Hulu To Stream UK's Foul-Mouthed Comedy 'The Thick of It' Uncensored
Hulu’s expansion into the originals space continues with the five-year-old service’s first international co-production.
In its bid to have value outside of the streaming repeats business, Hulu has inked a deal with the BBC to co-produce the fourth season of Armando Iannucci's foul-mouthed political U.K. comedy The Thick of It. Beginning July 29, Hulu and Hulu Plus will become the exclusive U.S. destination for viewers looking for the first three seasons as well as the series’ two specials that had been released between seasons. Additionally, Hulu will air the fourth season day-and-date with the U.K. broadcast, which will run before the series returns to BBC America, where it is bleeped, early next year.
"I very quickly became obsessed with this show, and it is exactly the kind of show Hulu viewers will love," said Hulu SVP of content Andy Forssell, who has been vocal about Hulu’s desire to have “beloved” rather than “beliked” shows as he’s courting cult-like audiences. (As he told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview earlier this year, a little-watched darling like Community, which Hulu acquired for digital syndication, is more appealing to the company than a mass-appeal hit like Two and a Half Men.)
Added BBC Worldwide Americas EVP sales and co-productions Matt Forde of the acclaimed series that takes a satirical look at the inner workings of British government: “We are excited to have partnered with Hulu for the co-production of the fourth season of The Thick of It and to make the entire show available to their users. With the hilarious satirical storylines, the series is ideal for Hulu’s audience which enjoys cutting-edge comedy television.”
The Thick of It marks Hulu's latest foray into the U.K.'s community of cult favorites. The company has inked exclusive pacts for Channel 4's Misfits, the BBC's Rev. and Whites. This series, a BBC in-house production in association with Hulu that follows the buffoonish goings-on in the fictional Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship (DoSAC), is written by Tony Roche, Simon Blackwell, Ian Martin, Will Smith, Roger Drew andSean Gray, with additional material written byDavid Quantick, Dan Gaster, Georgia Pritchett and Rob Colley. Adam Tandy will serve as a producer, with Freeland and Forssell on board as EPs.
The news comes just days after Forsell announced Hulu would become home to Larry King’s new talk show, Larry King Now, which airs nightly half-hour installments on the site. Both projects join a growing cadre of Hulu originals, including Richard Linklater's Up to Speed with tour guide Timothy “Speed” Levitch, a Morgan Spurlock docuseries entitled A Day in the Life and a political campaign dramedy called Battleground.
Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose