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'11.22.63': A look at the anticipated Stephen King TV adaptation

'11.22.63' stars James Franco as a teacher who travels back in time to attempt to prevent the Kennedy assassination.

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    '11/22/63' stars James Franco.
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Hulu's TV adaptation of Stephen King’s novel “11/22/63" will debut this February.

“11/22/63” stars James Franco as Jake Epping, a teacher who is told by diner owner Al (Chris Cooper) that anyone can travel through time using Al’s pantry. Al asks Jake to go back in time to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination.

Like many of King’s novels, “11” became a bestseller and was critically praised. Monitor writer Erik Spanberg called “11/22/63… a date well worth keeping.” 

This adaptation is another high-profile project for streaming service Hulu. Like streaming services Netflix and Amazon Prime, Hulu started out as a place to watch already-existing movies and TV shows and now has begun producing original content. 

Early efforts didn’t hit, but some attention was paid to the animated show “The Awesomes,” which stars various “Saturday Night Live” cast members, among others, when it debuted in 2013. “The Wrong Mans,” starring “Late Late Show” host James Corden, got more notice as well, as did the satirical program “The Hotwives.”

It was a major feather in Hulu’s cap when the streaming service picked up the Mindy Kaling comedy “The Mindy Project” after the show was canceled by Fox. The Billy Eichner comedy “Difficult People,” which premiered this past summer, has also garnered some attention for the streaming service. 

An adaptation of a bestseller like “11/22/63” – and one by King, no less – will no doubt bring more attention to Hulu. It has yet to attain the ubiquity of, for example, fellow streaming service Netflix, which is now a regular presence at the prestigious Emmy Awards. 

But “Mindy” in particular and now “11/22/63” are increasing Hulu’s presence in pop culture. Well-received original programming will no doubt continue to keep the streaming service in viewers’ minds, despite the increasingly broad TV landscape in which viewing options are seemingly everywhere.

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