FOX Expands Distribution of WIGS Series BLUE to Hulu and Hulu Plus
Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) announced today that it will widen the availability of content developed by WIGS, currently the No. 1 channel for scripted drama on YouTube, to include the free, ad-supported Hulu.com and Hulu Plus subscription service. Beginning today, WIGS' most popular drama, BLUE - which stars Julia Stiles and recently surpassed 20 million views on Youtube - will be offered to Hulu viewers in longer-form, TV-length episodes. Additional popular series, including LAUREN, with Troian Bellisario and Jennifer Beals; and JAN, starring Caitlin Gerard, Stephen Moyer and Virgina Madsen will become available on Hulu and Hulu Plus over the coming weeks.
"We're delighted to see our multi-platform strategy is paying off, in this case partnering with Youtube to use their immense platform as a successful staging ground to launch a promising new series with great future potential to become a hit," said Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, Senior Vice President of Multi-Platform Programming for FOX. "It's early in the game, but we're seeing evidence that providing our studios, like WIGS, the freedom to experiment creatively, while adding FOX's marketing, promotional and distribution muscle, is getting results."
"I'm ecstatic that, through Hulu, BLUE will find even more viewers," said Rodrigo Garcia, writer and director of BLUE and co-creator of WIGS. "I think the work of Julia Stiles and Uriah Shelton is first-rate and we at WIGS couldn't be happier to be collaborating with them."
American Express and Unilever will continue their sponsorship of the WIGS Youtube Channel and have agreed to strengthen the relationship by advertising with WIGS on Hulu as well.
"We are very pleased that FOX has elected to extend the reach of the WIGS franchise to Hulu as part of their multiplatform strategy and look forward to working with Rodrigo Garcia and Jon Avnet to engage their loyal fans there, as well," said Lou Paskalis, Vice President of Global Media for American Express.
"While there's an explosion of content in this space, we truly appreciate WIGS' commitment to working with the highest caliber of talent to create premium content designed specifically for women," said Gail Tifford, Senior Director of Media, North America for Unilever.
Earlier this year, FOX entered into a multi-year programming, marketing and distribution partnership with WIGS, designed to expand the breadth of offerings through the WIGS channel, and test and nurture dramatic concepts and talent in the digital realm - all with an eye toward building content that can be programmed on FOX and/or other channels.
"We're happy to see our creators succeeding and building their brands across entertainment platforms," said Alex Carloss, Global Head of Entertainment Partnerships, YouTube. "Today's announcement underscores the continued positive momentum behind online video."
Currently in its second season, BLUE is an award-winning series that stars Stiles as the title character, a single mother trying to protect her son from the consequences of her secret career as an upscale escort. Written and directed by WIGS co-creator Rodrigo Garcia ("Albert Nobbs," "In Treatment"), BLUE also features Mark Consuelos ("All My Children"), Sarah Paulson ("American Horror Story," "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip"), Holly Robinson Peete ("Mike & Molly," "Hangin' with Mr. Cooper"), Uriah Shelton ("The Glades"), Kathleen Quinlan ("Apollo 13"), Michelle Forbes ("The Killing," "True Blood"), Carla Gallo (BONES, "Men of a Certain Age"), Jeanne Tripplehorn ("Big Love," "Criminal Minds") and James Morrison ("Revenge," "24").
Karen Graci served as a co-writer on the series' second season.
WIGS was launched in May 2012 by director/producers Jon Avnet ("Black Swan," "Fried Green Tomatoes," "Risky Business"), Rodrigo Garcia ("Albert Nobbs," "In Treatment," "Big Love") and Jake Avnet, and is now the No. 1 channel for scripted drama on YouTube, with more than 43 million views to date and more than 190,000 subscribers. The channel offers high-end original series, short films and documentaries, all starring female leads. Popular series on the WIGS channel include BLUE, about a single mother trying to protect her son from the consequences of her secret career as an upscale escort, starring Julia Stiles, Mark Consuelos, Kathleen Quinlan and Uriah Shelton; LAUREN, which explores the consequences of dealing with sexual assault in the military, starring Troian Bellisario and Jennifer Beals; SERENA, a story of lust, temptation and forbidden love,starring Jennifer Garner and Alfred Molina; and JAN, about a young woman whose first job goes awry, starring Virginia Madsen, Stephen Moyer and Caitlin Gerard.
In February of 2013, FOX Broadcasting Company (FOX) entered into a multi-year pact with WIGS. The programming, marketing and distribution partnership is designed to expand the breadth of offerings through the WIGS channel, and test and nurture dramatic concepts and talent in the digital realm.
Additional WIGS offerings have included such actors as America Ferrera, Alison Pill, Dakota Fanning, Jimmy Wolk, Allison Janney, Walton Goggins, Maura Tierney, Michael C. Hall, Sarah Jones, Jason Isaacs, Catherine O'Hara, Chris Messina, Lois Smith, Gary Cole, Jena Malone, Gary Dourdan, Sarah Paulson and Eric Balfour. Writers and directors include Paul Brickman, Betty Thomas, Lesli Linka Glatter, Rose Troche, Mitch Albom, Ami Canaan Mann, Scott Turow, Amy Lippman, Neil LaBute, Leah Rachel, Mattie Brickman, Patricia Cardoso, Mykelti Williamson and Lee Krieger.
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