2:00pm PT by Natalie Jarvey
Disney to Integrate Hulu Scripted Originals Team Under Dana Walden
Hulu is deepening its ties with parent company Disney.
The streaming service's scripted originals team is being integrated into Walt Disney Television, with senior vp Craig Erwich now reporting to Disney TV Studios and ABC Entertainment chairman Dana Walden. The move comes a little more than two months after Disney struck a deal with Hulu founding stakeholder NBCUniversal that gave it full operational control of the venture.
Erwich and his original comedy and drama team will remain based out of Hulu's Santa Monica headquarters. The streamer's unscripted original programming, original film and licensed content teams will continue to report into Hulu CEO Randy Freer, who reports to Disney director-to-consumer and international chairman Kevin Mayer.
"As Hulu drives toward its ambitious subscriber and engagement goals, it is important that we take full advantage of the creative resources and production capabilities of Disney Television Studios, which are among the best in the world," Freer said Wednesday in a statement. "Craig and his scripted originals team have created a broad, award-winning slate of programming for Hulu that drives culture and inspires conversation, and we’re looking forward to growing that caliber of scripted dramas and comedies on Hulu with the additional power of Walt Disney Television behind it."
By integrating under the Peter Rice-led Walt Disney TV group, Hulu's scripted programming team will be able to work more closely with their counterparts to determine the right home for developed projects. It will also open up access to working with talent who have deals at Disney's television studios, including Dan Fogelman, Liz Meriwether, Octavia Spencer and Marc Webb.
In reporting to Walden, who has had a long-standing relationship with Hulu as a board member, Erwich will have the opportunity to work more closely with the tenured programming executive, who ran the Fox TV Group for a number of years before it was acquired by Disney.
"Hulu Originals have been widely recognized for their originality, boldness and high level of quality," said Walden said. "They are a meaningful part of what has driven the platform’s impressive growth over the past few years. Craig and his team have done excellent work. I am excited to work with Randy in this next phase of Hulu. This new structure will enable Hulu to have access to many of the best creators in the world and programming from all of the content engines inside of Walt Disney Television."
A Warner Horizon TV veteran, Erwich has been with Hulu since 2014 and has overseen the company's effort to build up an original programming slate, which includes The Handmaid's Tale, Catch-22, Pen15 and Ramy. Upcoming projects for the streamer include Little Fires Everywhere, starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.