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HULU LAUNCHES NEW LIVE TV STREAMING SERVICE, ADDS CHANNELS FROM SCRIPPS NETWORKS INTERACTIVE

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This morning, during its annual Upfront presentation, Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins announced the launch of the company’s brand new live TV streaming beta service, along with its groundbreaking new user experience, to the public. Beginning today, viewers who subscribe to the Hulu with Live TV (Beta) plan can enjoy live and on demand programming from more than 50 popular sports, news, entertainment and kids’ channels — plus Hulu’s deep existing premium streaming library — all for $39.99 per month, with no setup costs or hidden fees. This includes 50 hours of recording storage, up to six individual profiles and two simultaneous streams per account, with options to upgrade to an enhanced Cloud DVR and unlimited in-home screens.

The company also announced a new affiliate agreement with lifestyle media leader Scripps Networks Interactive to bring its popular networks, including HGTV, Travel Channel and Food Network, to both Hulu’s new live service and existing premium streaming offering.

“Nearly a decade ago, Hulu forever redefined the way people watch TV. Today, as we add live sports, news and entertainment and introduce a more intuitive Hulu, we want to redefine the way people experience TV,” said Hopkins. “By bringing together thousands of live, on-demand and library shows and movies — and serving them up in a uniquely personalized way – Hulu can now be a viewer’s primary source of television. It’s a natural extension of our business, and an exciting new chapter for Hulu.”

“We have always believed that TV should fit your lifestyle, not the other way around,” said Ben Smith, Hulu’s SVP and Head of Experience. “You shouldn’t have to think about whether something is live, recorded or on demand, or care about which device you’re using.  TV is about connecting with the shows, movies and sports you love – and we want to make that really easy for you, no matter where you’re watching.”

Live and On Demand Channels, Originals and Library TV — All in One Place

With today’s launch, Hulu becomes the only pay-TV service to offer live and on demand channels, original series and films, and a library of premium streaming TV shows and movies, all in one place. This includes content from the four major broadcast networks, ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, with local live broadcast affiliate programming immediately available in many markets, with more to follow; the biggest live sporting events from top pro and college leagues on channels including CBS Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports and TNT, as well as regional sports networks available in many markets; top news channels CNN, CNBC, Fox News, Fox Business and MSNBC; popular lifestyle programming from Bravo, E!, Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel; and fan favorites like A&E, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Disney Channel, Freeform, FX, HISTORY, Lifetime, National Geographic, TBS, USA Network, Viceland and more.

In addition, the $39.99 per month base package includes Hulu’s existing $7.99 premium streaming offering with limited commercials, which offers more than 3500 TV and film titles — and now includes full seasons of Scripps Networks series — as well as acclaimed Hulu Originals such as The Path, The Mindy Project, Golden Globe-nominated comedy Casual, and 2017’s most talked-about new series, The Handmaid’s Tale. Viewers who wish to watch their Hulu Originals, movies, and library content without advertising can subscribe to the company’s on-demand No Commercials plan for an additional $4.00 per month.

TV That Gets You

Hulu now features an easy-to-use, intuitive interface that seamlessly blends together live, recorded and on-demand content.  From creating a personal profile to picking favorite TV shows, news channels and movies, Hulu makes it easy for viewers to watch what they love and enjoy the same personalized experience whether they’re at home on the couch or catching up on the go. The more a viewer watches, the more tailored the service gets, adjusting its recommendations based not only on the content they consume, but also time of day and which device they’re using.

For sports lovers, it is especially easy and convenient to customize the Hulu experience. Subscribers to the Hulu with Live TV (Beta) plan can follow their favorite major pro and college teams from leagues including the NFL, NBA, NCAA, MLB, MLS and NHL — and Hulu will surface and record those games live, subject to availability. There is no longer any need to know what channel the game is on.

Hulu also offers a “Kids Mode” for families with children. Setting up a profile in Kids Mode allows young viewers to enjoy Hulu’s full array of kid-friendly programming, without the ability to search or browse the rest of the Hulu catalogue.

All subscribers to the Hulu with Live TV (Beta) plan will automatically get to experience Hulu’s new interface. For Hulu subscribers who do not opt for live TV, the new interface is currently available on Xbox One, Apple TV (4th Gen.) and Android mobile devices.

Premium and Feature Add-Ons

Hulu viewers who choose the Hulu with Live TV (Beta) Plan can further enhance their Hulu experience by choosing premium content or feature add-ons that best fit their lifestyle:

  • Enhanced Cloud DVR ($14.99/month): Subscribers can upgrade to 200 hours of recording storage and more powerful cloud DVR capabilities, allowing them to record as many shows as they want to at the same time and watch from anywhere — no clunky boxes needed. With the Enhanced Cloud DVR, Hulu will record new episodes of any show or games of any team that viewers have designated as a favorite, and they will be able to fast forward through recorded ads.
  • Unlimited Screens ($14.99/month): Hulu’s Unlimited Screens add-on gives viewers as many simultaneous streams as they want in the home, and three outside the home, so the entire household can enjoy Hulu at any time.
  • Enhanced Cloud DVR + Unlimited Screens ($19.99/month): Viewers can bundle both product add-ons together and save $10.00.
  • SHOWTIME ($8.99/month): Fans of SHOWTIME can add the channel, giving them unlimited, on-demand access to all of SHOWTIME’s award-winning original series, box office hits, documentaries and specials.

