It was announced last week that Hulu and Blumhouse Television are teaming up for a new horror anthology series.
Unfortunately not a whole lot more is known about the project at the moment. It doesn’t even have a title yet. One thing we do know, however, is that it will have an interesting distribution model. Hulu usually sticks to the traditional weekly episode release strategy, while services like Netflix change things up drastically by releasing all episodes of a new season at the same time so viewers can binge away.
For this new horror anthology, the plan is try to release new episodes monthly. This ensures that the 12-episode first season will deliver new horror goodness monthly for a full year.
Hulu CCO Joel Stillerman said of the announcement:
“If there’s been one guiding principal that is in place from the day I walked in the door, I wanted to look at that Hulu logo and remember that making TV for an over-the-top SVOD platform, if it isn’t today, is going to be a very different proposition than the approach to making television for what is still the majority of the landscape. I wanted to focus on this question of what does it mean to make television for a place like Hulu.
At the heart of the deal is an extremely passionate audience and an extremely activateable audience in terms of horror. It’s not even the larger bucket of “˜genre.’ I would say this falls squarely into the horror bucket. And it’s brought to us by, I would say in many ways that would be hard to argue, the consummate producers in that genre today.”
Blumhouse Television co-president Marci Wiseman also released a statement, saying:
“We think this is an innovation. We haven’t split the atom. But Hulu’s commitment to create episodic installments of an anthology series and to event-ize each of them “” you don’t get that kind of commitment from partners very often, and we’re really excited and enthused.”
With Blumhouse TV co-president Jeremy Gold adding:
“It’s always exciting to do something that is different and innovative and grand and ambitious.”
Each episode of the series will stand on its own, with those creating the episodes given the freedom to try different things. But while each episode will be its own thing, there is expected to be some kind of device in the series used to connect them all together as well.
The first episode of Hulu and Blumhouse’s horror anthology series is expected to arrive in October. It’s unclear at the moment if season two—assuming the show does well and is given a second season—would then begin in October of next year, one month after the final episode of season one, or if there would be some off time in between seasons.
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My opinion is that Hulu is doing what they can to guarantee subscribers stick around every month, unlike what some subscribers do with Netflix by paying 1 month, binging an entire season of a program and canceling until next year when the next season is released.
While I am a horror enthusiast (I do enjoy best of the best, as well as worst of the worst), I don’t think a monthly schedule is enough to hold my interest regardless of the genre or format. What’s the expected duration of these episodes? Are we talking 30min-60min episodes? Something more along the lines of movies running 80min-90min each? If one of the episodes is a dud, how might I feel about waiting an entire month before giving the show another chance at redemption? Or vice versa, how might I feel if one episode is really good followed by two months of mediocre episodes?
I’ll reserve final judgement until more details are known but, for several reasons, I just think that monthly releases are too far apart.
Comment by PAUL — January 19, 2018 @ 1:33 pm