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The King Returns to TV

July 16th, 2012 by Ben Collins Editor

So Larry King is waiting for one of his CNN specials to come on the air. This is largely how he thought his life would be after Larry King Live. He’d do specials, do some standup, then watch the final product live as his specials aired. It’s May 2nd, 2011.

His special doesn’t air. CNN’s breaking in with news. The White House has called a press conference at 10 p.m. Eastern on a Sunday—a truly weird time for this sort of thing. No one knows what it’s about.

He gets that rush that he should go to the studio to start a show he no longer has.

Turns out Osama bin Laden’s been captured. He would’ve been reporting on this.

This is when Larry King knew he had to come back.

Now he is. Starting tonight, Larry King is reporting the news and interviewing anybody you’d consider important. And he’s doing it Monday through Thursday every week on Hulu and Hulu Plus. He’ll never miss that sort of story again.

The show’s called “Larry King Now.” Larry will talk with celebrities and newsmakers and presidents and the generally famous…or infamous. They’ll come on his show and he’ll get them to tell their story in full.

Here’s his first week, for example: The show will start of with Seth MacFarlane, who just released “Ted,” the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all-time last month. He’ll have Matthew McConaughey, too, who just finished “Magic Mike.” Then there’s Meghan McCain, the first of a smattering of influential political figures of the moment.

And it’s funded by—no joke—the world’s richest man, Carlos Slim, who wanted to live in a world where this guy is doing talk shows every night. “Larry King Now” is the first show Hulu is distributing through a partnership with Ora TV.

And we can’t wait. Larry King is iconic and reinvigorated. We’re excited to get our news from him every night again.

So here’s a little more from Larry about his return.

Hulu: So when did you realize you wanted to come back?

Larry: I realized pretty quick. When I left CNN, for a couple of weeks it was fine, and then a big story broke. I will never forget the night. We had done a special on Alzheimer’s. We were about to watch it. They ran it once.

They were about to air it a second time, and then they killed Osama bin Laden. So then everything broke down. They had to change everything at CNN. They had people running in. And had I been working, I would’ve been running in that night to do interviews. I realized then, “God, I miss this.” I want to be in the hunt.

So when this opportunity came in with Ora.TV and Carlos Slim, hooking up with Hulu—it’s just a hoot to come back. I’ve been doing it for so long and I’ve never lost my curiosity. It’s great to be back.

Hulu: So when Osama bin Laden comes back, those big events, your head must be going through those same motions. You must be thinking, “I’ve gotta go to work.”

Larry: Yeah, you want to go to work. Some nights it’s approaching 6 o’clock in the pacific time zone and I want to get up and do something.

So I watch my kids play baseball. I keep active. I’ve been doing comedy specials. I’m in theaters all over America, telling stories. I’ve been speaking all over the world. I’ve been in Kazakstan, Moscow, Lisbon, Seoul. I just came back from Baku. So I’m still in the hunt. But there’s nothing like daily television.

Hulu: About that standup tour. Is there something you’ve learned from that you can translate back into the language of your show?

Larry: I’ve spoken throughout my whole career and I’ve never did a serious speech. I’ve always told stories. I like to make people laugh. I try to be funny. And there’s truly nothing like going on a stage—from Florida, Massachusetts, Virginia, Vegas—of let’s say 1,000 people, cold, a microphone, and that’s it, and making people laugh. There’s nothing like it. That moment when you’re doing a punch line—it’s a high.

I’m used to it. I like communicating. I was the kind of kid who would go to a ballgame and come back and tell everybody about the game. I was the kind of kid who would run around and say, “You know what I heard today?” I’d deliver the news.

Hulu: So – Twitter.

Larry: I have 2,229,000 followers, I think. That whole world of Twittering and Tweeting and Facebook, that’s a whole wide open, new world to me.

It’s exciting! It’s the concept of tomorrow. Everybody Tweets. Nobody talks anymore. Everybody’s texting. I talked to a guy yesterday who said, “Hey, I talked to your wife yesterday!” I said, “Did she sound up tempo?” And he says, “Well, I couldn’t tell. We were texting.”

That’s one thing I don’t do: I don’t text. I like communicating. I like hearing the voice.

One advantage of texting, I think, is that you can do things you can’t do. For example, you can break up with a girl. “Goodbye.” Can’t say goodbye on a phone. It’s the world’s greatest cop-out.

Hulu: That’s a great idea.

Larry: “I can’t make it tonight.” You can get away with anything.

Hulu: Along the tech lines, tell me about Hulu. Tell me how much you know about it.

