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Remote Control for Hulu Plus

April 24th, 2014 by Mitch Walker Senior Development Lead

At Hulu, we are always in search of providing great experiences for watching TV. Today, we are pleased to announce the first release of the remote control experience for Hulu Plus, a new function that allows you to use your mobile phone or tablet to control the Hulu Plus experience on your living room device.

Expanding on the great Chromecast support we successfully launched last year, remote control functionality for Hulu Plus brings that same awesome experience to your living room through the Hulu Plus app on your Xbox One, PlayStation®3 (PS3®) or PlayStation®4 (PS4™) systems. 

The functionality is easy to use. Simply launch the Hulu Plus app on your iOS or Android mobile device, and your gaming console system will be detected directly through the app.* Once detected, a “cast” button will appear on your mobile phone or tablet and you can pair it with your living room device. 

Let’s say you’re an Andy Samberg fan like me…and you’re catching up on the season finale of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and suddenly have a desire to re-live Andy’s comedic genius in his first SNL digital short – “Lazy Sunday”. Well, you’re in luck! You can keep watching the “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” episode on your Xbox One, PS3 or PS4  system and use your mobile device to easily search for another show, episode or clip, and “cast it” to start watching immediately on your TV.

With the remote control functionality, you still get all of the controls you’ve come to expect from Hulu Plus such as pause/resume, seek, and 10-second rewind. Need to go downstairs to grab a snack? No problem – you can switch back to watching on your phone with the press of a button. With another press of a button, you can go back to casting to any TV in your home with a connection to your Xbox One, PS3 or PS4 system!

The Hulu Seattle and Santa Monica teams are always creating new connected experiences so that you, our subscribers, can have more great ways to enjoy Hulu Plus in the living room. We launched the remote control functionality with the goal of finding and consuming your favorite content easier than ever. And this is only the beginning – we will continue to add remote control functionality to more living room devices over the coming months. So stay tuned! If you’re looking for new content to watch, the second season of our Hulu Original “Moone Boy,” starring Chris O’Dowd, just premiered on the service today.

Let us know what you think!


*The gaming console must be turned-on and logged in to the same Hulu Plus account

**“PlayStation”, the “PS” Family logo and “PS3” are registered trademarks and “PS4” is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

 

 

“The Great Beauty” Debuts Only on Hulu Plus

April 15th, 2014 by The Criterion Collection

Since 2011, The Criterion Collection has proudly distributed more than 800 films and extra features from our collection on the Hulu Plus subscription service, including a number of rarities unavailable anywhere else. This online library includes the work of such masters of cinema as Renoir, Kurosawa, Cocteau, Fellini, Bergman, Hitchcock, and Chaplin.

Today, we’re excited to announce that Criterion and Hulu have extended the multi-year agreement to continue offering celebrated and never-before released films exclusively on Hulu Plus. In line with our mission to present the defining moments of cinema for a wider and wider audience, Criterion and Hulu Plus together will continue to create a destination to drive discovery and appreciation of some of the greatest films from around the world.

Most of all, we’re thrilled to debut the exclusive streaming release of the Academy Award-winning film, “The Great Beauty.” Beginning today, only on Hulu Plus, we are proud to make this modern-day classic available online to join the ranks of other Italian masterpieces, alongside the films of Fellini, Rossellini, Antonioni and more.

See the film that appeared on over 20 “Best of” lists last year and prompted James L. Brooks to tweet “Think upscale ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ written and directed by God.”

Now, this gorgeous and exhilarating film is just a click away…

Deadbeat Launch Q&A with Creators Cody Heller and Brett Konner

April 9th, 2014 by Barrie Gruner Hulu Communications

Brett Konner, Cody Heller, Lucy DeVito, Tyler Labine, Brandon T. Jackson, Cat Deeley and Troy Miller at Hulu’s “Deadbeat” SXSW premiere.

In celebration of today’s premiere of Hulu Original Series “Deadbeat,” we sat down with the show’s creators Cody Heller and Brett Konner to talk about their inspiration, experience working with Hulu, how they gave birth to the character Kevin Pacalioglu, and surviving asbestos exposure.

All ten episodes are available today (April 9) on Hulu Plus.  The first two episodes are available on Hulu.com, with an additional new episode launching every week.

You can watch the first episodes here: 

or here: http://www.hulu.com/deadbeat

Hulu:  How did you guys come up with the idea for DEADBEAT?

