Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert return to Hulu
Viacom has agreed to return “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and the “Colbert Report” starring Stephen Colbert to Hulu, nearly a year after pulling the two high-profile shows off the online video service in a dispute over financial terms.
Viacom had contended it was not adequately compensated for the two shows, which it cited as one of the main attractions in the budding service that is co-owned by three of its rivals.
The announcement of the return of the two Comedy Central shows to Hulu coincided with their reappearence on Wedneday. Full-length episodes of both have been streamed on the shows' websites, TheDailyShow.com and ColbertNation.com, where they will continue to be available.
Viacom also said that it would make available several other popular shows -- including MTV’s hit “Jersey Shore” and “Teen Mom 2,” Comedy Central’s “Tosh.0” and TVLand’s “Hot in Cleveland” -- to the Hulu Plus subscription service 21 days after each episode's televised debut.
“Welcome to Hulu Plus, Snooki,” Hulu Chief Executive Jason Kilar said in a blog post Wednesday evening, referring to bronzed, buxom and beehived party girl Snooki Polizzi from “Jersey Shore."
More than 2,000 episodes of shows such as “Reno 911,” the original “Beavis and Butt-Head,” “Real World” and “The Chappelle Show” would also find their way from Viacom's library to the Hulus Plus service, which costs users $7.99 per month.
"We are very pleased to partner with Hulu in a way that recognizes the value of our strong brands and passionate young fans who are attracted to our content," Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said in a statement -- which did not disclose deal terms.
The agreement was a breakthrough for Hulu, which early on had hoped Viacom would become one of the site’s partners since so many of the entertainment giant's shows appeal to younger audiences. Hulu is attempting to amass more content to strengthen its hand in the competition with rival services Netflix and Amazon.com.
-- Meg James and Dawn C. Chmielewski
Image: The Hulu home page.