Hulu’s event on Thursday called itself a digital upfront – a twist on TV’s seasonal shindig to rev up advertiser enthusiam – and confidently disclosed a slate of original new programs, aiming to give every impression that it won’t be long before they can drop the “digital” qualifier.
Only viewers and marketers’ ROI can make that determination, of course, but Hulu is offering a mainstream selection of entertainment that included two shows still in development. The idea is to get advertising dollars in advance to bankroll their completion into a series.
To that end, Hulu reported that it now has more than 2 million paid subscribers, adding its calculations that Hulu represents 20 percent of the overall online video market and 40 percent of the premium online market. It also said it garnered $420 million in revenue during 2011, money it has plowed back in to programming.
Then it rolled out the new stuff. The Awesomes got the most buzz of the debutantes, possibly due to it being from Saturday Night Live‘s Seth Meyers, who was in attendance and socializing. The animated series is about a team of not-very-superheroes and is by Meyers with Michael Shoemaker and animation studio Bento Box.
Entourage‘s Adrian Grenier (pictured) was there too, supporting Don’t Quit Your Daydream. The show follows a cast of established musicians who travel across America to collaborate with musicians who were never able to quit their day jobs, giving them a second chance at success. It’s based on a documentary by Grenier and John Loar and produced by Virgin.
Flow, about a young man framed for a crime he didn’t commit and his quest for justice that evolves into a deeper tale of realizing one’s own potential. From Michael “Dooma” Wendschuh (who also was there) and David Belle, the show is produced by Agility Studios and the Shine Group
Turning to the world of bro’s is We Got Next, in which four guys who at first appear to have nothing in common except pick-up basketball become unlikely friends. It’s from Kenya Barris (Are We There Yet?), Hale Rothstein (Everybody Hates Chris), and Danny Leiner (The Office).
Others on hand to sprinkle stardust included documentarian Morgan Spurlock, Megan Hilty from Smash, Speed Levitch of Hulu original Up To Speed, JD Walsh and Jay Hayden from Hulu original Battleground, and Mayer Hawthorne with Live From The Artist’s Den.
Attendees also were reminded of previously announced shows like Spurlock’s A Day in The Life and Richard Linklater’s Up to Speed, along with the already-airing Battleground from Marc Webb, JD Walsh, Hagai Shaham, Jay Hayden, Teri Reeves, Ben Samuel, Jack De Sena, Alison Haislip, Lindsey Pearce and Jordan T. Maxwell.
Hulu – official site
The Hollywood Reporter – Upfronts 2012: Hulu Announces New Shows From Seth Meyers, Richard Linklater, More
Deadline Hollywood – Hulu Upfronts Present Shows By Morgan Spurlock, Richard Linklater, Seth Meyers
NY Observer – Seth Meyers Gets Animated During Hulu’s Upfronts