Hulu and Girl Meets World: A Perfect Match?

We know everybody is still disappointed about the Netflix news and we understand many fans are still targeting them anyway, but it’s been true from the start that Netflix was a much longer shot than Hulu. Compared to Netflix, the potential for a new relationship between Girl Meets World and Hulu to be mutually beneficial is, we think, huge. Here’s why:

  1. Last summer, Hulu acquired exclusive streaming rights to a library of Disney Channel Original Series and movies, including Austin & Ally. This acquisition was a result of Hulu’s desire to add more girl-oriented programming.
    • “To that end, today’s deal came together because Hulu was initially looking to add more girls-oriented live-action programming to its slate, which it found in Disney Channel’s Austin & Ally and K.C. Undercover. ‘That’s filling out an area of our content portfolio which we didn’t have as well represented,’ said Holmes.”  Adweek, June 2016
  2. Hulu is actively looking to expand in the kids & family SVOD (streaming video on demand) market.
    • “With each of Hulu’s new deals for kids programming, ‘the viewership of the entire category just keeps going. We haven’t hit diminishing returns yet,’ said Holme. ‘It’s one of our priorities because we’re trying to make Hulu a really satisfying product for the whole home, and the more folks within a household that are using Hulu, the better.’ ‘The more people that are in the household using our subscription that love us, the better chance we have of keeping them around for a long, long time,’ said Holme.” AdWeek, June 2016
    • “‘As our biggest content licensing agreement with the Disney brand, this deal further demonstrates our commitment to offering popular, high-quality kids programming on Hulu,’ said Craig Erwich, SVP, Head of Content, Hulu. ‘These new SVOD exclusive Disney titles mark yet another way Hulu is building an irresistible content destination for families.'”Hulu Press Release, June 2016
  3. Unlike Netflix, which already has three family-friendly comedy reboot originals with broad generational appeal, Hulu has zero. Both their current and upcoming line-ups of original series are missing a family-friendly sitcom-style show, reboot or not. While Hulu’s recent content acquisition deal with Disney Channel fills a gap in their programming as far as streaming already-existing shows, Girl Meets World could potentially fill the hole in their originals line-up—with the added bonus of coming with a built-in audience and the strong potential to gain more viewers with a more Boy Meets World-esque incarnation of the show, unfettered by the restrictions of the Disney Channel.
  4. Disney-ABC Television Group owns a 30% stake in Hulu. Many fans may be wondering how this is any different from Freeform. Here’s how: Freeform is a network under the umbrella of and fully owned by the Disney-ABC Television Group. By contrast, Disney-ABC Television Group is only part-owner of Hulu, along with NBCUniversal, Turner Broadcasting System, and Fox Entertainment Group. In fact, Fox’s ownership stake in Hulu is part of why the streaming service was able to save The Mindy Project.
  5. Hulu is in active competition with Netflix and Amazon in terms of featuring buzz-worthy original shows. Girl Meets World at its best can generate a lot of buzz, and not just because of Boy Meets World guest stars. We all remember the major media buzz going into the Texas trilogy and to a lesser extent the Ski Lodge two-parter.
    • “The company is also making a big bet on the sort of buzz-generating original content that has been so successful for Netflix and, to a lesser extent, Amazon.”Fast Company, June 2015
    • “Still, it’s Hulu’s newly created shows that could ultimately be the key to turning things around. Just look at Netflix, whose streaming service only clicked after House of Cards turned it into a content powerhouse. Could Hulu’s Difficult People be the new Orange Is the New Black? ‘We’ve made significant steps toward [having a show break through to mainstream audiences],” says Erwich. “I don’t know if the fog has completely lifted, but I feel like we’re about to come through the other side.'” — Fast Company, June 2015
  6. Hulu would like to be more competitive with other SVOD services in terms of award nominations. Our show may not be a prestige drama, but twice Emmy-nominated Girl Meets World could probably help Hulu out in the awards department—and that’s to say nothing of the show’s Writer’s Guild, Producer’s Guild, and Humanitas Prize nominations.
    • “’I don’t want to overstate what nominations mean, but it puts us on the map in terms of our original productions,’ Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins told Variety.” — Variety, December 2015
    • “Added Erwich: ‘Given the competition for people’s time and money, a prestigious award like this is an extra calling card. It’s another reason to invite people to the party. And when you get them in, there’s plenty to watch.'” — Variety, December 2015
    • “While Hulu has had traction with some originals, including animated comedy The Awesomes, which returns for Season 2 this summer, the online service has been overshadowed by rivals Netflix and Amazon, which have established slates of network-quality comedy and drama series that, in the case of Netflix, already go toe to toe with the traditional network fare for awards consideration.”Deadline, March 2014
  7. Hulu releases its originals on a weekly basis, and they tend to order more traditional-length seasons of 20 episodes or so. The Girl Meets World executive producers are old school, and this more traditional model is the one their original plans for a season four were based on, so it’s likely that they themselves are partial to the Hulu model as opposed to the less traditional models on Netflix and Amazon.
    • “‘Like you, we value the shared experience and the joy of the watercooler that is television,’ he [Erwich] continued. ‘This will also allow us to get the shows out to our audiences faster, without waiting until full series completion.'”TheWrap, August 2015
  8. Corporate culture at Hulu is very TV-focused, even moreso than Netflix and Amazon. We think it’s entirely possible that Hulu might embrace the chance to work with the Boy Meets World crew, and to be a platform for a show which is so “self-aware” and even downright celebratory in terms of its nature as a television show.
    • “…TV is such a part of its [Hulu’s] culture and has always been the focus of the business. Conference-room names have TV references like Wisteria Lane and Central Perk.”Refinery29, December 2014
  9. Judging by their Twitter feeds, Hulu Head of Originals Beatrice Springborn and Hulu Head of Comedy Originals Billy Rosenberg would appreciate stars like Rowan, Amir, and Corey especially, as well as the lessons of episodes like Girl Meets STEM and Girl Meets the Great Lady of New York.

