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To binge or not to binge?
That is the big question being explored at this summer’s Television Critics Association press tour, with executives parading through the Beverly Hilton ballroom pronouncing the benefits of different release strategies, be it all at once (a la Netflix), a few episodes at a time (see TNT’s Public Morals) or simply once weekly, as it’s traditionally been done.
Some five minutes into a familiar speech about TV’s Golden Age, of which Hulu increasingly will contribute with a growing slate of originals, Hulu’s Senior VP head of content Craig Erwich announced his service would be embracing the weekly strategy for its forthcoming series, which include Jason Reitman‘s Casual, Jason Katims‘ The Way, J.J. Abrams’ limited series, 11/22/63 and The Mindy Project, which shifts to Hulu in Sept.
“We want to give viewers an opportunity to discover their favorite shows every week. Like you, we value the shared experience and the joy of the water cooler experience that is television,” Erwich said from the podium, noting that the release strategy will allow Hulu to get shows out to its audience more quickly as it won’t have to wait until a full season is complete.
“We want to give you, the writers, time to discover and hopefully celebrate these shows as well,” he added, a nod to that Golden Age, which has produced 400-plus original series that critics will be writing about this year alone. (To be sure, bingeing opportunities will still be available to Hulu viewers, as all episodes will remain available on Hulu once it airs.)
In the session that followed, the executive producers of Casual acknowledged that they didn’t know how their rom-com would roll out while they were making it earlier this year. Showrunner Liz Tigelaar noted from stage that she’s thrilled with the weekly rollout announcement, suggesting viewers don’t get to talk about and digest a show in the same way when it’s released all at once.
“It’s almost like over-eating,” she said of bingeing, adding to laughs: “I think there’s something great about really being able to digest something.”
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