Hulu's original comedy Deadbeat will debut April 9th.
Hulu hasn't had as much luck with its original programming as Netflix has, but it's giving it another try this year with several new series and additional seasons of existing shows. Headlining the additions is Deadbeat and The Hotwives of Orlando, original comedies that haven't aired elsewhere. Hulu has also picked up the original Scandinavian version of The Bridge — a crime drama that was adapted for FX last year — and The Next Step, a reality series about a group of dancers that previously aired in Canada.
More high-concept comedies on Hulu
Grabbing existing series or co-producing originals have been among of Hulu's more successful strategies for getting original content, allowing it to lean on known properties or other studios' experience. It found some success last year with The Wrong Mans, a British comedy is produced with the BBC that saw a bit of buzz when it debuted in the US. Now Hulu is heading back yet again to high-concept comedies, with Deadbeat following a medium who helps ghosts solve problems, and The Hotwives of Orlando parodying Bravo reality series The Real Housewives. Deadbeat has at least one big name behind it though: it's being co-produced by Lionsgate Television, which has worked on Mad Men and Netflix's Orange is the New Black.
A number of Hulu's existing original series are returning for new seasons too, including Seth Meyer's animated comedy The Awesomes, the sports mascot documentary series Behind the Mask, and high school drama East Los High, among several others. The series will all be premiering throughout the year, beginning with The Bridge on January 14th. While none of them seem likely to get Hulu the type of respect that Netflix receives for series like House of Cards, it may not be trying for exactly that at this point — it seems Hulu just wants to give viewers something new to watch.