- Hulu has officially revived the canceled Fox comedy for a fourth season
- The season will be supersized at 26 episodes
(CNN)"Mindy Project" fans, rejoice.
Hulu has officially revived the former Fox comedy for a fourth and super-sized season of 26 episodes, the company announced Tuesday. The order is the comedy's highest episode count yet and brings the series within number required for syndication. A premiere date will be announced at a later date.
The news comes a week after word first leaked that the beloved but low-rated comedy starring Mindy Kaling would not move forward at Fox, with the streaming service in talks for a multiple-season revival.
"Mindy has been a beloved member of the Hulu family, so this deal is a natural extension of our relationship," said Craig Erwich, senior vp and head of content at Hulu. "With so many of her fans already catching up and tuning in to the series on Hulu, we know her millions of fans will be eager to find out what Mindy has in store for the next chapter."
Never much of a force in the ratings, "The Mindy Project" boasts a steady performance. It's showing during the 2014-15 season lost little steam from the year before, averaging a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 and 2.9 million viewers (with time-shifting).
The series — co-starring Chris Messina — always fared especially well with multiplatform views, however, drawing much of its streaming audience from Hulu.
"Mindy Project" ended its third season with a cliffhanger in March, with Kaling telling THR that she refuses to "create under the assumption of failure" and had preliminary talks with Universal Television's Bela Bajaria about where the series would go in a potential fourth season.
"I just think there are more stories," Kaling told THR about jumping networks should Fox opt out. "I do think there's more to tell, and I think fans would be disappointed not to see more adventures with these characters. But I came from a show ("The Office") that I was on for eight seasons, and it continued for another year after that, so I am accustomed to long runs of television shows. I would be up for that challenge."
In its three-season run, Mindy Project has always lived on the bubble. Originally greenlighted under former Fox president Kevin Reilly, Mindy factored into the executive's niche comedy brand that, under new Fox bosses Dana Walden and Gary Newman have since abandoned in favor of a broad approach to comedy offerings.
Sources told THR that Kaling and Reilly had been in regular communication following Mindy's season finale about potentially bringing the comedy to Reilly-controlled TBS, which itself is facing a comedy reinvention with a slate of all-new programming. Ultimately, it was Hulu who stepped up after multiple outlets including NBCUniversal-owned cabler Bravo — which has featured Mindy marathons — expressed interest.
For Hulu, the "Mindy" acquisition comes as the streaming service has been bulking up on original scripted programming with pricey buys from the major studios. "Mindy" marks Universal Television's second series at Hulu, where it joins Jason Katims-produced drama "The Way" and comedy "Difficult People," which hails from Universal's cable-focused arm, Universal Cable Productions.
Mindy joins a roster of originals that also includes Jason Reitman's Lionsgate-produced comedy "Casual" and Warner Bros. Television miniseries 11/22/63, starring James Franco.
For Universal Television, meanwhile, this is the second of the studio's broadcast comedies to land on a digital platform this season. Netflix landed "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" after NBC passed on the Ellie Kemper starrer from Tina Fey and promptly renewed it for a second season before its debut.
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