By Sahil Patel
The third season of “Blue,” the Julia Stiles-starring series from scripted-drama digital studio WIGS, will debut on Friday, March 28 — but not on YouTube. Instead, the entire season will be available on Hulu and Hulu Plus.
It’s an interesting departure for WIGS, which launched in May 2012 as part of YouTube’s $100 million original channels initiative. The channel, focused exclusively on female-centric drama shows, has produced more than 15 original series, seven short films, and 10 documentaries since then.
Last year, WIGS signed a marketing and distribution deal with Fox Broadcasting Company, which resulted in the first two seasons of “Blue” moving to Hulu and Hulu Plus. (Fox is one of the owners of Hulu.) Fox also marketed the show, as well as other WIGS dramas, offline on its TV channels and in theaters.
Back then, WIGS co-founder Jon Avnet said even with the Fox partnership, the studio intended to continue producing content for YouTube. When it came to the web, it just made sense to get its content out to as many places as possible.
So what happened? It’s likely that WIGS saw the success it was having with “Blue” on Hulu (Avnet said the show was one of the top 10 most-watched programs on Hulu) and decided that it was a better outlet for the show.
With season three moving to Hulu, the format has also changed. Where previous seasons on YouTube consisted of short-form episodes, season three will span four 40–60 minute episodes.
Written and directed by WIGS co-founder Rodrigo Garcia (“In Treatment”), “Blue” tells the story of its titular character, a single mother who tries hard to keep her life as an escort a secret from her son. Karen Graci serves as a co-writer on the show. Avnet, Garcia, and Jake Avnet executive produced.
Along with Stiles, season three’s cast includes Eric Stoltz (“Mask”), Uriah Shelton (“The Glades”), Stiles’ real-life sister Jane O’Hara (“Law & Order”), and James Morrison (“Revenge”). Laura Spencer from “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” will make a cameo as her WIGS character Vanessa, from the series “Jan” and “Vanessa & Jan.”
In addition to “Blue,” WIGS also plans to debut a new longer episode of “Paloma,” a series written and directed by Stiles and starring Grace Gummer, on Hulu.
Along with YouTube, other WIGS shows are also available on WatchWigs.com.