Additional premium network add-ons will become available soon.

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Movie

Caesar’s Reign Comes To The Big Screen With New Trailer For Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes

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Director Wes Ball breathes new life into the global, epic franchise set several generations in the future following Caesar’s reign, in which apes are the dominant species living harmoniously and humans have been reduced to living in the shadows. As a new tyrannical ape leader builds his empire, one young ape undertakes a harrowing journey that will cause him to question all that he has known about the past and to make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike. “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is directed by Wes Ball (the “Maze Runner” trilogy) and stars Owen Teague (“IT”), Freya Allan (“The Witcher”), Kevin Durand (“Locke & Key”), Peter Macon (“Shameless”), and William H. Macy (“Fargo”). The screenplay is by Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds”) and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (“Avatar: The Way of Water”) and Patrick Aison (“Prey”), based on characters created by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, and the producers are Wes Ball, Joe Hartwick, Jr., p.g.a. (“The Maze Runner”), Rick Jaffa, p.g.a., Amanda Silver, p.g.a., Jason Reed, p.g.a. (“Mulan”), with Peter Chernin (the “Planet of the Apes” trilogy) and Jenno Topping (“Ford v. Ferrari”) serving as executive producers.

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Masterchef Is Back! For Halo Season 2

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A quick recap – Halo is set in a war-torn 26th century, where humanity led by the United Nations Space Command or UNSC and their supersoldiers known as Spartans, fights against the onslaught of the alien conglomerate known as the Covenant. The full dust-up of Halo Season 1, can be found here. Onward into the introduction of Halo Season 2!

It’s been six months since the forced separation of Spartan Masterchief John (Pablo Schreiber) and Cortana (Jen Taylor), and the Silver Team has been sent on a mission to evacuate residents of the planet Sanctuary before the Covenant glasses the whole thing. This comes with its own set of challenges, given the resistance of the planet’s inhabitants, and it doesn’t help that Masterchef starts seeing things right in the middle of trying to save some marines. Or is he? Those energy swords the squad of Elites were carrying looked worryingly real.

Back on Reach, the Silver Team is entirely dismayed to learn they have a brand new Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) representative come in as the new boss, to finally replace the traitorous Halsey, James Ackerson (Joseph Morgan). And of course, Ackerson manages to immediately get under Masterchief’s skin, by not only expressing far too much interest in John’s relationship with Cortana but also apparently disbelieving of John’s report of his encounters on Sanctuary. That just means Masterchief has to go around, if not entirely over, Ackerson’s head.

Elsewhere, Soren (Bokeem Woodbine) is trolling the slave markets in his boredom, only to stumble across a soon-to-be indentured servant who claims he knows the whereabouts of the UNSC’s most hunted human, Catherine Halsey (Natascha McElhone). That should bring a huge bounty, but really, Soren should’ve known better by now.

Halo Season 2 premieres Thursday, February 8th, 2024, and will continue to air every Thursday, only on Paramount+!

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Reborn as a Vending Machine I Now Wander the Dungeon’: I look forward to your next use!  

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If the title of this delightful little isekai anime entry didn’t give it all away, our nameless protagonist is a vending machine fanatic who, after being killed by a vending machine, gets reincarnated in another fantasy-style world as one! 

Japan has a tendency to give birth to all sorts of crazed fads that can last for decades, and no one does better when it comes to the vending machine industry, too. These days there are vending machines that will serve you sushi you can actually eat, hot pizza in the box, wagyu steaks, freshly popped popcorn, and a whole mind-boggling array of tasty treats, and other non-edible but still useful items! Umbrellas! Condoms! Oxygen masks, sterile bandages, shoes, and emergency clothing! Actually, far more things that we use on an everyday basis, could be considered as technically a vending machine, and the anime explores that beautifully. Into the world of vending machine fanaticism, we dive! 

So our poor protagonist never gave a name, and inevitably when he’s discovered by his first official friend the starving hunter Lammis, she dubs him “Boxxo”. Like many isekai that seem to take inspiration from video games and RPGs, Boxxo discovers he ways he can communicate, level up his existence, and even evince magic-like powers and attack and defend against monsters and enemies. Though in the beginning, and as an underlying theme throughout the show, Boxxo is primarily concerned with providing unique never-before-tasted-in-this-world food and drink to the amazed folk, human and otherwise. 

Boxxo’s prices are entirely reasonable and hey, he can even choose to give out his wares for free on occasion, so his popularity immediately skyrockets. Lammis with her awkward charm and prodigious strength blessing, introduces Boxxo to other friends of Clearflow Lake Village and associates along the way – Director Bear, an actual bear-monster who’s the head of the Hunters Association; Lammis’ friend Hulemy, the insane genius magic item engineer; the Bearcats Suco, Pell, Short and Mikenne, cheerful hunters with astronomic appetites; even suspicious Kerioyl, leader of the Menagerie of Fools party. 

The show approaches the practicality and versatility of the true vending machine with amusement, but also with the love true fans display for things they’re passionate about. Certainly, things like a brothel needing a condom vending machine exist in our world, but to toss them into a potentially more innocent other-world isekai is a welcome and often hilarious treat. The show celebrates the cheerful idiocy and devotion of the fans to their chosen fandom, in this case, yes vending machines, but also the spirit of the lonely otaku finally finding their Tribe! 

Pay your coins to watch ‘Reborn as a Vending Machine’ on Crunchyroll now! 

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