×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Golden Globes: ‘Casual’ Comedy Series Nom Marks Hulu’s Awards Arrival

It just takes one. And with a Golden Globe nomination for its comedy “Casual,” Hulu can finally call itself a contender.

“I don’t want to overstate what nominations mean, but it puts us on the map in terms of our original productions,” Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins told Variety.

Along with Netflix’s eight nominations and Amazon’s five, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association clearly endorsed the content being offered by streaming services.

“Streaming services seem to be the ones who are taking the chances to make these kinds of shows,” said “Casual” executive producer Zander Lehmann. “Basic cable and premium channels haven’t quite realized it yet.”

“Our subscribers have loved it,” added Craig Erwich, Hulu’s head of content. “We knew this show was special.”

Erwich credits the creative team behind the Lionsgate-produced show — executive producers Jason Reitman, Liz Tigelaar, Helen Estabrook and Lehmann — for crafting a series that audiences and critics responded to.

Lehmann, in turn, praises Hulu for fostering a creative environment. “I had a kind of freedom with Hulu, but they definitely gave me notes,” he said. “What I liked about Hulu is they were actually good notes and not just some network notes. They kept us in the right tonal range.”

Tigelaar echoed Lehmann’s endorsement. “We are ecstatic for Hulu,” she said. “They are part of our family as much as any department in the show and this is such a victory for them as well. They are true collaborators.”

The hope is that the Globe nomination will draw viewers to the platform to not only check out “Casual,” but also other originals like “Difficult People.”

“I definitely think it should increase the awareness of the show,” said Hopkins. “It’s already been gaining a lot of momentum.”

Added Erwich: “Given the competition for people’s time and money, a prestigious award like this is an extra calling card. It’s another reason to invite people to the party. And when you get them in, there’s plenty to watch.”

Erwich is bullish about what’s coming in 2016: Hulu boasts an ambitious upcoming slate that includes “11/22/63,” from executive producer J.J. Abrams based on the Stephen King bestseller, and “The Path,” starring Hugh Dancy and Aaron Paul, due out next March.

“We are setting out to make the best shows on TV,” said Erwich. “I think this just the start for us. This recognition confirms that we are on the right path. But ultimately the win is for the viewer. The bar is so high now.”

The hope is that awards traction will give Erwich and his team an edge as they vie for top producers and stars in an ever more competitive marketplace.

“To be honest, the best calling card are the shows and the people we are already in business with,” added Erwich. “J.J. Abrams, Jason Katims, Jason Reitman and Amy Poehler have already done that for us. This is a confirmation for people who already joined us that this a place that aspires to do quality work for producers. This helps continue the momentum.”

They also face stiff competition for viewers in this era of Peak TV, but Erwich said they have a game plan firmly in place. “There’s no substitute for quality,” he said. “You can’t game the system.”

Hopkins said the focus is on finding “stories that are unique, that haven’t been told before, and if they have, trying to do it a little differently.”

Though they’re celebrating the nomination, the execs say awards recognition is just one piece of a larger strategy. “We don’t look at nominations as that’s worth X amount of subscribers or money,” said Erwich. “It’s a much bigger picture for us. It’s about building an overall complete ‘best in class’ offering. This is a big piece towards that, and we don’t look towards one piece to do all the heavy lifting.”

Added Hopkins: “We’re just thankful to get nominated. It’s a brave new world for us.”

More TV

  • Mandy Moore

    Mandy Moore Opens Up About Her Marriage to Ryan Adams: ‘I Was So Sad’

    Mandy Moore opened up about her marriage to Ryan Adams on Monday’s episode of Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast. While the interview was taped before the publication of the Feb. 13 New York Times report in which multiple women, including Moore, accuse Adams of sexual misconduct or emotionally abusive behavior, she speaks freely about the “unhealthy dynamic” in [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron71st Annual Writers Guild Awards,

    Alfonso Cuarón on Academy's 'Inevitable' Reversal on Televised Oscar Categories

    Alfonso Cuarón isn’t exactly surprised that the Academy reversed its decision and will now air all the Oscar categories during the live show on Sunday. Feb. 24. Calling the decision “inevitable,”Cuarón tells Variety that he thinks the Academy should take things even further. “Let’s stop calling them technical categories!” he told Variety on Sunday night [...]

  • Desus Nice The Kid Mero

    TV Shows to Watch the Week of Feb. 18, 2019: Academy Awards, 'Desus & Mero'

    Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV. Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, the Academy Awards air and Desus & Mero make their debut on Showtime. [...]

  • WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01

    BBC Takes Stake in New Company Set Up by ‘Luther,’ ‘Bodyguard’ Exec

    BBC Studios has taken a minority stake in Firebird Pictures, the new drama indie being set up by BBC execs Elizabeth Kilgarriff and Craig Holleworth. Kilgarriff’s credits include “Luther,” “Poldark,” “McMafia” and upcoming Richard Gere-starrer “MotherFatherSon.” She commissioned breakout drama hit “Bodyguard.” Holleworth will be the new company’s COO, having run business and operations for [...]

  • Punisher Jessica Jones

    Marvel's 'The Punisher,' 'Jessica Jones' Canceled at Netflix

    The last of Netflix’s Marvel shows are officially ending. “The Punisher” has been canceled after its second season, and the upcoming third season of “Jessica Jones” will be its last, Netflix confirmed on Monday. The announcement comes after Netflix gave the ax to its other Marvel series: “Daredevil,” “Iron First,” and “Luke Cage.” “Marvel’s ‘The Punisher’ will [...]

  • SND Boards Comedy Series 'Family Shake'

    SND Boards Comedy Series 'Family Shake' With 'Desperate Parents' Producer

    SND, the commercial arm of the French TV network M6, has acquired worldwide distribution rights to “Family Shake,” a comedy series written by Baya Kasmi and Michel Leclerc. SND is the latest vertically integrated French film group to start handling live-action series, following TF1 Studio, Studiocanal and Gaumont, among others. Produced by Gaëlle Cholet at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content