Skip to main content

Upfronts 2016: Hulu, Ron Howard Set ‘Beatles’ Documentary

Hulu’s confirmation of its new live streaming service wasn’t the only programming news announced during its Thursday morning upfront as the streaming service said it will develop a documentary on The Beatles and has renewed original series The Path and The Mindy Project.

During a star-studded upfront presentation at New York's Madison Square Garden hosted by Comedy Central’s Broad City stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson -- featuring stars from Hulu original series including Amy Poehler and Billy Eichner (Difficult People), Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project) and Aaron Paul (The Path) -- Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins confirmed that service will offer in 2017 an over the top pay TV service that will offer live feeds of cable and broadcast channels, but did not reveal specifics including costs or potential network providers.

Published reports have said the service in in talks with its media owners – The Walt Disney Company, 21st Century Fox and NBCUniversal – to secure distribution deals for their respective linear cable channels.

“Hulu viewers will be able to enjoy live sports, news and events all in real time without a traditional cable or satellite subscription,” Hopkins said. “We’re going to fuse the best of linear television and on demand in a deeply personalized experience.”

Hulu also announced it has teamed up with producer/actor Ron Howard to create a new documentary on The Beatles Eight Days A Week, featuring exclusive footage of the British group’s early years as part of Hulu’s new documentary films arm.

The streaming service also announced it has renewed freshman series The Path for a second season and The Mindy Project for a fifth season. Hulu will also debut its psychic-themed drama Shut Eye in August and its new Hugh Laurie starrer Chase in October. 

Actress Elizabeth Moss will also star in Hulu’s recently announced series The Handmaid’s Tale, debuting in 2017.

In an effort to attract advertisers, Hulu announced a deal with BrightLine that will create interactive ads for viewers to access, as well as deals with Nielsen and Millward Brown that will provide greater audience measurement platforms.

Hopkins said the majority of Hulu subscribers continue to use its ad-supported service six months after the company launched a more expensive, ad-free offering.