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Hulu has become a major destination site for television fans since its launch in 2008, serving up endless amounts of primetime television content for its users while also serving as a home for high-profile web originals. But this week, it gets the closest it’s ever gotten to crossing the line between content distribution and content production with the new series The Morning After.
Hosted by Brian Kimmet and Ginger Gonzaga, The Morning After takes a TV-obsessed look at pop culture, with the first two episodes covering the Golden Globes, Piers Morgan’s new CNN series and the latest developments on The Bachelor. New episodes are available every weekday on both Hulu and Hulu Plus, though are currently geoblocked to the United States.
According to the blog post announcing the project, written by Hulu SVP Andy Forssell:
When we read the discussions boards on Hulu.com and tweets from our users, it’s clear to us that enjoying Hulu is about more than any one show. It’s also about how your favorite shows relate to the rest of what is going on in pop culture… Lately, our users have been asking us for a quick and fun way to stay current on the latest in pop culture. We looked far and wide for a show that struck the right balance between being entertaining and being informative, but we just couldn’t find something that hit the mark.
Which, therefore, is why Hulu had to go create its own show. Sort of.
The Morning After, technically, is not the first original content that Hulu has partnered with — technically, that would be last year’s reality series If I Can Dream, which recently completed its first season. Hulu is also the distributor of original series like The LXD and the upcoming Kiefer Sutherland-starring series The Confession.
However, while all of these shows are produced by outside production companies, Morning After is the first show where Hulu originated the initial idea, then reached out to find a production company to create the show. Jace Hall’s HD Films collaborated on the concept for the show and also handles all production; the company already has a background in multi-platform production thanks to other original series like The Jace Hall Show.
So far, Morning After is a little stiffer than Jace Hall was, heavy on the clips but light on personality. Despite the tightness of the format, though, both Kimmet and Gonzaga seem to have the potential to loosen up a bit behind that desk — provided, of course, that they get the chance.
However, that may very well come: Forssell is very upfront about the fact that the show is a work in progress. From the blog: “We consider this our ‘preview’ period for The Morning After. It’s a chance for us to develop and evolve the show with your input.” Because, ultimately, the show is meant to be a service for Hulu users, and thus it’s audience response that will drive the direction of the show — and determine its success.
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