It’s the kind of finale twist television thrives on: After a three-year relationship with Lifetime, “UnREAL” is hooking up with Hulu for its fourth and final season. And it’s wasting little time flaunting the new union, with the full season now available to stream.
After weeks of speculation, the deal between Hulu and A+E Studios, which produces the show, was announced Monday, and it officially marks the drama’s transition into a Hulu original series.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Taking the show and its loyal fan base to Hulu makes sense. The Sara Gertrude-Marti Noxon drama was never a ratings stand-out, but it got a lot of buzz for its scathing send-up of the reality dating competition world. And Hulu has already benefited from being “UnREAL’s” secondary platform; although the streamer doesn’t release ratings data, the company said, on average, that viewers of the series are bingeing on three or four episodes in one session, and complete full seasons in a matter days.
“UnREAL has captivated audiences on Hulu since Season 1, so when this opportunity came to us, we knew we couldn’t miss out,” Craig Erwich, senior vice president of content at Hulu, said in a statement. “This is a unique way to both satisfy fans of the show while also continuing to introduce it to new audiences.”
The series, which stars Constance Zimmer and Shiri Appleby, wrapped production on its fourth season in January. The new season will see “Everlasting,” the show-with-the-show, tackle an “All-Stars” season featuring former contestants and a new format.
“The fourth season is pretty explosive in so many ways and we like to always have very controversial things to talk about,” Zimmer said when she spoke to The Times in May. “Season 4 is not any different. There’s a lot going on, and I do think the ending will leave people satisfied if that were to be it.”
A+E Studios’ Barry Jossen touted the transition as a gift to fans.
“When the opportunity to partner with Hulu arose, we immediately saw the huge benefit to ‘UnREAL’s’ loyal fans, as well as a unique way of recruiting first-time viewers to this ground-breaking series,” Jossen said in a statement. “We expect Season 4 to deliver another great round of cultural influence with its timely themes.”
When reports of a potential move first made the rounds, it was suggested that “UnREAL” would run first on Hulu, with Lifetime nabbing the second window to air the drama. As of now, there is no confirmation that the season would air on the cable network.