Hulu unveiled on Wednesday new shows and renewals of popular series, including a third season for its Emmy-winning The Handmaid's Tale.
New Hulu original series include two comedies -- Four Weddings and a Funeral from Mindy Kaling and Ramy from Ramy Youssef -- and a year-round horror series called Into the Dark from Get Out producer Jason Blum's independent TV studio.
Streaming video services are producing original programming at breakneck pace to ensure they have their grips on the shows and movies that will fuel your watercooler talk and suck you in as a subscriber. Rival Netflix's budget for original shows could hit an eye-popping $8 billion this year. Hulu's budget for original shows is smaller than Netflix's, but the streaming service is an online pipeline for the programming of some of the biggest television companies in the world. Its owners include Comcast's NBCUniversal, Disney, 21st Century Fox, as well as minority investor Time Warner, which owns HBO and CNN.
The Handmaid's Tale premiered its second season last week to double the audience from a year earlier. It was the first series on a streaming video service to win the Emmy Award for best drama.
Four Weddings and a Funeral, produced by Kaling, is based on the 1994 movie of the same name. The show will follow a group of friends as their lives intersect through five events. Ramy is based on the real-life experiences of Youssef, a first-generation American Muslim "who is on a spiritual journey in his politically-divided New Jersey neighborhood."
Into the Dark will be a monthly series from Blum's independent TV studio, Blumhouse. It will include 12 standalone episodes, with a new installment released on the first Friday of each month. Each episode is inspired by a holiday from the month of it release. The first story, The Body, premieres on Oct. 5. It follows a stylish LA hitman who assumes that self-centered, selfie-obsessed Halloween partiers won't pay attention to his latest victim if he passes off the body as part of an extravagant costume.
Hulu also announced that it has crossed 20 million subscribers and said it will introduce the ability to download content for offline viewing.
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