Online streaming site Hulu closed out the 2012 winter Television Critics Association press tour with the announcement of its first slate of original programming, including its first scripted drama. Andy Forssell, Hulu’s senior vice president of content, sold the company’s move as part of the next step in the evolution of television. The company hopes to produce high-quality shows that will blend in well with the shows provided for it by broadcast networks and cable channels, similar to Netflix’s current pursuit of original programming (though Netflix’s ambitions are larger and more expensive than Hulu’s, at first glance).
The first three series include Morgan Spurlock’s A Day In The Life, which already saw a first season debut on Hulu. The show’s second season will launch in March. As you might expect, each episode follows one interesting person around for a day to see what their life is like. Season two’s subjects will include comedian and podcast host Marc Maron, who was on hand to talk about his experiences on the show, and comedian and Community star Joel McHale.
Debuting in summer will be another documentary series, this one from filmmaker Richard Linklater. Up To Speed follows tour guide Timothy “Speed” Levitch as he takes viewers through little-seen corners of America’s most well-known cities. Season one includes visits to San Francisco, New York, and Kansas (the entire state, apparently). Linklater is filming the project. Episodes for both documentary series will be 22 minutes long.
The final new project is the new mockumentary drama series Battleground, which details over 13 22-minute episodes the buildup to a Democratic Senate primary in Wisconsin, following a team of consultants for a candidate who’s mired in third place. The show is presented as a look back at the campaign from much later on by said consultants, who comment on what was happening at the time, even as the footage seen on screen contradicts them. The series, created by JD Walsh and produced by (500) Days Of Summer director Marc Webb, will debut on Hulu on Tues., Feb. 14.
TV Club will review the premieres of all three series and follow them if events and quality merit.