Hulu Searching for Chief Content Officer in Push to Increase Originals

Senior vp and head of content Craig Erwich is going to segue to just focus on original programming.
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Craig Erwich

Hulu, which has been ramping up its scripted originals, is looking to bring in a new executive at the top.

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the streaming giant is searching for a chief content officer who would come in to oversee all aspects of content. That includes original programming, content acquisitions and have primary responsibility for evolving and driving Hulu's content strategy. The position would report directly to Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins.

Once the position is filled, current senior vp and head of content Craig Erwich will narrow his purview to original programming. He will be focused on increasing the quality and volume of originals as well as experimenting with new production models and kids programming.  

Erwich has been involved in the search for his new boss. In the interim, he will continue leading the team. The search, which has involved a series of familiar executive names, has been going on since the beginning of the year.

The news comes as Hulu has been ramping up its originals, including the highly anticipated April debut of its Margaret Atwood novel The Handmaid's Tale, which the streamer picked up straight to series with Elisabeth Moss attached to star.

Hulu's increased focus on content comes as Netflix has been spending billions of dollars per year on original scripted (and now unscripted) fare as well as stand-up comedy specials and documentaries as it continues to hire some of the industry's top executives. Amazon has also been making a strong push for quality, recently handing out straight-to-series orders for dramas from David O. Russell (American Hustle) and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner.

Hulu's slate, meanwhile, features critical favorite Casual as well as well-reviewed series that are not as buzzy (or pricey) as its streaming competitors. Its scripted roster includes Hugh Laurie's Chance, Billy Eichner's Difficult People and Fox import The Mindy Project as well as Seth Rogen's forthcoming Future Man and Marvel pilot The Runaways from Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. The streamer's most recent example in its push to cut through the crowded landscape is Castle Rock, the J.J. Abrams and Stephen King anthology that it picked up straight to series sight-unseen. 

For his part, Erwich — the former head of Warner Horizon — was named head of content in March 2014. He most recently was behind Hulu's acquisition of the entire Golden Girls library.