How Soon Do Shows Air on Hulu Plus?
By Allison Boley
Updated September 22, 2017
You just missed the latest episode of your favorite TV show, and everyone's talking about it. How quickly can you catch up? With Hulu Plus, you can watch shows on your computer over your lunch break, as well as on-the-go on certain cell phones or at home on supported television sets. When using Hulu Plus, however, it's important to know which television shows are available to view, when individual episodes become available, and when they "expire."
TV shows are often, but not always, available on Hulu Plus the day after they air. Those that aren't usually appear eight days after they air instead. How soon a show airs depends on the streaming clearance agreement Hulu has with the show's television network.
At the top of each show's main page is the latest episode. Hovering your cursor over the episode activates a pop-up balloon reporting when the episode aired. This date can help you determine how quickly future episodes will appear on Hulu Plus.
Often, entire seasons of television series are available on Hulu Plus. At some point, however, most episodes eventually "expire," or become unavailable. Information about expiration is displayed on the show's main page in bullet points next to the latest episode.
Five days before an episode expires, an alert is added to the pop-up that displays when your mouse hovers over the episode. For videos in your queue, you can also sign up to receive email alerts seven days before an episode expires.
Not all TV shows air directly on Hulu.com. For shows whose networks do not have streaming clearance agreements with Hulu, Hulu provides a link to the website where the episodes are available. Usually, this is the website of the network itself. In this case, each network will have its own rules about when an episode becomes available and expires on its own site.
An icon at the top of each show's main page, next to the latest episode, displays how many episodes are available on Hulu Plus as well as the free version of Hulu. Bullet points below the icon explain which episodes are available.
Below the bullet points, the entire list of available episodes appears in a horizontal scrolling display.
Allison Boley writes both fiction and nonfiction, having placed as a semifinalist in the international Scriptapalooza Semi-Annual Television Writing Competition. Boley graduated summa cum laude from the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University, where she is concurrently pursuing her doctorate in physics.