The political “workplace dramedy” tracks a campaign’s efforts to land a Senate seat in Wisconsin (the battleground state of the title). The third-place candidate’s hopes rest on “an unruly band of campaign workers and volunteers,” most of them right out of college.
“Battleground” was unveiled at the (broadcast) Television Critics Association event in Pasadena. It will be available to all Hulu viewers, with Hulu Plus subscribers presumably getting a pass on most of the ads.
Hayden plays Chris “Tak” Davis, the campaign strategist. “We’re going to win,” he tells campaign workers in one episode. “It’s just going to get ugly.”
Walsh, who worked on a John Kerry campaign, said of the online video series: “People hate politics but they love elections. Campaigns are about good versus evil, our team versus yours, relationships, temptations, power, unimaginable triumphs and heartbreaking defeats. I’m interested in the people behind the people.”
The show was shot in Madison, Wisc., where Walsh was born.
It was shopped to the traditional broadcast networks, including Hulu ownership partner Fox.
“We’ve developed a lot of relationships with great content owners and we see stories that aren’t getting told because they haven’t found a home for whatever reason,” Hulu senior vice president of content Andy Forssell told the Hollywood Reporter.
Online video rival Netflix also enters the political arena with an original show, the Kevin Spacey adaptation of Britain’s devilish “House of Cards.” That show is expected to debut near the end of the year.
Netflix’s “Lilyhammer” debuts in February, starring musician/actor Steven Van Zandt. The former “Sopranos” actor plays a hood who hides out in Norway.
Hulu returns Morgan Spurlock’s “A Day in the Life” in March, with Richard Linklater’s docu series to run over the summer.