Skip to main content

How The Handmaid’s Tale Has Affected Hulu’s Programming

a group of Handmaids

It's no secret that streaming services have changed the world of TV and film. Tons of new content is being produced, with film stars making the transition to the small screen to get in on the action. Hulu had an especially big year in 2017, as its new drama The Handmaid's Tale became a massive popular hit, racking up an outstanding eight Emmy awards, including Outstanding Drama Series. But Hulu has still done its fair amount of cancellations, and produces significantly less content than its competitor Netflix. Hulu chief content officer Joel Stillerman recently spoke to how the service is approaching its new programming, following The Handmaid's Tale, saying:

The expectations are there, and you have to keep that in mind when you make your next round of choices.

It looks like Hulu is feeling the heat, given the wild success of their dystopian drama The Handmaid's Tale. Given how popular and acclaimed the series was immediately after its first three episodes were released, it would be great to strike gold twice.

Joel Stillerman's comments about pressure to Variety make a great deal of sense, as The Handmaid's Tale was relatively groundbreaking. Based off of the acclaimed novel of the same name, The Handmaid's Tale was the first series from a streaming service to win Best Series, and proved that places like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon are true award contenders. And in addition to the plethora of Emmys won, this past Sunday's Golden Globe Awards saw the series also win the Golden Globe for Best Television Series and Lead Actress.

Hulu has been making some moves in regards to its other series. It recently cancelled Billy Eichner's Difficult People after three seasons, to the chagrin of its fans. But it's not all gloom and doom, as Marvel's The Runaways just got renewed for a second season. Perhaps Hulu is going for bigger and more mainstream projects, rather than indie passion projects.

The Handmaid's Tale is based on the 1985 novel of the same name. Set in a dystopian America, a religious zealot group has taken over the country and stripped women of their rights. A small group of fertile women (Handmaids) are actually put into forced prostitution, to bear children for the rich and powerful. The series has been praised for its tone, outstanding performances, and adaptation from the source material.

Luke Hulu in general, Season 2 of The Handmaid's Tale will have expectations at an all time high. The narrative must now veer away from the novel, as the writers find ways to continue Offred's journey of survival. A bunch of new characters are being added, and the second season is expected to arrive in April.

In the meantime, be sure to check out our midseason premiere list to plan your next binge watch, and our cancellation list to see if your favorite show got the chop last year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.