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Hulu, Lionsgate to Bow Original Comedy Series

27 Aug, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Ten-episode ‘Deadbeat’ to be co-produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment

Hulu Aug. 27 said it is partnering with Lionsgate for the first time to release original supernatural comedy “Deadbeat,” which will stream in 2014 on the repurposed content aggregator, as well as subscription video-on-demand platform Hulu Plus.

Lionsgate will distribute the 10-episode subversive comedy, which centers on a hapless but gifted male medium who helps New York’s ghosts settle their unfinished business, internationally.

Troy Miller ("Flight of the Conchords," “Arrested Development”) will direct and executive produce all episodes for the series, which begins shooting this fall. Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Sarah Esberg, Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment, will produce. Cindy Tolan (“The Place Beyond the Pines”) is the casting director.

“On behalf of the Hulu team, we are very proud to be working with Cody, Brett, Troy and the talented executives of Lionsgate and Plan B on this uniquely funny and imaginative show," said Charlotte Koh, head of development at Hulu. “'Deadbeat' is a welcome addition to our growing slate of smart, distinctive original programming.”

Indeed, Hulu has joined Netflix and Amazon Studios in developing original episodic content in an effort to retain and lure subscribers from multichannel video program distributors.

Other Hulu original series include “Quick Draw,” “The Awesomes,” “Spoilers,” “Up to Speed,” “A Day in the Life,” “The Wrong Mans,” “Behind the Mask” and “Battleground.”

“The Awesomes” and “Quick Draw” were nominated for Emmys slated for next month.

Lionsgate, which creates noted TV and online series “Mad Men,” “Weeds,” “Anger Management” and “Orange Is the New Black,” among others, eyes the programming as incremental revenue by securing international distribution rights, which include digital, physical and TV. Lionsgate also finalized a pilot for Amazon Prime Instant Video.

“We’re enjoying a wonderful collaboration with Hulu and all our creative partners on ‘Deadbeat,’” Kevin Beggs, president of Lionsgate Television Group, said in a statement. “This fun, edgy and provocative series is a perfect fit for Hulu’s audience and an exciting expansion of Lionsgate’s programming across digital platforms.”

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