Now that we’ve given you several potential items in our favor, we want to level with everyone because we here at think it’s best for everybody if we keep one foot in ever-hopeful Rileytown and another foot in ever-realistic Mayaville. There are two known hurdles to Hulu picking up Girl Meets World:

  1. The question of whether Disney Channel (Disney-ABC Television Group) will sell or license the production rights to Girl Meets World or not. We already know this is an issue wherever Girl Meets World might potentially land, but when it comes to Hulu it’s possible that Disney-ABC’s ownership stake in Hulu will make a difference in their willingness to let Girl Meets World live on elsewhere.
  2. For what we think are obvious reasons, Hulu is less likely to rescue a show if they don’t already have the streaming license to previous seasons. Our hope is that Hulu’s June 2016 deal with Disney-ABC Television Group bodes well for this in the long-term, but at the moment Netflix and Amazon/iTunes hold the subscriber and pay-per-episode Girl Meets World streaming licenses respectively and we don’t know when they will expire. We also hope, again, that Disney-ABC Television Group’s ownership stake in Hulu will make a difference for us. When considering whether to rescue a show or not, Hulu looks first at whether they already have the streaming license, then secondly at how the show is already performing on their platform if so, and thirdly they look at whether or not the show has a fanbase willing to follow the show in question wherever it goes. While we can only hope that existing business relationships between Disney-ABC Television Group and Hulu can help us with the first two items, we can absolutely show Hulu that Girl Meets World has a dedicated fan base, a large portion of which can and will follow our beloved show wherever it goes.

And you can bet we’ve got a plan in mind for how to do just that. Now that we’ve got our Amazon Studios ground game caught up a bit, we’ll be training our sights on Hulu again in a big way, starting tomorrow. Please be sure to check back in later for the Hulu game plan, or go ahead and subscribe with your email to get the latest updates.

UPDATE: The Hulu game plan is up and ready for you to take action!