Hulu to launch first original scripted show

January 16, 2012

(AP) -- Hulu will broadcast its first original scripted series next month, a political comedy that will debut during the real-life Republican presidential primary.

The online is ramping up its rivalry with .

Aimed squarely at an audience loyal to cutting edge comedy such as "The Office" and "The Colbert Report," Hulu's new show "Battleground" is a look at the inner workings of a Democratic primary campaign for a U.S. Senate seat in Wisconsin. It was created by J.D. Walsh, an actor who worked for John Kerry during a political campaign.

"We see what J.D. sees in it and we know the audience is there," said Hulu's senior vice president of content, Andy Forsell.

Hulu's foray into original scripted programming follows an investment in the Morgan Spurlock documentary series, "A Day in the Life," which debuted in August and will soon launch into a second season.

made the announcement Sunday at the Television Critics' Association's winter press tour, a two-week-long series of presentations for TV journalists usually reserved for traditional TV networks.

Hulu also announced it would make "Up to Speed," a non-scripted series that looks at historic nooks and crannies of notable destinations around America.

The shows will be available on both the free and paid versions of Hulu.

The programming announcement follows a blog post by Hulu CEO Jason Kilar that said Hulu now has 1.5 million paying subscribers and took in revenue of $420 million last year.

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