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New Sitcom ‘Welcome to Flatch’ to Launch Weekly on FOX Linear, with Binge Option on Hulu

Steve Anderson

Launching an entirely original show is tough these days. But the unique release of FOX’s new sitcom, “Welcome to Flatch” may give it a better chance to break through. It’s going to combine the streaming reach of Hulu with the linear mainstay power of FOX itself to produce what will hopefully be one of the biggest releases in some time.

FOX will bring “Welcome to Flatch” to its linear channel on Thursday, March 17, at 9:30 EST. But earlier that same day, the first seven episodes will be available on Hulu, FOX NOW, and On Demand.

By offering a simultaneous release on multiple platforms with the lure of a binge option on the streaming services, “Welcome to Flatch” is making sure it gives any early fans a huge dose of the show upfront. New sitcoms notoriously take a while to gather momentum. “Seinfeld” and “The Office” were both nearly canceled in their first seasons. The first season of “Parks and Recreation” is a far cry from what it would become.

With a weekly release on FOX and the binge option on the other platforms, the show may be able to have its cake and eat it, too - getting a jolt from the early-adopter word of mouth while continuing a slow boil among linear-only viewers.

Will the strategy work? We won’t know until it happens, but it’s refreshing to see innovation with a new property.

About ‘Welcome to Flatch’

“Welcome to Flatch” looks like basically your standard jab at Small Town America, located somewhere in Flyover Country. The show—built as a comedic psuedo-documentary, features cousins Kelly and Lloyd Mallet. Lloyd also goes by the unlikely nickname of “Shrub.” The cousins are aspiring filmmakers, and since they have no budget, little equipment beyond smartphones, and not a whole lot of talent, they make what films they can: short videos usually involving Lloyd getting hurt in some way. Their best video involves bear mace.

Seann William Scott and Aya Cash anchor the cast. Paul Feig (“The Office,” “Bridesmaids”) helps steer the show as Executive Producer. It feels like a crossover between “Schitt's Creek” and familiar docu-style sitcoms like “Modern Family” and “Parks and Recreation.”

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