FX to Produce Programming for Hulu

John Landgraf - FOX/FX portion of the 2018 Winter Television Critics Association - Getty-H 2019
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

FX is making a streaming home on Hulu. 

The cable network and the streaming service, both of which are owned by Disney, are teaming to launch "FX on Hulu." The programming hub will feature new original programming — including the previously announced FX drama Mrs. America starring Cate Blanchett — as well as become the exclusive home to more than 40 FX series including new and current shows.

In addition to Mrs. America, FX originals that will move to Hulu include A Teacher (starring Kate Mara and Nick Robinson), the Jeff Bridges drama The Old Man and Alex Garland's Devs. They will not air on FX's linear network. All four shows will launch on FX on Hulu in 2020. Other original scripted shows will likely be added to FX on Hulu.

FX on Hulu will launch in March and feature every season of many originals that aired on FX over the past 17 years. FX Productions will also produce other original scripted series for Hulu. Devs will launch on Hulu in March, followed by new episodes of FXX's Dave and Cake, FX's Breeders and season four of Better Things, with those episodes arriving the next morning after their linear debut. 

“We’re excited to become the official streaming home to the award-winning current and legacy series that FX has produced over nearly two decades, as well as brand-new original series that will be exclusive to Hulu subscribers — all available through ‘FX on Hulu.’ FX has solidified its position as a premium brand that consumers are passionate about, and we can’t wait to bring its valuable content offering to our customers, all in one place," Hulu CEO Randy Freer said Thursday in a statement.
Sources say FX on Hulu will have its own landing space on Hulu and shows will be branded more than an opening and closing tile card noting that it's an FX original. 
"We’re thrilled to have Hulu as our streaming partner with the creation of FX on Hulu, which will be the best and most complete representation of the FX brand, finally putting us on equal footing with competitors like HBO," said FX CEO John Landgraf. "This will allow us to expand FX’s original programming lineup and to reach Hulu’s growing audience of young and highly engaged subscribers, whom we believe will love these shows. We are more committed than ever to quality over quantity, with our primary focus on excellence that can cut through the clutter at a time of unprecedented consumer choice. This is a game-changing opportunity for FX, and we can’t wait to embark on this journey with Randy and his great Hulu team.”

Disney CEO Bob Iger announced FX on Hulu during the company's earnings call on Thursday, saying the linear network known for quality hits like The Americans and American Crime Story will have a "huge" presence on the streamer. The exec also announced that Fox Searchlight will be producing for Hulu. Searchlight currently has an output deal with HBO that runs for a few more years but, per Iger, is likely to move to Hulu, though nothing official has been determined. 

As part of FX on Hulu, FX's library of more than 40 original series will stream on the Disney-owned platform. All current series will be available to stream on Hulu the day after they air on FX. Library titles with pre-existing SVOD deals with Netflix and Amazon will remain until those deals expire, at which point the programming will move to Hulu. Any exclusive deals that have been made for the life of a series at other streamers will not be impacted. 

The FX move comes as Disney continues to pull back its content for its own platforms across the board. The company, which will launch the highly anticipated Disney+ on Tuesday, has already ended its film output deals with Netflix and recently stopped allowing Netflix to advertise on its linear networks. Disney+ will be home to scores of family-friendly library titles as well as Marvel and Star Wars fare. Hulu, meanwhile, will serve as the home for more adult fare, including Fox acquisitions like Deadpool. A prime example is the High Fidelity reboot that was originally developed for Disney+ but has been moved to Hulu, where it will air as an original.  

The four high-profile shows moving to Hulu is a blow to FX and Landgraf's plans to ramp up the number of scripted originals in the coming years under new corporate parent Disney. Landgraf told The Hollywood Reporter that he hoped to double the number of scripted originals from 14 in 2018 to possibly 28 in the next three to five years while also building up an aggressive slate of unscripted fare. In August, FX unveiled an unscripted slate of five shows and one feature-length documentary. After seeing prolific producer Ryan Murphy move to Netflix as part of a massive $300 million deal, FX already was facing a hurdle as it sought to grow originals. The cable network has been an aggressive developer this year, announcing A Teacher, The Old Man and Mrs. America. Devs, meanwhile, was among its highly anticipated series with the network already aggressively promoting it over the summer at San Diego Comic-Con. 

FX still has Murphy's American Horror Story through its 10th season in 2020 as well as the hits Atlanta, Better Things, Fargo, Mayans, Pose, Snowfall and What We Do in the Shadows. Upcoming fare includes Y: The Last Man, an untitled comedy starring Lil Dicky, Breeders and the Monica Lewinsky-focused installment of Murphy's American Crime Story.

As for Hulu, the four FX shows help solidify the brand under Disney as a home for premium adult content to go alongside originals like The Handmaid's Tale, Castle Rock, Pen15, Shrill and Ramy, as well as the upcoming series Little Fires Everywhere, among others. The streamer currently has 28.5 million paying subscribers, up from 26.8 million in May. 

Here are the current and legacy FX shows that will stream on Hulu: American Horror Story, Archer, Atlanta, Better Things, Cake, Fargo, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mayans, Mr Inbetween, Snowfall, Taboo, The Weekly, What We Do in the Shadows, Baskets, The Bastard Executioner, The Comedians, Fosse/Verdon, The League, Legion, Legit, Man Seeking Woman, Married, The Riches, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, The Strain, Sons of Anarchy, Trust, Tyrant, You're the Worst and Wilfred.