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Hulu Plus Gets 'Manhattan' Project

28 Jul, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

No. 3 subscription streaming service signs up for exclusive rights to WGN America’s original 1940s period drama created by Lionsgate

Hulu Plus July 28 announced it secured exclusive subscription streaming rights to suspense war drama “Manhattan,” from WGN America. The series marks the Chicago-based cable/satellite TV channel’s second foray into original programing following last year’s “Salem,” which also was created by Lionsgate.

Under the deal, Hulu Plus subscribers get next-day access to “Manhattan” episodes following their Sunday night broadcast.

Set in 1943, the series (which debuted July 27) focuses on a New Mexico town where scientists unbeknownst at the time have assembled to develop the nuclear bomb. It stars Olivia Williams, Daniel Stern, John Benjamin Hickey and Ashley Zukerman, among others.

All 13 episodes will be available on Hulu Plus upon the completion of the broadcast season. Ad-supported Hulu will also make available the five most recently broadcast episodes of season one for free, on a three-day delay following the broadcast.

Hulu, which is co-owned by The Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox and Comcast, has redoubled efforts to up its content portfolio in an attempt to remain competitive with Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video and premium TV channels such as HBO and Showtime.

Indeed, the deal marks the first time Hulu has committed to a series before a single episode aired.

“Our belief in the series, in our partners at Lionsgate (‘Deadbeat’), Skydance Television and Tribune Studios, and in WGN America as a home for compelling original programming, further solidified our confidence in this deal, and we could not be more thrilled to have it on our service,” Craig Erwich, SVP and head of content at Hulu, said in a statement.

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