Continuing its commitment to create and distribute content for digital and traditional media platforms alike, Lionsgate diversified global entertainment company announced earlier today that it has sold season one of Thunderbird Films‘ crime drama Endgame to Hulu. The show will premiere in the U.S. on Hulu and the Hulu Plus subscription service on January 9th.
Endgame is a Canadian drama television series that premiered in March 2011, earning five Gemini nominations including Best Dramatic Series, in its first season. Produced by Thunderbird Films in association with Front Street Pictures, Endgame stars Shawn Doyle (Big Love, 24 and Desperate Housewives) and was created by Avrum Jacobson. Lionsgate acquired the series for North American distribution, and Endgame is distributed internationally by Endemol.
“Hulu is the perfect home for this groundbreaking series, and we believe that our partners at Thunderbird Films have produced an evergreen drama that will resonate with audiences for years to come,” said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television and Digital Distribution Jim Packer. “The emergence of new digital partners like Hulu has dramatically extended the longevity and significantly increased the syndication opportunities for premium content like Endgame. Lionsgate is committed to remaining an innovator in creating and distributing content that will be successful on digital and traditional platforms alike.”
Packer noted that Lionsgate recently licensed the culinary series Hell’s Kitchen to Hulu for streaming to its subscribers. The Company has also been active in creating original new content for digital platforms.
“We’re very proud of Endgame, and we’re delighted to partner with two visionary companies like Lionsgate and Hulu,” said Michael Shepard, Executive Producer and President of Thunderbird Films. “Having a U.S. partner on a procedural drama is an important boost in realizing the long-term value of any franchise, and we believe that Hulu’s commitment to the show will expand its audience and increase its value worldwide for many years to come.”
“Endgame is the kind of original, high-quality content for which the Hulu platform was designed, and it has already attracted a passionate and loyal fan base of viewers in Canada,” said Andy Forssell, Hulu’s Senior Vice President of Content. “Our agreement to serve as the U.S. home for Endgame reflects our continuing commitment to bring the world’s most exciting, critically acclaimed premium content from a broadening spectrum of talented creative voices to our users.”
Endgame centers on the brilliant chess master Arkady Balagan. Traumatized by the murder of his fiancee, Balagan has become a prisoner in his luxury Vancouver hotel. To pay his bills, he works as a detective, solving mysteries with the help of an unlikely band of hotel employees and chess fanatics. Arrogant, brilliant and charismatic, Balagan uses the skills that made him World Chess Champion to solve crimes that mystify others. He imagines events, interviews the living and even the dead, and runs conflicting scenarios – all in his head.
Endgame, which has quickly amassed a passionate fan base, made its world premiere on Canada’s Showcase last year – and was quietly cancelled by Showcase at the end of that first season, which resulted in many of those passionate fans taking action in an attempt to have the drama returned to air – with first-hand assistance and encouragement from cast members Shawn Doyle, Torrance Coombs and Patrick Gallagher in their efforts. Perhaps with this new distribution deal, those passionate (and global) fans will get their wish for a return trip to the Huxley Hotel.