By Sahil Patel
Hulu’s head of development for original series Charlotte Koh is leaving the company, VideoInk has learned from people familiar with the matter.
When reached for comment, Hulu spokesperson Meredith Kendall confirmed Koh’s decision to leave, and provided the following statement:
“We thank Charlotte for her amazing contributions over the past three years, building our Hulu originals business, and we wish her continued success in the future.”
An executive at Hulu since early 2011, Koh oversaw the company’s annual slate of original shows, from the Seth Meyers’ “The Awesomes” to “Deadbeat,” a supernatural comedy series starring Tyler Labine that debuted on the service today. Her responsibilities included project selection, creative development, budgeting, production, post-production, and marketing.
Koh’s decision to leave Hulu comes at a time when many still question the company’s devotion to original programming. After Hulu named Mike Hopkins, a veteran TV distribution executive, as CEO, and the fact that it’s still owned by a trio of traditional media companies, it’s been easy to wonder whether original programming would ever be as big of a deal for Hulu as it has been with competitors like Netflix and Amazon.
To be fair, Hopkins has looked to calm those concerns. In his first public speaking gig since taking the chief executive role, Hopkins said last week that originals would be key to Hulu going forward. “We are going to be much more aggressive in producing high-quality, bigger-budget original programming,” he said at Ad Age Digital. The company wants a brand-defining original show the way “House of Cards” has become synonymous with Netflix. Koh herself has made similar comments to other outlets in the past few weeks.
Koh’s exit could indicate otherwise.
That said, last month Hulu named former Warner Bros. TV executive Craig Erwich SVP and head of content. His responsibilities cover acquiring original and first-run shows, as well as current-season TV programming and past seasons of US and international TV shows. He assumed his role on Monday.
Taken at Hopkins’ word, original programming is indeed important at Hulu. There’s just someone else now steering that ship.