Larry: We met up with the people at Hulu and I was very impressed. It was a whole new world to me. I don’t think there’s anybody here over 30 years old. Maybe one guy is 32. But it’s a wonderful crew and it’s an exciting new venture. And I like new ventures.

I started the first syndicated radio show—a national talk show. I did for the voice of America, the first international radio talk show. The first call I did was from a farmer in China. This was 1980. I started the first cable international talk show, taking phone calls from around the world, on CNN. And now I bring that concept to Hulu.

I like being there at the beginning of things. It’s all an adventure to me. And it keeps me young.

Hulu: You’ve been shooting promos today where you’re editing videos, taking customer support calls, coding the site. So how much extensive programming experience do you have?

Larry King: None. But it’s been fun because this is all new to me. But it’s a flip here! I like the people at Hulu and it’s been fun doing these.

Hulu: I hope people come up to you and ask you to code their website now.

Larry King: I will now be a tech genius. I will know answers to all questions. Nothing will throw me. For example, I noticed when I came in here that I thought the transformer on the BB6 was a little off. And you need to correct the iPad concept that you’re using on the third floor.

Hulu: I love this.

Larry King: Anything I can do, just call me.

Hulu: Can you do home repairs as well?

Larry King: I’m Jewish. We don’t do home repair. We hire people.

Hulu: Tell me a little about these last two years that brought you here.

Larry: I’ve been active. The comedy tour has been terrific. I still have a few dates left. I have a big conference in New York for Ora.TV and Hulu. I’ll be at the Clinton Global Initiative. I’ll go to the UN in September. It’s been fun, but it’s also been missing.

Hulu: So what can we expect for the new show?

Larry: It’s what I always love to do, which is variety. I would never do just an entertainment show, just a sports show, just a political show. The bigger the mix, the better.

Hulu: So you’re allowed a lot of freedom with this show?

Larry: Oh yeah. There are almost no constrictions on the Internet. Although I’m not gonna curse. And I’ve never done a show where I refer to me. There’s never been any “I.” But I do a little in this show where I’m involved as well. I give a little opinion. I throw thoughts out, which is new to me. So it’s part of the adventure. But I never wanted to do a show where the host is more important than the guest.

Hulu: That’s one of the best things about you: You have this keen eye for what’s going to be the next thing, the next breaking idea or person. And now you can take a little bit of a risk on this show, I think.

Larry: Correct. Bill Maher used to come on my radio show when he was just touring. He’d work clubs in Washington. He used to come on my all-night Coast-to-Coast radio show where nobody knew who Bill Maher was. When I did my last show on CNN, he and Ryan Seacrest were my co-hosts that night.

Hulu: Oh! I heard that Ryan Seacrest picks out your jeans!

Larry: Well, I’ve got a couple of Ryan Seacrest stories. I met him at De Gaulle airport in Paris. He had been coming back from a cruise. I didn’t know who he was. I had not seen American Idol. This guy came over to me and said, “Oh, I’m your biggest fan. You’re my idol. And it’s very nice meeting you.”

My wife whispers to me, “That’s Ryan Seacrest!” I say, “Who’s Ryan Seacrest?” She says, “Oh, he’s the host of American Idol.” I say, “Oh, very nice to meet you.”

He says, “Is there anything I can do for you?” I say, “Yeah, can you carry my bag?”

So he carries my bag onto the plane.

Then he comes over for dinner one night. We’d become very close friends. He saw the jeans I was wearing and he says, “What are you doing?” So, since then, he’s been my jeans supplier.

Hulu: So, in a fantasy world with no impediments, give me dream guests for the show.

Larry: I’ve never done Fidel Castro. I went to Havana a couple of years ago. We met a couple of officials who were trying to get him. Ted Turner was always trying to help me get him. I’ve never met him.

I’d like to talk to Prince Charles, although I’m not a big fan of Royalty. He’s had an interesting life.

You know? I’ve thought about it. I’ve interviewed so many people. I’ve interviewed Obama a few times. I know Romney very well. I know the Vice President. Whoever Romney picks as a running mate, I will have interviewed. I know all those Senators and Governors.

I’m still curious. I’d like to meet more young recording artists, people on the scene. I’ll go to movies now and see actors and actresses on the screen that I don’t know. I’d like to get to know them. I like young people.

Hulu: You talked a little bit about Romney and Obama up there. If you could ask them one question, what would it be?

Larry: You know, I’ve never pre-thought a question. I’ve never gone on the air where I know what the question was going to be. I’ve never gone on the air and said, “Good evening,” then knew what the question was gonna be.

But what fascinates me is this: Why do you want this job?

