As of March 31, all nine seasons of “Curious George” starring the sweet but mischievous monkey — more than 100 episodes in all — will be available only on Hulu’s subscription VOD service.
At that point, episodes of “Curious George” will no longer be available on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Kids’ fare has been a key genre among the large subscription-streaming services, which have battled for exclusive rights on binge-worthy content for tykes to win the wallets of parents.
Hulu grabbed the rights to “Curious George” in a multiyear agreement with NBCUniversal Television and New Media Distribution. The deal covers past and future seasons of the two-time Emmy-winning series, plus specials and feature-length original movies. All of the “Curious George” content will be available in Hulu’s commercial-free Hulu Kids environment.
“Curious George is one of the most beloved characters in kids’ programming and we are delighted to bring the TV series to Hulu,” said Craig Erwich, senior VP and head of content for Hulu. “As we continue to add the best of premium television to our service, this partnership represents both an expansion and a commitment to our kids and family offering.”
The “Curious George” TV series, based on the books by Margret and H.A. Rey, is produced by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s production arm, Universal 1440 Entertainment, in association with Imagine Entertainment and WGBH Boston.
Under the pact, Hulu also will be the U.S. premiere home to new seasons of the series over the coming years. In addition, specials including “Curious George: Swings Into Spring,” “Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest” and “Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas,” along with the feature-length originals “Curious George: Follow That Monkey,” “Curious George: Back to the Jungle” and future direct-to-TV specials will become available to stream exclusively on Hulu.
“We are thrilled to partner with Hulu on ‘Curious George,’ and we salute them for recognizing the value of this important children’s series and the significance of its addition to their kids and family offering,” said Frances Manfredi, president of NBCUniversal TV and New Media Distribution.
Comcast’s NBCU is a part-owner of Hulu. However, under Comcast’s agreement with U.S. regulators to buy NBC, neither company is allowed to exercise control over Hulu’s business operations.
Since its TV debut in 2006, “Curious George” has consistently ranked as the highest-rated children’s animated preschool series on PBS Kids. In addition to winning two Emmy Awards for outstanding children’s animated program, “Curious George” has also earned a total of 12 Emmy nominations across multiple categories.