While Hulu has been doing its moving and shaking at a smaller scale than that of fellow streaming service Netflix, the company has stepped its game up as far as original programming is concerned. And Hulu's newest and coolest plan to bolster its library and bring in new customers is launching the Limelight Documentary Series, which will focus on finding the lesser-told stories that have come to shape modern pop culture. So it's about Batman and movies and stuff, for anybody out there who flinches when the word "documentary" comes up.
This new push into unscripted territory was announced at the TCA press event by Hulu's senior vice president of global content Craig Erwhich (via Polygon), and he says it's a project that has been in the pipeline for a while now, which becomes kind of obvious once you see all of the topics that they have already started developing specials for. Depending on the run-time these docs have, this could almost feel like a TV show unto itself rather than an unconnected line, though it's possible some could play longer than others.
We can expect to see one entry that will delve into the creation of the character Batman, since only recent history has started giving co-creator Bill Finger his due alongside the more commonly celebrated Bob Kane. George Lazenby, he of James Bond fame, will be at the center of another special that will focus on him only playing the spy once before stepping out. Artist Shepard Fairey, who created the "Hope" poster used for President Obama's 2008 campaign, will get an installment, as will the surprising failure of the well-remembered Dana Carvey Show. Plus, the skateboarding magazine (now gone under) that inspired Jackass' creation will get put front and center.
To be expected - but still important to point out - the documentaries will be available to anyone with a Hulu account without any extra effort. Craig Erwhich also claims the company is in touch with a number of directors for even more pop culture-spanning documentaries in the future. This is an interesting way for Hulu to compete against Netflix's own documentary line, by honing in on the subject matter that likely appeals to people with multiple streaming accounts. I mean, I'm all for learning about things that aren't TV shows and movies, but I'd never turn this kind of stuff down.
Hulu is currently riding about as high as it can be at the moment, having had Time Warner buy into the company recently, a sign that we could see more brands from that studio heading to the service in the future. For now, we've got original series like The Path and The Mindy Project to keep us busy while we wait for Hugh Laurie's next dramatic effort, Chance, along with everything else on Hulu's burgeoning slate.