Red alert, fans of The O.C.: The early aughts teen drama classic is (finally!) headed to Hulu next month, marking the first time the show will be available on one of the Big Three major streaming services. Hulu has landed Seth and Ryan’s excellent adventures as part of a groundbreaking deal with O.C. producer Warner Bros. Television, which had previously resisted licensing any of its extensive content library to Hulu. But now, the dam is about to break, and in a big way. In addition to older titles such as The O.C., Smallville, and Southland, today’s agreement will also bring the first and subsequent seasons of freshmen successes Blindspot and Lucifer to Hulu, starting this summer. TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles will also join the streamer next month. All of the Warners shows will be available on both Hulu’s regular and commercial-free subscription plans.
The deal between Hulu and Warner Bros. marks a continued thawing in relations between the two companies. Over the past half-decade, the studio had mostly licensed its library of shows to Netflix or put them on smaller, in-house streaming platforms such as TheWB.com and CW Seed. But Warners is now partnered with Hulu on the streaming service’s big J.J. Abrams-produced drama, 11.22.63. And last fall, there were even reports that Warners parent company Time Warner was considering becoming an investor in Hulu, joining media giants such as Disney and Comcast as owners of the original streaming giant. (In January, The Wall Street Journal noted that Time Warner management was resisting such an investment because of its opposition to Hulu’s decision to let viewers watch current seasons of network shows sans commercials.) Today’s agreement doesn’t necessarily indicate there’s been any breakthrough on those larger conversations, or that a flood of Warners shows will start arriving on Hulu. But it does indicate there’s been something of a détente established between the two companies.