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'Handmaid' wins 2nd season as Hulu unveils live-TV option

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/3/2017 By FRAZIER MOORE, AP Television Writer
This image released by Hulu shows Elisabeth Moss as Offred in a scene from, "The Handmaid's Tale." The series has won a second season from Hulu. "The Handmaid's Tale," adapted from the acclaimed Margaret Atwood novel and starring Elisabeth Moss, premiered April 26 as Hulu’s biggest-ever series debut. (George Kraychyk/Hulu via AP) © The Associated Press This image released by Hulu shows Elisabeth Moss as Offred in a scene from, "The Handmaid's Tale." The series has won a second season from Hulu. "The Handmaid's Tale," adapted from the acclaimed Margaret Atwood novel and starring Elisabeth Moss, premiered April 26 as Hulu’s biggest-ever series debut. (George Kraychyk/Hulu via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Just a week after its premiere, "The Handmaid's Tale" has won a second season from Hulu , which is bringing aboard Alec Baldwin for an upcoming drama series about events that led to the 9/11 attacks.

The subscription service also on Wednesday announced the launch of an optional upgrade that delivers multiple channels of live programming along with streaming content.

This live-TV option provides live and on-demand programming from more than 50 sports, news, entertainment and kids' channels, including shows from the four major broadcast networks, along with Hulu's existing streaming library. The monthly plan costs $39.99, which includes Hulu's standard $7.99 commercial service. The no-commercials plan costs an additional $4 per month.

"Hulu can now be your primary source of television — live or on demand," said Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins.

Among newly acquired off-network series: NBC's "This Is Us," this season's reigning freshman drama, now available on Hulu.

Hulu's announced straight-to-series originals includes "Marvel's Runaways," which will explore the younger side of the Marvel Comics universe in a coming-of-age action drama. It is scheduled to premiere next winter.

Meanwhile, "The First" is a drama set in the near future about the first human mission to Mars. This series is created and written by Beau Willimon ("House of Cards," ''Ides of March").

Actor and Donald-Trump-impersonator Alec Baldwin has been cast to guest star in "The Looming Tower" as George Tenet, the director of central intelligence for the CIA. The 10-episode series will be adapted from Lawrence Wright's Pulitzer Prize-winning 9/11 expose with a cast also including Jeff Daniels and Peter Sarsgaard.

"The Handmaid's Tale" has quickly emerged as a hit for Hulu, with its April 26 premiere watched by more Hulu viewers than any past series premiere on the channel, the service said. Based on the acclaimed 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood, it stars Elisabeth Moss as a woman pushing back against a totalitarian society where human rights are trampled and women in particular are treated as property of the state.

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