If you haven’t had a good reason to pay for Hulu Plus yet, this just might be it. Hot on the heels of Netflix picking up Arrested Development for a whole new season of new episodes, Hulu is also bringing another show back from the past. You may have heard us talk about the hilarious British comedy In the Loop, mostly because director Armando Iannucci has made a big splash in the United States with the HBO comedy series Veep. But before that film hit the big screen, there was a series, where most of those characters originated, called The Thick of It, which followed the inner workings of the British government. Hit the jump for more.
A new deal with Hulu and BBC Worldwide Americas has landed the first three seasons and two specials between the two seasons to be available in their entirety on Hulu and Hulu Plus on July 29th, but the real meat and potatoes of this story is the creation of a fourth season of the series which will premiere on Hulu and Hulu Plus at the same time as the UK broadcast. That means the series will be available online before hitting BBC America early next year. However, I’m not sure whether or not the original seasons and new season being available on Hulu and Hulu Plus means you’ll always be able to watch them, even if you don’t pay for the service. My bet is that much like the other shows on Hulu is that a handful of the most recent episodes of the new season will be available and you’ll have to pay for Hulu Plus to watch the old seasons and specials.
In the new season, Iannucci says the story goes, “into exciting and uncharted territory: a new Coalition Government, and Malcolm (Peter Capaldi) and Nicola (Rebecca Front) fretting in the wings. For the first time too a storyline takes us all the way through the series right to the bitter, bitter end, with Government and Opposition convulsed in an incident that questions every political convention imaginable, but in a funny way.”
Here’s the official press release for this exciting return of The Thick of It:
HULU TO CO-PRODUCE FOURTH SEASON OF BBC AWARD-WINNING U.K. POLITICAL COMEDY
“THE THICK OF IT” THROUGH A PARTNERSHIP SECURED BY BBC WORLDWIDE AMERICAS
FULL SEASONS OF ACCLAIMED SERIES BY ARMANDO IANNUCCI (“VEEP,” “IN THE LOOP”) COMING EXCLUSIVELY TO HULU AND HULU PLUS BEGINNING JULY 29
First Hulu Exclusive Series to Premiere Day-and-Date With International Broadcast
LOS ANGELES, (July 18, 2012) – Hulu today announced its first international co-production with the BBC for the highly anticipated fourth season of Armando Iannucci’s political UK comedy “The Thick of It,” through a partnership secured by BBC Worldwide Americas. Beginning July 29, Hulu and Hulu Plus will be the exclusive U.S. destination for fans to watch every episode from the first three seasons of the beloved program, as well as the two specials released between seasons in the UK. “The Thick of It” was initially broadcasted on BBC Four in the UK and BBC AMERICA in the U.S. Hulu will also exclusively premiere the fourth season in the U.S., which will air first on Hulu and Hulu Plus day-and-date with the UK broadcast before returning to BBC AMERICA early next year.
Created and written by Armando Iannucci, acclaimed writer of HBO’s “Veep” and Oscar-nominated film “In the Loop,” “The Thick of It” takes a smart, satirical look at the inner workings of British government. Shot in a vérité style with hand-held cameras, Iannucci’s distinctive brand of comedy thrusts viewers into a world of political embarrassment, backroom deals, policy U-turns, spin-doctoring, political backstabbing and wild media speculation.
“This series takes ‘The Thick of It’ into exciting and uncharted territory: a new Coalition Government, and Malcolm and Nicola fretting in the wings. For the first time too a storyline takes us all the way through the series right to the bitter, bitter end, with Government and Opposition convulsed in an incident that questions every political convention imaginable, but in a funny way,” said Armando Iannucci.
“I very quickly became obsessed with this show, and it is exactly the kind of show Hulu viewers will love,” said Hulu SVP of Content Andy Forssell. “We’re really excited to give U.S. audiences a chance to catch up with all previous episodes, and as series co-producers for season four, we are proud to make full seasons of this distinctive and smart show available exclusively to Hulu viewers.”
Following buffoonish goings-on in the fictional Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship (DoSAC), the ruthless Director of Communications Malcolm Tucker, played by Peter Capaldi who won a BAFTA for the role, leads the media maelstrom. Tucker manipulates the staff, including Junior Policy Advisor Ollie Reeder (Chris Addison), Senior Advisor Glen Cullen (James Smith), Civil Service Press Secretary Terri Coverley (Joanna Scanlan), with his volatile and profane tirades.
“We are excited to have partnered with Hulu for the co-production of the fourth season of ‘The Thick of It’ and to make the entire show available to their users. With the hilarious satirical storylines, the series is ideal for Hulu’s audience which enjoys cutting-edge comedy television,” stated Matt Forde, BBC Worldwide Americas EVP Sales & Co-Productions.
“The Thick of It” is a BBC in-house production in association with Hulu. The series is written by Tony Roche, Simon Blackwell, Ian Martin, Will Smith, Roger Drew and Sean Gray, with additional material written by David Quantick, Dan Gaster, Georgia Pritchett and Rob Colley. Produced by Adam Tandy, executive producers are BBC’s Mark Freeland and Hulu’s Andy Forssell. “The Thick of It” was directed by Natalie Bailey (episodes 1 & 3), Billy Sneddon (episode 2), Becky Martin (episode 4), Chris Addison (episode 5), Armando Iannucci (episode 6) and Tony Roche (episode 7).