FX recently adapted “The Bridge” for U.S. audiences.) In May, Hulu will launch Canadian reality-style dance drama “The Next Step,” acquired from BBC Worldwide North America, which will run for 30 episodes.
Other titles in Hulu’s originals lineup are the second season of Chris O’Dowd’s semi-autobiographical comedy “Moone Boy,” which returns in April, followed by season three of “Rev” this summer starring Tom Hollander (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) as a vicar in inner-city London.
Hulu also will exclusively offer returning seasons of six other shows: “Fresh Meat,” “Pramface,” “Elite New Face,” “Line of Duty,” “Moody Family” and “The Only Way is Essex.”
Andrew Wallenstein contributed to this report.