You have more bad days than good days. The announcements you’d like to make almost never happen, which is peace. “We’ve signed the peace treaty in the Middle East!” Never happened. “We’ve cured cancer!” Big odds against that.

So mostly you’re dealing with the Congress yelling at you. There’s wildfires in Colorado. You’ve gotta fly over that. You’ve gotta spend funds on that.

I was standing with Bill Clinton once in the White House. I’ve interviewed him many times. We were looking out over Pennsylvania Avenue. It was about 10 o’clock at night. He turns to me and he says, “You know, when we’re finished, you can go out there and you can go over to Starbucks. And I can’t.”

So why do you want that job? The loneliness of it. That fascinates me. I know there’s power involved and all that. But why do you want that job when you have much more bad days than good ones?

Hulu: So that’s why you’re back to this? You’ve got the best job in the world, right?

Larry: I’ve got the best job in the world. I get to meet new people, ask them questions, and get paid for it. Who wouldn’t want that?

Last comment: Oct 20th 2014 41 Comments
  • Michelle says:

    What upsets me the most about all these recent changes is the new review system. Seriously!? Only people from email providers and facebook can write a review.

    Many people do not want random people trying to add them on facebook. Me for instance. I really dislike all the changes Hulu has been making lately.

    All they have done is created a more limited view of their site, they monitor comments and will delete anything they feel is negatively put towards them.

    Hulu is just wrong. First you make it so people cannot honestly review shows anymore now without getting on to facebook practically then you are trying to hide anything negative about you all by deleting users comments that are completely justified. How do you expect to make the site better by doing this?

    I loved Hulu for the most part. I was actually considering buying it, not with these new changes though. It will be a cold day in hell I pay for something that limits it’s users base in such a horrible way.

  • Alison says:

    This new Hulu is RIDICULOUS. Even getting to this blog was hard. PLEASE bring back the calender format – I need to know what was on by release date. I was considering signing up for Hulu Plus, but won’t now until you change the site back into something easier to browse. It’s OK if you know what you want to watch, but impossible otherwise. For goodness’ sake, have some sense.

  • lily1 says:

    I DON’T GET IT!
    this change seems highly ridiculous, it’s worse than when tv guide decided it no longer wanted to be “just” a tv guide and instead wanted to go into the excessive advertising and tabloid business. Tv guide went from clear and concise EASY reading of tv shows available to watch to a where’s waldo-what the heck is going on here and why is it going on mad house!
    Businesses of today really need to stop killing off things that are perfect as they are just so they can “out technology” “out design” etc, the competition or whoever it is they’re trying to outshine, Coca Cola doesn’t have to make odd changes to stay number 1, neither does Hello Kitty, every single thing is not meant to “change with the times”. DO VIEWERS EVEN CARE about such details when their purpose is to come and BROWSE/WATCH available programs? It’s not a hotel or a spa, who is coming to Hulu to “hang out” what reason does it need to look different and have the available programs squished instead of as they were before (simpler times), what reason does a place that’s suppose to provide easy viewing television pleasure need to limit it’s easy viewing options I DON’T GET IT. Maybe this is a ploy to stir folks away from watching tv or to stir folks towards the store to buy or rent the box set when it’s finally released. Whatever… this new set up is working because I just stopped caring, whatever I miss on tv I guess it will just be missed. Working this hard to find a program destroys the whole mood for entertainment.

  • A A says:

    Please change Hulu back to the way it was before!!!! It was so nice to look shows up by the day!!!!!!! The new set-up is horrible

  • Adam says:

    Like everyone else in the known world I DO NOT LIKE THE “NEW” HULU. First I live in an area with only 1.5mbs internet speed so all of the high def commercials lag badly. Second the new browsing interface sucks I cant find what I want in any sensible fashion it seems like the site is trying to steer me in directions I do not want to go. Example, the anime genre page, I used to get to list all anime at once and scroll through now I have to search through list after list of the same shows and cant find anything except what the site wants me to watch. I am sure some big wig at HULU thinks they have to be new and better looking BUT you took one of the best sites on the web and F*&#!% it up royal!

  • jana says:

    I live in the US and speak English. Is this unusual? WTF on the wading through endless Korean shows?!!!

  • L Dodd says:

    I do not like the new way HULU is organized. I prefer to scroll through possible selections vertically and prefer more be shown per page and being able to select the only catagory(s) I want on the page at any point in time.. There is too much background space on screen for much of the time. It looks like HULU was trying to copy Crackle — that was a downgrade.
    I do not like that there is only one “next up” — I much preferred several choices. I did not use my queue as such or long in each time. I have appreciated the emails to let me know is new.

