CW Strikes 5-Year Deal With Hulu for New Shows

Current CW shows will first be available for streaming on Hulu's subscription service and then the free, ad-supported site

The CW and Hulu have reached a five-year deal for the rights to stream in-season episodes of the CW's content on Hulu's subscription service Hulu Plus, the network announced Friday. The deal makes Hulu Plus the only online subscription service that will carry in-season episodes of CW shows.

The shows will be available for streaming on free, ad-supported Hulu.com site shortly after they appear on the subscription site.

Under the agreement, the five most recent episodes of the network's drama and reality series will be available to Hulu Plus subscribers the day after broadcast. Users of Hulu's free service will be able to watch the five most recent episodes 8 days after broadcast.

Shows will be available for streaming on CWTV.com prior to availability on the free Hulu service.

The deal, which will go into effect later this year, will initially begin with the nine series currently on the network's fall 2011 schedule, including new series such as "Ringer" and Hart of Dixie," as well as returning series "The Vampire Diaries," "Gossip Girl," "90210" and "America's Next Top Model."

In the announcement, CW president Mark Pedowitz said that he hopes that making the network's programs available for streaming on Hulu and Hulu Plus will help "build even more awareness [for the networks's series] that will drive viewers back to the network and its affiliates. We see this as a win for everyone involved, the network, the stations, Hulu and ultimately, the viewers.”

Andy Forssell, Hulu's senior vice president of content, said that the CW roster is indicative of the kind of content that Hulu is courting — "high-quality, engaging, serialized shows that fans passionately love."