With a prestigious cast and timely political message, the Hulu adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood’s eerily relevant 1985 dystopian novel, has been one of the most talk-about TV series of 2017 so far. Now, it’s been confirmed that the show has been acquired by Channel 4 in the UK, and is set to air on Sunday 28th May at 9pm.
After The Handmaid’s Tale premiered on Hulu on 26th April, the show, which stars Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss and Gilmore Girls’ Alexis Bledel, generating rave reviews and think-pieces in publications on both sides of the Atlantic. British fans of Atwood’s novel, however, were left feeling frustrated that there is currently no legal way for them to watch the show.
Streaming service Hulu is currently only available in the U.S, and it’s impossible for UK residents to sign up for a subscription, prompting outcry on social media.
Elisabeth Moss as Offred in The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu
In response to queries from prospective Brit viewers, Hulu revealed that they do not currently ‘have international streaming rights for our content, so our service is not available outside the U.S currently.’
‘Expanding across the pond is part of our long-term goals,’ they added in a Twitter post.
After weeks of waiting, we finally had further (albeit still vague) details of the show's UK broadcast, when a spokesman for MGM Studios (the production company behind The Handmaid's Tale) confirmed to the Radio Times that 'the series will be available in the UK, adding that '[they] hope to make an announcement soon.'
Earlier, it was speculated that the show would likely air on Amazon Video, which has previously broadcast other Hulu shows such as Casual and The Path, though the MGM spokesperson did not comment further on the rumours. The news of Channel 4's new deal, however, will certainly please UK viewers.
Jay Hunt, Channel 4's Chief Creative Officer, said 'The Handmaid's Tale is a chilling and frighteningly topical exploration of a world where women are subjugated. I'm delighted that Channel 4 viewers will get to see this critically-acclaimed take on a classic novel.'
We'll be counting down the days until it arrives on our screens...