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‘This Is Us’: Hulu & NBC To Share Streaming Rights To NBC Drama Series

Deadline logo Deadline 5/3/2017 Nellie Andreeva
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Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution has made a co-exclusivity deal with Hulu and NBC Entertainment for SVOD rights to breakout NBC freshman drama This Is Us, which already has been renewed for Seasons 2 and 3. Hulu will make previous seasons of the acclaimed series available to its subscribers, while authenticated NBC viewers will be able to access them via their MVPD provider.

The hit serialized family drama, which appears tailor-made for binge viewing on a streaming platform, was a hot property when it was taken out to digital buyers in January. It also was the first big broadcast series to test the SVOD off-network market for its library after being exposed to in-season streaming for all episodes from its current season. With NBC already having in-season stacking rights, shared with corporate sibling Hulu, it made sense for the two companies also to share This Is Us‘ SVOD rights. This may be a template for how SVOD rights would be handled in the era of networks demanding (and getting) in-season stacking rights, and is believed to be the first time a broadcast network will also retain library rights to a series it doesn’t own beyond the current season.

”Dan Fogelman’s This Is Us is an extraordinary series that grew in viewership throughout its acclaimed first season, and we think it has the potential to expand its audience even further,” said Fox Television Group chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman. “This groundbreaking deal offers unprecedented access to consumers on multiple platforms, from Hulu to the apps of our network partner NBC, creating opportunity for viewers to find, catch up and experience again every incredible episode. It’s an exciting deal which is a ‘win’ for all our companies but for fans of this fantastic television show most of all.”

Hulu subscribers and NBC viewers who authenticate to their MVPD can view episodes on Hulu and the apps and websites of both NBC and their MVPD.

“It was important to NBC that This Is Us be accessible to as many rabid fans as possible as it continues to grow,” said NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt. “We’re extremely pleased that this combination of platforms — Hulu and the apps of both NBC and (authenticated) on-demand providers — makes all episodes available in a way that hasn’t been done before. This deal sets a new precedent, and we’re thrilled that our partners at Fox and Hulu had the same goals in mind.”

The news of This Is Us‘ SVOD deal was revealed at the Hulu upfront today.

“With its authentic and emotional storytelling, This Is Us has transcended the modern broadcast television drama,” said Craig Erwich, Hulu’s SVP and Head of Content. “It’s a show that clearly resonates with our viewers, and we are very happy that Hulu is its exclusive subscription video on demand home.”

This Is Us’ first season averaged 15.3 million total viewers and a 4.8 adults 18-49 rating (Live+7), making it the No. 1 new series of the 2016-2017 season. It also was is top drama series of the season — new or returning. As of January 2017, 72 million total viewers have viewed the first 10 episodes in some fashion on all platforms.

Starring Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, and Justin Hartley, the series follows a unique ensemble. As their paths cross and their life stories intertwine in curious ways, we find that several of them share the same birthday, and so much more than anyone would expect. Chris Sullivan, Susan Kelechi Watson and Ron Cephas Jones also star.

Dan Fogelman, Donald Todd, John Requa, Glenn Ficarra, Ken Olin, Charlie Gogolak and Jess Rosenthal executive produce. This Is Us is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and distributed by 20th Century Fox Television Distribution.

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