  • L Dodd says:

    I do not like the new way HULU is organized. I prefer to scroll through possible selections vertically and prefer more be shown per page and being able to select the only catagory(s) I want on the page at any point in time.. There is too much background space on screen for much of the time. It looks like HULU was trying to copy Crackle — that was a downgrade.

  • Hi Paige. Thanks for your comment.

    To add an individual episode to your Queue, hover over the thumbnail for the episode. From there, you should see an “Add to Queue” button. That should add the episode or clip into your Queue.

    Regarding the page not loading properly, have you tried zooming out your browser? You can do so by holding down CTRL and then tapping the “-” button. Does that help the page show up a bit better?

    Let me know if I can help with anything else.

    Best,
    Shae
    Hulu Support

  • Paige says:

    I’m also having a lot of trouble with the new look, the old one worked fine and I really dislike it when websites try to fix what isn’t broken.
    My biggest issue is adding videos to my queue. While I’ve read other comments complaining that they are forced to add each video one at a time, I am completely lost as to where any button is for this function. Every place on the site that explains it is using the old method and I have yet to find a single + related button.
    As a side note, I’ve just realized that the bottom bar cuts off part of my message box, and I am currently typing this with only the top half of the words showing.
    I would very much appreciate a quick reply as I will most likely forget where I am in the shows I have found since the change. Thank you.

  • gdouglaso says:

    The new web page looks much better…but is so much worse from a navigation/highlights perspective. Form over function I guess.

  • What’s up, after reading this remarkable piece of writing i am too happy to share my familiarity here with colleagues.

  • jj says:

    U stink,and your customers are leaving..

  • Elaine says:

    where the heck is this supposed “Shows You Watch” feature?

  • Frustrated says:

    I have never left feedback on a website before this incident…dittos to the comments all of the other frustrated viewers.

    Responses on the part of customer support seem to imply that Hulu knows best and that we consumers just don’t know our own minds. But this isn’t (as many have pointed out) a matter of simply resisting change. The new format is not intuitive…after staring at if for two days I still can’t make it out – still can’t see how this could possibly be better. My 15 year-old, one of the most computer savvy people I know agrees.
    I will be another lost customer if something doesn’t drastically improve over the next few days.

  • I apologize for the frustration with our new site design. We actually have a new feature called “Shows You Watch,” which should list the latest releases of the shows you’ve been watching on our site. I know it’s not exactly the same as sorting your queue by Release Date, but this category should show you the latest episodes of the shows you watch. I hope this helps, and I’ll be sure to pass this feedback onto our team.

    Best, Alexa, Hulu Support

  • Geri Furr says:

    This new site literally stinks! It takes forever to find anything. Make it an option to use old site, please. Also identifying the language would help.

  • Elaine says:

    Good grief…just tried to wade through the explanation of why Hulu changed to “new and improved.” I’m a writer. You should have hired me. This does NOT work the way it was intended to work.

  • OfftheMain says:

    My daughter and I HATE the new format. Where I used to browse by release date (in other words, what’s just aired)…that doesn’t happen any m
    ore. For example, tonight we knew that Hell’s Kitchen had a new show but it didn’t come up under “Recently Added.” I totally agree with Verity who says it used to be easy to use. Now it’s not. This format may *look* nice, but it sucks. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE return to the old format or incorporate the functionality of the old format into the new.

  • Alice Ramirez says:

    Every time I go onto Hulu, I keep hoping you ditched your sucky new format. So far, you haven’t and that’s very disappointing.

  • PJ says:

    I prefer the old version of Hulu. If possible change it back. The new version does not even separate the Dubbed from the Subtitles on some of the Anime. It would be nice to select the free option, when you first start looking for something to watch.
    Either version of Hulu needs the option to select what languages you are looking for. I like Anime but I only want to watch the ones in English, not the subtitles. Listing what language you can watch it in online would be nice, this way you do not spend all day trying to find something in the language you want to watch it in, not only in Anime but other catagories also.

