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The week in OTT: 'The Punisher' gets spinoff series on Netflix; Hulu orders new series


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The week in OTT: 'The Punisher' gets spinoff series on Netflix; Hulu orders new series

The week in over-the-topprovides a recap of recent news related to OTT initiatives from variousnetworks and platforms.

*Hulu LLC hasgiven a straight-to-seriesorder to MGM Television drama "The Handmaid's Tale," according to anApril 29 reportby The Hollywood Reporter. StarringElisabeth Moss, the 10-episode series, which is based on Margaret Atwood'snovel of the same name, will reportedly premiere next year. Hulu's contentowners are 21st Century Fox Inc.,Walt Disney Co. andComcast Corp.'sNBCUniversal Media LLC.

* "ThePunisher" is getting its own spinoff series on NetflixInc.'s streaming service. The streaming giant green-lit a fullfirst season of "Marvel's The Punisher," making it the sixth seriesordered under Netflix's partnershipwith Disney's Marvel Television, the company April 29. The series will star JonBernthal as Frank Castle, who first appeared in the second season of Netflixoriginal series "Marvel's Daredevil." The partnership with MarvelTelevision also includes upcoming series "Marvel's Luke Cage," "Marvel'sIron Fist," "Marvel's The Defenders," and "Marvel's JessicaJones." Marvel Television produced "Marvel's The Punisher" inpartnership with ABC Studios.

In other platformnews…

*Netflix green-lighted"Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later" series, The Hollywood Reporter reportedApril 27. The eight-episode series is set 10 years after the end of the 2001feature film "Wet Hot American Summer" from feature film creatorsMichael Showalter and David Wain. In July 2015, the streaming giant "Wet Hot AmericanSummer: First Day of Camp," a prequel series featuring the movie'soriginal stars.

*British Broadcasting Corp.and Netflix are set to makefour-part miniseries "Watership Down," an adaptation of the RichardAdams novel of the same name, reportedApril 27. The show, about a band of rabbits fleeing from man's intrusion, willbe a co-production between BBCOne (UK) and Netflix, and produced by 42 and Biscuit Films. "WatershipDown" will debut on BBC One in the U.K. and globally on Netflix. Theminiseries will be internationally distributed by 's ITV Studios GlobalEntertainment.

*21st Century Fox's FOX Sports channel in Brazil has a new paid mobile app thatallows access to soccer games of the Libertadores Cup, NexTV News Latin AmericareportedApril 26. The service, which reportedly costs $40, will let users watch thenext second round, quarterfinals, semifinals and finals of the soccertournament.

*Time Warner Inc.'sTurner Broadcasting System Inc.unit is working to debuta video-on-demand service, called FilmStruck, in fall 2017, Re/code reportedApril 26. The upcoming service, which will be managed by people behindTCM (US), willreportedly feature an "eclectic mix of contemporary and classic art house,indie, foreign and cult films." Details, such as the launch date, or itsprice plan, were not disclosed, according to the report.

* Inc.bolstered theFreeTime Unlimited content lineup with more than 13,000 new titles includingvideos, educational apps, games and books. FreeTime Unlimited, which previouslyoffered titles primarily for kids ages 3 to 8, now offers 13,000 titles forkids ages 9 to 12, such as "Sonic the Hedgehog," "MonumentValley," "iCarly," "Star Trek" and other content, theonline retail giant saidApril 26. FreeTime Unlimited starts at $2.99 per month for Prime members and$4.99 per month for customers who are not yet Prime members. FreeTime Unlimitedis also adding new titles for preschool and younger kids with apps like "TheGood Dinosaur," "Inside Out," "Big Hero 6" and "DisneyJunior Appisodes"; new books The Polar Express, Sleep Like a Tiger,Tuesday and Mr. Wuffles; and new videos from "Dino Dan," "Zoboomafoo,""Thomas and Friends," "Wishenpoof" and "Tumble Leaf."Starting April 27, the company's Amazon FreeTime service will offer FreeTimeSmart Filters for fourth and fifth generation Fire tablets, including Fire KidsEdition, via a free, over-the-air software update.

*Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.struck a partnershipto license films to Valve Corp.'s Steam digital distribution platform. Pursuantto the partnership, more than 100 Lions Gate feature films will be madeavailable to Steam customers, including movies from the "Hunger Games,""Twilight," "Saw" and "Divergent" franchises,according to an April 25 news release.