Cody:  Four years ago, we were watching a lot of these supernatural dramas on TV – like MEDIUM and GHOST WHISPERER – and we started noticing this trend.  The main characters – the protagonists – who were endowed with these rare abilities to communicate with ghosts were also super well-adjusted and, of course, beautiful.  It got us thinking…  If you really were born with the ability to talk to ghosts, it would probably f*ck you up.

Brett:  Especially if you weren’t a hot chick.  It’s hard enough for some people to make friends and, eventually, become productive members of society.  If you were labeled a “freak” from a very early age, you probably wouldn’t turn out well.

Cody: We started to think about what might have become of the little kid from THE SIXTH SENSE.

Brett: He’d probably turn out less like Jennifer Love-Hewitt and more like “The Dude” from THE BIG LEBOWSKI.

Cody:  If you had this ability and became this outcast, you’d likely turn to food and drugs for comfort.  I mean, I can’t even talk to ghosts, and that’s still where I turn for comfort.

Brett:  And so Kevin Pacalioglu (played by Tyler Labine) was born.

Hulu:  Where did the tone of the show come from?

Brett:  We knew we wanted to write a comedy and we knew we wanted to go pretty dark with it.  There’s a lot of sadness around death, obviously, but there can also be a lot of humor.  Sometimes the humor is how you deal with the sadness without going crazy.

Cody: Another trend we saw in these ghost shows was that the “unfinished business” of the ghosts – the thing, or want, keeping them from moving on into the Light – was usually pretty heavy… pretty deep.

Brett:  Avenging a murder or protecting a loved one…

Cody:  We thought it would be funny to keep the wants and goals of the ghosts similar to the wants and goals of most living people.

Brett:  Spiritually, we justified it by thinking that, if you were “enlightened” – that is to say, if you were able to let go of your humanly wants upon death – you would immediately go into the Light and not become a ghost.  So the only types of people that did become ghosts would be the really petty ones with really inane wants.

Cody:  That, plus the idea that the one guy who can help these ghosts finish their unfinished business is himself barely able to function in society, seemed like pretty fertile comedic ground for a show.

Hulu:  Where did the other recurring characters come from?

Brett:  We liked this theme of “What’s more important: having a real skill or having the ability to fake it?”  With Pac, we have a character who can actually talk to the dead, but has no real business sense and certainly no real people skills.  He even admits that most of his clients wind up more willing to put up with their ghosts than to put up with him.

Cody:  On the other end, you have Camomile White (played by Cat Deeley).  Camomile has absolutely no real ability to talk to ghosts but has managed to use her charm, wit and sex appeal to build herself a paranormal empire.  She appears on talk shows, is a celebrated author of ghost erotica…

Brett:  She’s got her own brand of cigarettes.

Cody:  “Camomile Lights.”

Brett: We wanted to have her in this self-produced workout DVD called “The Exercist” which combined light aerobics and cleansing one’s house of evil spirits.  But anyway, yeah, she’s total bullshit.

Cody:  We see this a lot in our industry.  People getting by without having any real talent.  Just because they’re good in the room, or good with people.  I mean, I’m doing it right now!

Brett:  Cody, shhh!!  Um, anyway, yeah, and then we have Pac’s only friend, his drug dealer, Roofie (played by Brandon T. Jackson).  Roofie doesn’t see ghosts but he sees something far more abstract – and that is he sees potential in everything.  This makes him a very good entrepreneur.  Eventually, he channels this energy into Pac, giving him one of his newsstands to use as a ghost headquarters and, later, convincing him to embrace his destiny when Pac has reached his breaking point.

Hulu:  What did you like most about working on DEADBEAT?

Brett:  Seeing all these DEADBEAT billboards plastered all over LA and NY has been a real trip.

Cody:  It’s crazy.

Brett:  That’s definitely been awesome.  To know that Hulu really believes in our show.  If I’m being honest, though, some of the most fun we had was in the writer’s room.  We had some really talented writer friends of ours help pitch ideas the whole summer.  It was awesome when you’d be circling an idea for an episode – usually trying to find the comedic, weird take on a pre-existing ghost trope – and you’d be going crazy like, “How is Pac gonna get out of this one?”  And then you figure out a way.

Cody:  Also, we lucked out and got an amazing cast and it was unbelievably fun to work with them.  It was fun to watch them bring the words to life.  As cheesy as it sounds, it’s true.

