While Amazon and Netflix have been battling with original programming for a little while now, Hulu hasn’t really been a major contender despite the presence of quality shows like “Moone Boy” and “The Hot Wives of Orlando.” But they’re hoping to change that.
Today Hulu took a big step forward by announcing a straight-to-series order of a nine-hour miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s novel 11/22/63, the story of high school English teacher Jake Epping who travels back in time to try to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on that fateful date in American history.
Warner Bros. Television is behind the adaptation, but really sweetening the deal and grabbing attention is the presence of Bad Robot Productions with J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, and Bridget Carpenter all executive producing for the banner responsible for “Lost,” “Fringe,” and “Person of Interest” (the latter will also write the script). And of course, Stephen King will act as an executive producer too.
The book was once slated for a feature film adaptation with Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme optioning the film rights back in 2011, but clearly that didn’t work out. And it sounds like King is much happier to see the property getting a miniseries adaptation instead. The iconic thriller author says:
If I ever wrote a book that cries out for long-form, event-TV programming, ‘11/22/63’ is it. I’m excited that it’s going to happen, and am looking forward to working with J.J. Abrams and the whole Bad Robot team.
Hulu offered their own publicity fluff and excitement for the project as well with their senior vice president and head of content Craig Erwich saying:
J.J. Abrams and Stephen King are two of the most celebrated storytellers of our time, and we are excited to be working with them and Warner Bros. Television to bring this unique take on one of the most seminal historic events of the 20th century to Hulu. ’11/22/63′ already resonated with audiences as a best-selling novel, and we are looking forward to bringing the riveting story to the screen.
It certainly sounds like an awesome story, and I’m always up for anything involving time travel. But with Bad Robot on board, this sounds like a rather hefty miniseries, and could be a breakthrough for Hulu to finally play with the likes of Amazon and Netflix in the original programming department.
As of now there’s no premiere date set for 11/22/63, but since it has a straight-to-series order, viewers will definitely get to see how it turns out. However, it remains to be seen if the series will be offered exclusively to Hulu Plus subscribers or if some of the episodes will be free on Hulu like some of their other syndicated and original programming.
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