FX is joining National Geographic as a singular brand across linear and streaming Disney platforms globally. Beginning this month, the “FX on Hulu” branding will be phased out, with FX programming — exclusive originals as well as next-day shows from the FX linear channels and library content — curated in the new “FX” hub on the streamer. Additionally, the FX mark will now move above the titles on every one of the network’s shows. (As seen for FX’s venerable comedy series, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, above.)
The FX on Hulu hub was launched in March 2020. It became a streaming destination for FX content, which had been scattered on various SVOD platforms, including the now-defunct FX+/FXNow as well as Netflix which still carries some of the network’s most popular series such as the American Horror Story and American Crime Story franchises (without FX branding, which FX Networks Chairman John Landgraf had taken issue with.)
Two years later, FX brass felt that FX’s association with Hulu for streaming already has been established (though there has been criticism that the FX on Hulu hub is not as prominent and easy to find on Hulu as the Marvel, Pixar, Nat Geo and Star Wars tabs are on Disney+). Additionally, the “FX on Hulu” moniker only works domestically, creating a branding dilemma for FX shows as they stream on Star+ in Latin America and Disney+ in all other international territories. Now all FX content — original to streaming or second window to cable — will be organized in an “FX” section on any Disney streaming platform inside and outside of the U.S.
The move comes as FX prepares to double its 2021 programming output in 2022 with a target of 30 shows (25 scripted and five unscripted). Some of the increase is due to the lingering effect from the pandemic-related production shutdown, which delayed a slew of series, and some of it is FX ramping up development and ramping up the number of green lights after the Disney acquisition. The unified FX branding also applies to development, with projects now going through the development process as FX series and a determination whether they would go to FX/FXX or Hulu made in the final stage.
“We realized a decade ago that FX would soon no longer be primarily a location, but a rather branded mark of quality that would travel across multiple distribution platforms,” Landgraf said. “For 20 years, we have worked tirelessly to make the FX mark synonymous to the consumer with original programming that is distinctive and excellent as well as entertaining. This change furthers the natural evolution of FX and we are grateful to the Company and our partners at DMED for their belief and investment in FX branded programming. We are confident that the FX brand, wherever the consumer finds it, will continue to deliver the highest quality programs any service has to offer.”
Rebecca Campbell, Chairman, International and Direct-to-Consumer, lifted the veil a bit on consumption of FX content on Hulu since March 2020.
“With more than a billion hours of FX programming viewed on Hulu since the launch of the FX hub, we’ve further cemented Hulu as the home for stories that impact culture, inspire conversation, and connect with viewers in meaningful ways and we’re excited to see the brand evolve to connect with international audiences on Disney+ and Star+,” said Campbell.
Since launching its first original scripted drama in March of 2002 with The Shield, FX has received 452 Emmy Awards nominations, winning 82 Emmys. Over the past 10 years, FX shows have also won the second highest total of AFI Awards for Television of any TV network or streaming service.
The FX library currently contains more than 170 seasons and 1800 episodes of television.
The bulk of the network’s originals come from FX Productions, with plans for closer collaboration with Disney Television Studios—20th Television and ABC Signature — as well as The Onyx Collective and Searchlight.