For Lost fans upset that the series was pulled from Netflix, Hulu now has the exclusive streaming rights to the series. Passionate fandoms, complex mythologies, and truncated opening titles might all seem de rigueur for television today, but it’s easy to forget how much Lost helped to make these concepts standard practice for genre TV shows. Though it had its divisive moments, the series is still one of the most audacious and well-loved sci-fi/fantasy programs of all time. As such, fans were disappointed to hear it was leaving Netflix with the start of the new year.
Though a lot movies and TV joined Netflix this month, the loss of shows like Lost was paired with the announcement that more Disney-owned content is leaving the streaming site. For now, films like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Captain America: Civil War are still available, but Disney will soon pull its movies from Netflix altogether, as it attempts to set up its on streaming service. The plan is for Disney’s streaming service to launch in 2019, though a specific date hasn’t been set yet.
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Hulu has added all six seasons of Lost in what Variety is reporting to be an exclusive deal with the streaming service. Given that Hulu is partially owned by Disney, the move for the ABC series makes sense, especially considering how big the news was of Lost leaving Netflix.
Lost isn’t the only Disney/ABC property to make the jump to Netflix’s rival. Hulu landed the rights to TGIF recently, putting the popular sitcom block from the ’90s onto the streaming site. They’ve also recently gained Designated Survivor and black-ish, and more ABC shows could be on the way. Marvel and Lucasfilm movies aren’t scheduled to leave other streaming sites until 2019, so we’ll have to wait to see where they end up, but it might not all be bad news for Netflix.
While Lost getting picked up by Hulu is a smart move simply in terms of rivaling Netflix, it may also speak to a larger plan. With the recent acquisition of 20th Century Fox by Disney, the House of Mouse now owns a majority stake in Hulu. As such, Disney could end up buying out the rest of the streaming site from Time Warner and Comcast. It’s been assumed that Disney would build their own digital service, but the idea of them simply rebranding Hulu instead is a real possibility.
Over the past year, Netflix has radically increased its output in terms of original television and films. They’ve also been buying up the exclusive rights to dozens of international shows, effectively making them Netflix Originals in the North American market. It seems likely Netflix is moving to a model where they stream a majority of unique content, so the loss of other studio’s work might not be a huge blow. In the meantime, Lost fans can go back to the island over at Hulu.
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Lost seasons 1-6 are now streaming on Hulu.