Hulu Ramps Up Original Programming For 2012

There's something pretty interesting happening in the world of online programming: original content. While Hulu and Netflix were used to simply acting as an online pipe to funnel other programming through, recently they have both decided to start investing in making their own content. In other words, creating programming that can only be seen at one portal or the other. It's possible that this tactic is a method of long-term preservation; their streaming models can be replicated, but get people hooked on original content and you have something that they'll continue to pay for. This week, Hulu is announcing their original programming slate for the first half of 2012.

The line-up kicks off on February 14 with the launch of Hulu’s first original scripted series, “Battleground,” executive produced by JD Walsh, Hagai Shaham and Marc Webb (“The Amazing Spiderman”, “500 Days of Summer”). On the heels of a successful season as Hulu’s first original series, Morgan Spurlock’s “A Day in the Life” will premiere its second season in March. And this summer, Hulu audiences will get exclusive access to acclaimed writer/director Richard Linklater’s first episodic documentary series, “Up to Speed.” All three shows will be available exclusively on the free, ad-supported Hulu service and the Hulu Plus subscription service.

“JD Walsh, Morgan Spurlock and Richard Linklater are each smart and distinctive storytellers with very specific points of view. Their creative chops are what make for great TV – each have that certain something that makes viewers not just love their shows but also tell their friends to go and watch them. Couple this extraordinary storytelling with the Hulu platform – which has proven to be an efficient way of connecting engaged audiences with shows they truly love – and it pays off in a big way for creators, viewers and advertisers alike,” said Andy Forssell, Hulu’s senior vice president of content.

Will viewers fall in love? It's possible. HBO has seen a huge sect of people pay their monthly fees primarily for their great original programming, and if Hulu plays their cards right, they could be next.