Hulu Enters Original Content Biz with 'Battleground' Series
Hulu on Tuesday launched "Battleground," an original new "dramedy" series.
The 13-episode series focuses on the lives of workers in a fictional campaign for a U.S. Senate seat in Wisconsin.
Unlike Netflix, which recently posted all eight episodes of its new series "Lilyhammer" to its website on the same day, Hulu will release one 22-minute episode of "Battleground" every Tuesday.
Hulu's original content has something else Netflix's series doesn’t have: Commercials. However, unlike commercial TV, you can choose between having "Battleground" broken up by ads, as is done in broadcast TV, or watch one long advertising trailer at the beginning of an episode and watch the rest of the program uninterrupted.
"Battleground" doesn't have a big name in the cast like Lilyhammer's Steve Van Zandt, but it has some experienced hands on the business end of the series. Marc Webb ("The Amazing Spiderman") is executive producer and J.D. Walsh, a memorable character actor whose TV credits alone include "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," "The League," and "Two and a Half Men," is the writer and director.
Who's in the Cast
While political campaign movies aren't anything new--especially during presidential election years--what makes "Battleground" fresh is that the candidate takes a backseat to the tangled personal relationships of the campaign staff--all engagingly played by a young ensemble cast. Here's a roundup:
There's Chris "Tak" Davis (Jay Hayden), 29, the clever campaign strategist, growing desperate for a win after losing six straight campaigns.
Tak has a love interest in Kara "KJ" Jamison (Teri Reeves), 28, the head of media operations. KJ and Tak don't always see eye to eye on ethical issues. Tak tends to be more flexible about them than KJ, whose inflexibility extends to her social life. She's stiff in group situations, often with comic results.
Although KJ admires Tak's ability to get things done, regardless of the means--she admits as much to a filmmaker making a documentary about the campaign, a device that's getting threadbare after its use on shows like "The Office" and "Modern Family"--her conflicts with Tak drives her toward the campaign's speechwriter Cole Graner (Jack De Sena), 28.
Graner's "claim to fame" is that he wrote the speech Howard Dean gave on the day his campaign imploded.
Other campaign types include Tak's assistant and medieval faire veteran Ben Werner (Ben Samuel), 22; head of new media Ali Laurents (Alison Haislip), 26; intern Lindsey Cutter (Lindsey Payne), 23; and copyroom supervisor Jordan T. Mosley, 28, played by Jordan T. Maxwell.