Brett:  The crew as well.  Really a committed bunch of, let’s be honest, characters.  And really talented.  Through rain and cold and—

Cody:  Polar vortexes.

Brett:  And asbestos.  That one subway tunnel, man.  I still cough up blood.

Cody:  Me too.  I hope we don’t die before the show comes out.

Brett:  That would be some unfinished business…

Hulu Plus on Amazon Fire TV

April 3rd, 2014 by Jon Cohen Business Development & Distribution Partnerships

In November of 2011, Hulu announced our launch day support of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet, and today we’re pleased to announce that we are continuing to extend our relationship with Amazon into the Living Room with the launch of Hulu Plus on Amazon’s latest device, Amazon Fire TV – which was introduced to the public yesterday in Manhattan.

With living room viewing accounting for nearly 60% of all content consumption on Hulu Plus, our availability on Amazon Fire TV helps us further pursue our mission of helping people find and enjoy last night’s TV, original first-run programming and the world’s premium video content when, where and how they want it. 

Our Seattle-based Living Room Development team has worked closely with Amazon to ensure that users will receive the most enhanced and updated version of the Hulu Plus Living Room experience on Amazon Fire TV .  Notable features include:

  • Artwork. Larger and more vivid artwork, easier navigation.
  • Trays. Tray-style format allowing you to scroll through recommendations, popular shows and movies, top 100 clips, movie trailers and a new “Shows You Watch” feature that lets you jump straight to the latest episodes of the shows you regularly watch.
  • Search. Updated search experience providing a simpler way to find content with results that appear directly beneath the search.
  • Controls. Playback is simplified with clean and intuitive controls: press up or down to display the playback menu, or left or right to fast-forward or rewind.
  • Hulu Kids. Brings Hulu Kids section to the living room, letting your family enjoy commercial-free children’s shows from your couch.

For new Hulu Plus subscribers – signing up for our 1-week free trial is just one click away.  Using Amazon’s In-App Purchasing system, Amazon Fire TV users can sign up for Hulu Plus using their Amazon credentials and begin watching the content they love instantly.  This feature will also be coming soon to the Kindle Fire HD and HDX models.  Existing subscribers can simply login using their current user ID and password.

We hope you enjoy the Hulu Plus experience on Amazon Fire TV as much as we’ve enjoyed building it.

 

We’re Flipping Out for NBCU Library Shows Only on Hulu Plus

April 2nd, 2014 by Mike Hopkins CEO

Today, I’m excited to announce that some of the most hilarious TV comedies and addictive reality shows, many of which have never been available in their entirety on-demand, are coming exclusively to the Hulu Plus subscription service. 

Are you sitting down? 

Well, get cozy and get ready to watch your favorite NBCUniversal shows now exclusive to Hulu Plus, including Universal Television’s “The Mindy Project” and Golden Globe-winning comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” exclusively on SVOD. In the coming weeks, additional NBCUniversal favorites including Bravo Media’s “The Real Housewives” franchise, “Top Chef,” “Top Chef Masters,” “The Millionaire Matchmaker” and “Flipping Out,”  as well as E!’s “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” will also be available exclusively on SVOD to Hulu Plus subscribers. Full prior seasons of fan favorite comedy “Parks and Recreation” will be available on Hulu Plus non-exclusively.

Fans can immediately catch up on all episodes of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” on the heels of its hilarious season finale, and rewatch all previous episodes of “The Mindy Project” as it returns with new episodes this week. Yes, you can rewatch the show’s shocking winter finale as many times as you’d like.

One of my personal favorites coming to Hulu Plus is “Flipping Out.” Watching Jeff Lewis, Jenni, Zoila and the rotating cast of characters’ antics makes my life feel a bit more normal. Who knew interior decorating could be so dramatic?

My wife on the other hand is a reality TV junkie, and she’ll revel in revisiting some of the most priceless matchmaking moments from Patti Stanger of “Millionaire Matchmaker.”  Most of all, I think she’s over the moon about the hundreds of episodes of “The Real Housewives…” franchise coming exclusively to the service, from Atlanta, Beverly Hills, Miami, New Jersey, New York City and Orange County.

So, basically, I’m now a hero at home. There’s something for everyone, and I hope you will enjoy these great NBCU shows hitting Hulu Plus exclusively in the coming weeks.  Happy watching.