Hulu has signed an agreement to exclusively air a new television series based on the novel 11/22/63 from author Stephen King, the company announced today.
Hulu has been locked in competition with other streaming service like Amazon and Netflix, both of which also offer subscribers exclusive original TV content. The hope is that exclusive and original content will keep people paying to watch the entire library offered.
The new 11/22/63 series itself will be produced by J.J. Abrams’ production company Bad Robot, which has been responsible for several big hits over the years including Lost, Alias, and Fringe, to name a few. It represents arguably the biggest original series to come to Hulu … and possibly the most important depending on the price tag.
Unlike Netflix, Hulu’s bread and butter is in providing people with a catch-up service for prime time, current season TV shows. Right now, the company has the big TV networks locked into multiyear contracts, but when those expire there’s no telling if the content will remain. And a Hulu without fresh content from Fox, ABC, CW, and NBC make the service far less valuable. However, if it has some original content that no one else has, that could prevent subscribers from leaving.
While Hulu didn’t disclose how much its deal to bring the King adaptation to the service was worth, I’d imagine it cost more than most of its other original series. And if 11/22/63 ends up performing well with Hulu’s audience, then it could be a game-changer for the company.