Hulu Updates from TCA 2012: Larry King Now, The Thick of It, Prisoners of War, Rev and Up to Speed

The Thick Of It

Last week Hulu held a special panel at the 2012 Summer TCA Press Tour to discuss two new series that will be exclusively shown on the online television resource, as well as a few returning series.

First up at the event was a panel about Hulu’s exclusive series called Up to Speed. After being shown a brief preview of the show, I can only describe it as a travel show on crack. But I mean that in a good way…I think. The series will rely heavily on its host, a rather eccentric (putting it mildly) fellow named Timothy “Speed” Levitch, a tourist guide known to his following for offering anything but your standard tour through a city’s landmarks. In my opinion, the deciding factor of whether you will like this show will be based on whether you like Speed. He kind of reminds me of a cross between Weird Al Yankovic and Woody Allen.

During the panel Speed and the rest of the panelists promised that this wouldn’t be your standard travel show but one designed to appeal to people who don’t usually watch travel shows. They also said that though the show will stay in the US during its first season, they are planning on taking it to international cities if it gets picked up for more.

The next panel was for nine-time Israeli Emmy Award-winning series Prisoners of War, which is available exclusively in the US on Hulu and Hulu Plus. They showed us a preview and all I can say is that after the first 30 seconds I forgot there were subtitles. The story is extremely emotional, no matter where you are from.

During the panel, we discovered that the subject of prisoners of war is a very sensitive one in Israel, almost taboo, and the show has now changed the face of TV in that country. Everyone involved with the show have heard comments from viewers, most of them saying how wonderful the show was but also how hard it is for them to watch. We were told that real POW’s who have seen the show have remarked: “it feels like ‘Prisoners of War’ has finally revealed our pain for the world to see.”

Up next was a panel for BBC’s BAFTA Award-winning comedy called Rev, which explores “the enormous daily frustrations and moral conflicts of an inner city vicar.” The first two seasons are available exclusively in the US on Hulu and Hulu Plus. The preview they showed us promised a lot of laughs, especially if you’re into British comedies.

During the panel, the discussion turned to the role of religion in the series but the stars and creators were quick to point out that though the main character is a vicar, it’s really about the trials and tribulations that all people have to face. They also said that the series is written not with an atheist’s voice, but take a “skeptical and loving” view at religion.

Up next was a panel for another BBC BAFTA-award winner, The Thick of It, a show that promises to “thrust viewers into a world of spin-doctoring, backstabbing and wild media speculation” involving the life of politicians. After watching the preview for this one I have to say that it reminded me a lot of the Office as it has that almost documentary feel about it. This too will air exclusively in the US on Hulu and Hulu Plus.

During the panel, we were told that the series will air on Hulu without bleeping out any cursing. Which is apparently a good thing as some journalists remarked that trying to watch it on BBC America made the show sound like nothing but Morse code. We were also told that the series has apparently created some politics itself in the UK; with things that have happened on the show ending up happening in real life as well. The creators promised that the new season (which will air simultaneously on Hulu when it is released in the UK), will start a whole new dynamic on the show – with new cast members and entirely new situations.

Finally, there was the panel celebrating Larry King’s new series Larry King Now. The preview showed us that Larry will be back to doing what he does best, having his trademark in-depth conversations with some of the world’s most fascinating people. Larry King Now will air Monday to Thursday nights exclusively on Hulu and Hulu Plus.

I was never one to watch Larry King religiously, but I have of course seen some of his interviews. But as I was usually watching said interviews to learn more about the guest, I have to say that I never paid much attention to the interviewer. The panel gave us a chance to get to know Larry himself and after a few minutes I sort of fell in love with the guy. He was extremely gracious and couldn’t stop talking about how happy he was to get the chance to keep on doing what he loves in a new format.

To catch any of Hulu’s new and returning series, be sure to head to for more info.

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