Hulu interrupted the afternoon’s regularly scheduled programming for a commercial message: The 4-year-old service no longer is just a place to catch up on missed episodes of broadcast network shows such as “Modern Family” and “Family Guy.”
Tuesday, executives with the online video service were intent on showcasing their eclectic mix of newly added and upcoming shows, including “Prisoners of War,” an award-winning Israeli series that follows the journey of two soldiers, and “Up to Speed,” a zany travel show starring an idiosyncratic tour guide from New York.
It was Hulu’s second appearance at the Television Critics Assn. press tour, part of the company’s campaign to raise its profile. Hulu also introduced a man who needed no introduction, Larry King, who appeared at the TCA panel to promote his latest venture, “Larry King Now,” a Web talk show that launched two weeks ago on Hulu.
“I love what I do, I love this show,” King said, declaring himself a “news junkie.”
“You don’t want to sit next to me on an airplane,” King said, provoking laughter from the audience.
Andy Forssell, Hulu’s senior vice president of content, said of Hulu’s programming mix: “I think you will see a lot of diversity. We love to find things that don’t seem to fit.”
The video service said it would return one of its most popular series, “Misfits,” this fall as well as introduce the BAFTA award-winning political comedy “The Thick of It,” and “Rev,” another BAFTA award-winning comedy, which explores the moral conflicts of an inner-city priest. The first three seasons of “Rev” are now available on Hulu.
The most decidedly offbeat offering was the travel show “Up to Speed,” starring Timothy “Speed” Levitch and directed by filmmaker Richard Linklater. In the show, Levitch explores different monuments in the U.S.
“Each episode is a short film, a universe unto itself, and you probably have to see two episodes to know what I’m talking about,” said Levitch, who got his start as a tour guide on a double-decker tour bus in New York City. Levitch wore an orange and gold ‘70s-era jacket with wide lapels.
One writer asked Levitch what he considered to be the most overlooked monument in the U.S.
“Probably kindness,” Levitch said.