Hulu announces slate of original shows

Los Angeles TimesJanuary 12, 2014 

— Continuing to carve out a niche with original programming, online video service Hulu has stepped up its output of in-house productions and co-productions.

Last week, the service unveiled its slate of original shows for 2014, which includes four programs new to Hulu and six returning projects.

Hulu’s popular teen drama, “East Los High,” which revolves around a fictional group of high school students in East Los Angeles, is scheduled to return this summer for Season 2.

Hulu said it has ordered 12 new episodes of the English-language series, which features an all-Latino cast and explores such real-life issues as teen pregnancy.

Last summer, episodes of the series, created by Carlos Portugal and Kathleen Bedoya, consistently ranked among Hulu’s most popular programs.

“The show has this cool, contemporary feel, and feels like East Los Angeles,” Charlotte Koh, head of development for Hulu Originals, said in an interview. “The show will explore new issues this season – domestic abuse, coming out as gay in high school and bullying.”

Hulu, headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., has been placing more emphasis on original content – a strategy shared by competing streaming services Netflix and Amazon.com.

Hulu’s slate of original shows features a few British and European productions, as well as several series developed exclusively for Hulu.

The 2014 schedule includes:

• “The Bridge” an original Scandinavian drama distributed by ZDF Enterprises, debuts Jan. 14 on Hulu. The new 10-episode series revolves around the investigation of a double murder by Swedish and Danish police.

• “Deadbeat,” a 10-episode new series, co-produced by Hulu and Lionsgate Television, is set to premiere April 9. The supernatural comedy follows a hapless medium who tries to help ghosts settle unfinished business.

• “Moone Boy,” Irish actor Chris O’Dowd’s semi-autobiographical coming-of-age comedy is scheduled to return with six episodes starting April 24. The program is offered on Hulu and Hulu Plus courtesy of BBC Worldwide North America.

• “The Next Step,” is a 30-episode reality-styled teen drama that follows the lives of a group of dancers attempting to win regional championships. The new scripted drama is scheduled to roll out in May.

• “The Hotwives of Orlando,” a reality-TV parody from Paramount Digital Entertainment, is scheduled to roll out later in the year. The new seven-episode satirical series features six vixens from Orlando, Fla., who are “ready to drink, fight and cry, sometimes all at the same time,” according to Hulu.

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