Hulu has grabbed exclusive U.S. subscription-streaming rights to a trio of ’90s sitcoms — Tim Allen’s “Home Improvement,” “Boy Meets World,” and “Dinosaurs” — in a new pact with Disney-ABC Television Group.
The deal marks the SVOD debut of the complete libraries of hit series “Home Improvement” and “Boy Meets World.” In addition, all episodes of fan-favorite “Dinosaurs” from the Jim Henson Co. will also become available to stream exclusively on Hulu. All three shows are available on Hulu starting Friday, Sept. 29.
The addition of “Boy Meets World” and “Dinosaurs” join Hulu’s reincarnation of ABC’s “TGIF” lineup from the 1990s — with a collection comprising more than 1,200 episodes total. Also premiering on Hulu on Friday are all episodes of the original “Full House” — revived by Netflix last year as “Fuller House” — along with “Family Matters,” “Step By Step,” “Perfect Strangers” and “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper.” Those came under an agreement with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.
The expanded Disney-ABC TV pact comes after Hulu landed exclusive SVOD rights to Tina Fey’s “30 Rock” — which was previously on Netflix — as well as “Parenthood” and three other series in a deal with NBCUniversal Television and New Media Distribution.
Both NBCU and Disney are corporate parents of Hulu, along with 21st Century Fox and 10% owner Time Warner. While the media companies say they’re agnostic when it comes to SVOD licensing, by bringing their library titles to Hulu they are keeping those properties “in the family.”
Overall, Hulu says it plans to spend $2.5 billion on content in 2017. That’s less than rivals Netflix and Amazon but a key difference is that Hulu operates only in the U.S.
“Home Improvement,” loosely based on Tim Allen’s stand-up comedy routines, was one of the most-watched sitcoms of the ’90s. It aired for eight seasons on ABC from 1991-99 and has never been available through a subscription-streaming service.
Family sitcom “Boy Meets World,” starring Ben Savage, was part of ABC’s “TGIF” block for seven seasons. “Dinosaurs,” based on a concept by Jim Henson and featuring a creature-suited cast, ran for four seasons in the “TGIF” primetime lineup from 1991-94.
In the past year Hulu has acquired exclusive U.S. SVOD rights to a number of other popular TV shows, including “Homeland,” “The Golden Girls,” “The OC,” “Power,” “This Is Us,” and “Atlanta.”