Monday, October 27, 2008

Hulu Awards: Panelist FAQ

What are the Hulu Awards?
The Hulu Awards are given annually to the best content hosted at, in a variety of categories. They recognize movies, television programs, clips, short-format programs, and film shorts for being the best in their field.

Who decides what content is deserving of a Hulu Award?
The Hulu Awards are given out by a panel of select people, who have been chosen for their interest in the type of content that Hulu hosts. The panel consists of 25 members, each of whom spend a lot of time reviewing the eligible content and giving their informed opinion. The public at large is also given the opportunity to vote for their favorites; the total public reader vote is equal to one panelist.

What are the benefits to being a panelist?
1. Well, hopefully you have a genuine love for movies, television, and/or other online content, and you will get a certain pleasure from having your opinion weighted in a public forum.
2. Hopefully, the process will broaden your horizons and help you in your online publishing efforts by exposing you to new content that you would not have considered watching before.
3. This is something to add to your online resume, and if the ceremony gets as much attention as I'm hoping it will, it will be a feather in all of our caps
4. Over the years, I hope to build this up in visibility and prestige. That means that, over time, the composition of the panel will become increasingly exclusive. But those who complete their participation this year will be asked to return for next year.
5. You should be able to generate extra traffic to your blog or website, as I will be linking to the sites of panelists in a variety of ways

When is the annual online ceremony?
The next Hulu Awards online ceremony will be held in March 2009. More details are to follow.

As a panelist, what are my duties?
Each panelist has a minimum duty to participate fully in the nomination process. During the nomination period, each panelist will receive a weekly email. The weekly email will describe their specific tasks for that week. Almost always, that will consist entirely of the following:
1) Review the list of eligible nominees and propose your favorites for nomination;
2) Review the proposed nominees and vote on which of these deserves to be an actual nominee;
3) Vote for which of the actual nominees deserves to be the winner of the Hulu Award for that category

How should I get my picks to you?
Email them to me at

What is the time commitment for the panelists?
The time commitment is difficult to define, because it is highly subjective. The real question is, "How much research do you have to conduct in order to cast a vote in good conscience?" For some categories, you will probably be very familiar with the material that is up for nomination, and can just go on your instincts. In others, you will not know anything at all, and have to come up with a way to make your decision.

Can I promote my blog through this process?
Absolutely. In fact, any time you publish anything on your blog about a show that is currently being considered for an award, I will link to it and recommend that everyone checks it out. I would like this to be a big discussion about the online content that we all love, and that discussion has the potential to move a lot of eyeballs to all of our sites.

That seems relatively simple. What if I want to do more?
There is certainly a lot of work to be done, and I welcome your help in making this the best possible awards ceremony it can be. The nomination process is currently the most pressing and visible part of the process, and there are many tasks associated with defining categories and eligible content for those categories. As the nomination process comes to a close, there will be more behind the scenes work as we attempt to get full participation from the nominated shows. If you would like to take on an additional task, please email me, and I will give you some options.

What are the dates for the various categories and the Awards Ceremony?
Here's the time line for the remaining Hulu Awards work to be done. We're taking a long Christmas break, just because I know how hard it is to get anything done during that period, and finishing up the nomination process in January.

Week of November 10:
Best Non-Competitive Reality Series
Best Competitive Reality Series
Best Celebrity-Driven Reality Series

Week of November 17:
Best Comedy TV Show
Best Comedic Short
Best Movie Comedy

Week of November 24:
Best Dramatic TV Series
Best Movie Drama
Best Non-comedic Short Format Show
Best Short-Format Comedy

Week of December 1:
Best Non-Anime Cartoon Series
Best Anime Series
Best Animated Short
Best Family Movie

Week of December 8:
Best Travel / Leisure Series
Best Cooking or Food Show
Worst Reality Show

Week of December 15:
Best Classic Movie
Best Action TV Series
Best Web Original
Worst Web Original


Week of January 12:
Best SciFi/Fantasy TV Series
Best SciFi Movie
Best Videogame Coverage
Worst Scripted TV Series
Worst Movie

Week of January 19:
Best News Show
Best Information Show
Best Talk and Interview Show

Week of January 26:
Aggregate Awards
Best Clip
Best Hulu Feature
Best Studio

Week of March 2:
Hulu Awards Night!
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