For those looking forward to binge-watching some of Hulu's original series when they come out, such as The Mindy Project or 11/22/63, you're out of luck: the subscription streaming service announced today that it will follow the traditional TV model of releasing one new episode every week.
Hulu revealed its plans for its original series at this week's Television Critics Association press tour, and made it clear that binge-watching an entire season of a series won't happen on the site unless a subscriber waits until the end of the season to watch it in full.
Hulu has a few original series coming up soon, including The Mindy Project (canceled by Fox, but picked up by the streaming service), The Way (which stars Aaron Paul, Hugh Dancy and Michelle Monaghan) and the highly anticipated 11/22/63 starring James Franco, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name and executive produced by J.J. Abrams.
"We want to give viewers the opportunity to discover their favorite shows every week," said Hulu's Chief of Content Craig Erwich. "Like you, we value the shared experience and the joy of the watercooler that is television."
Erwich also pointed out that this allows Hulu to get shows up faster because they don't have to wait until a full filming period is over.
Hulu's stance is opposite of that taken by Netflix, which most often releases all episodes of a series' season at once, allowing viewers to binge-watch an entire season in a single weekend if they want to. Netflix tried to change that up with its series Between by airing episodes weekly, but that series didn't fare as well as Netflix's previous original series with full seasons available all at once.
However, Hulu's model stays in line with traditional TV, which has already worked for the service with its existing network-provided content, so perhaps it makes sense for Hulu to work with its own content in the same way.
One thing is for certain: Hulu will know if this model works for it when the first episode of season four of The Mindy Project airs on September 15. The Way and 11/22/63 premieres in 2016.
"And we want to give you, the writers, time to discover and hopefully celebrate these shows as well," said Erwich. "And don't forget, with an on demand service like Hulu, once a series airs, all episodes will be available at once for many years to come as part of our collection."