  • Hey Mark, We still have a page to browse shows alphabetically. It can be found on the top of the browse TV page by scrolling the first first tray to the right. It can also be accessed directly at this address. ( http://www.hulu.com/tv/all ) I hope this helps, but if you have any questions please feel free to get in touch with us directly. http://www.hulu.com/support )

    Thanks, Grady, Hulu Support

  • Hey Jeanette, There is still an option to view shows in alphabetical order. It can be found on the top of the browse pages by clicking on the first button to the right. It can also be accessed directly at this address. ( http://www.hulu.com/tv/all ) I hope this helps, but if you have any questions please feel free to get in touch with us directly. http://www.hulu.com/support )

    Thanks, Grady, Hulu Support

  • richard j beckman says:

    ur new format is terible ur old format was so much easier to use if u go back ill return thhank you for the et sorry but ur service sucks now

  • Margie says:

    The new Hulu stinks. Don’t consider the ease of use for the audience at all. If I can’t filter my search I’m just not going to use Hulu anymore. I don’t have hours to waste while I am looking for an old movie to watch. I don’t have Hulu Plus and you force me to scan those also because I can’t filter it out. What Braintrust thought of this new format?

  • jj says:

    Cant handle the truth HULU..you suck

  • Pauline says:

    Hello Michael,

    I am logged in and there is no queue that I can easily find.

    Pauline

  • lgok64 says:

    I went into hulu last night to watch a show & was surprised to find the “new look”. I do NOT like it, but could overlook the clutter if I could still browse shows alphabetically. The site is irritating to use.

  • robert says:

    CHANGE IT BACK. THIS IS CRAP. CAN’T FIND ANYTHING. I WOULD RATHER PAY FOR CABLE, THAN DEAL WITH THIS

  • Bev says:

    AGH!!!!! The more I try to find things in this chaotic new format the more & more frustrated I’m getting. I can’t find anything unless I just give up and use the search function. I HATE THIS! CHANGE IT BACK!

  • Angela Martin says:

    I really dont like the new. I was happy with the old one. Also, could you let me know when some more episodes of the LXD will be coming on or if ever. And with the new hulu you cant find things as easy as before.

  • Erin says:

    The old Hulu was a better interface, it was easy to navigate. If I’m paying for this service, I should be able to choose a “classic” interface that isn’t a jumbled or “social” mess.

  • Mark says:

    You need to have an alphabetical browse function. The new system may look nice, but is functionally very cumbersome. A system like Hulu is essentially USELESS if you cannot have an alphabetical browse feature. While the large graphics may be high quality pictures, the functionality is poor at best. Hulu needs to bring back a cleaner text based search option, otherwise I will have to look elsewhere for the same services. The pretty pictures start to look quite ugly when it takes a substantially longer time and extra clicks to browse what could be done quickly and easily before.

  • othoap says:

    I really don’t care what hulu dose to the layout. Just keep up the great work on the “PLAYER”. Hands down hulu has the best video player. Stable, fast, intuitive, big buttons, great buffer and great image quality! Oh did I mention stable? I just don’t understand why all the other networks have such pore video player. If it’s online but not on Hulu I won’t watch it.

  • Jeanette says:

    I agree with you John. What the heck?! My boyfriend logged in and was surprised at the new look. No way to browse through TV shows in Alphabetic order. They need to fix that. I dont look up shows via genre. I like to scroll through. That is when I notice shows I havent seen in a while. Come on Hulu, fix the issue. I am paying for the service.

  • Hi Pauline,

    You can find your Queue in the upper right-hand corner of our page – just make sure you’re logged in to your account.

    Thanks!
    Michael B.
    Hulu Support

  • pete says:

    What the F. Why did you screw up a great website? I am not impressed and will have to switch to a new provider.

  • Bev says:

    CHANGE IT BACK! It’s painful on the eyes to have to sift thru so much visual clutter.

    At the very least, please provide a more text based function for efficiently looking up the shows or movies for those of us who want to minimize the sifting & maximize our viewing time. That would also allow us to quickly see how many episodes are available for a series without scrolling, & scrolling, & scrolling..

    While you’re at it, how about giving us buttons to control what comes up on the menu? I don’t like having to sift through pages & pages of programs that don’t fit into my viewing plans. EX: Cartoons & Anime aren’t my thing, ever. Also, since I often knit while watching, I’d like the ability to eliminate non-English based movies from the pick-list to save time — it’s too hard to read sub-titles while knitting.

    But please — don’t base it on whatever method previously used for classifying shows. Shows wouldn’t come up in expected categories & much later I would find them in some completely absurd category.

  • Verity says:

    Although the new Hulu is pretty, its harder to navigate. It used to be simple to click on the recently added and it was all laid out week by week, easy to use. Now it’s difficult and dumped all over. It’s constantly lagging, and I can’t even see the connection bar anymore at the top. You took away. The whole change stinks but hey at least it’s pretty right? *rolls eyes*

  • Pauline says:

    Where is the queue??

  • John says:

    What happened to Browse->TV->Alphabetical!

    Come on you idiots – I’m paying for this the least you could do is let me access the content without having to go through one of your brainless filters!

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