Best Shows on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and More: April 2014
As the buds on trees burst through and the flowers begin to bloom, the world of online programming also renews itself in April with a mix of fresh online originals and pickups from network and cable television. So with spring in the air, viewers can look to April for a colorful crop of renewed and vibrant viewing options.
New Shows on Netflix: April 2014
Netflix offers two new originals in April, along with the announcement of a new comedy coming in 2015.
"Short Poppies" April 4
The quirky mockumentary follows journalist David Farrier as he meets the outlandish characters in a small New Zealand town, all played by Rhys Darby ("Flight of the Conchords").
"Turbo FAST" (Season 1) April 4
The animated show is the first original children's series from Netflix. Based on the 2013 computer-animated film of the same name, it features a snail and his maneuver-mastering crew as they compete with villains.
"Grace and Frankie" 2015
Netflix has announced a new comedy reuniting iconic actresses Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. From "Friends" creator Marta Kauffman, "Grace and Frankie" will center on rivals brought together by unusual changes in their marital status. The 13-episode series is set to launch in 2015.
New content coming from network and cable TV available now on Netflix includes:
"House M.D." (Seasons 1- 8) April 1
The smash-hit medical drama finally comes to Netflix. It stars Hugh Laurie as a drug-addicted medical genius who leads a team of diagnosticians through difficult cases with unconventional approaches.
"Bob's Burgers" (Season 3) April 1
The animated sitcom centers on the Belcher family and the challenges they encounter running a fast food restaurant.
"Mad Men" (Season 6) March 30
The period drama series stars Jon Hamm as a top ad exec leading New York's most revered agency in the early 1960s. Season 6 begins streaming two weeks before the April 13th premiere of season 7 on AMC.
Other new series episodes available in April on Netflix include:
"Royal Pains " (Seasons 1-4) April 1
"Legit" (Seasons 1) April 10
"A.N.T. Farm" (Seasons 3) April 20
"Switched at Birth" (Seasons 3) April 23
New Shows on Hulu: April 2014
Hulu launches one new original show and adds additional network and cable pickups in April.
"Deadbeat" April 9
An original production, this supernatural comedy follows a hapless but gifted medium whose sole purpose is to help New York's ghosts settle their unfinished business. It stars Tyler Labine ("Rise of the Planet of the Apes"), Cat Deeley, Brandon T. Jackson and Lucy DeVito. The show is the first program of a co-production deal between Hulu and Lionsgate Television.
"Doozers" April 25
The first exclusive-licensed series for Hulu Kids, this animated preschool show from the Jim Henson Co. ("Dinosaur Train," "Sid the Science Kid") and DHX Media encourages kids to design and create. Inspired by the "Fraggle Rock" characters, it features the four Doozers kids from Doozer Creek, known as "the Pod Squad," who put their ideas into action.
"Pramface" (Season 3) April 6
The BBC series starring Scarlett Alice Johnson ("EastEnders"), Sean Michael Verey and Ben Crompton ("Game of Thrones") combines humor and heartfelt moments. Characters Jamie and Laura must come to grips with being teenage parents rather than young adults bound for college and adventure.
Other new series episodes available now on Hulu include:
"Moon Boy " (Season 2)
Chris O'Dowd ("The IT Crowd," Bridesmaids") wrote and stars in this semiautobiographical family comedy series about a young boy growing up in a chaotic and creative household in late 1980's Ireland. O'Dowd plays the imaginary friend of 11-year-old Martin who is dealing with school bullies. Hulu is the exclusive U.S. licensee of this program from British broadcaster Sky.
"Modern Family" (Season 5, episode 18)
"Nashville" (Season 2, episode 18)
"Arrow" (Season 2, episode 18)
"The 100 " (Season 1, episode 2)
"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (Season 1, episode 22)
"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" (Season 19, episode 81)
New Shows on Amazon Prime: April 2014
While Amazon doesn't have any notable original content deals abloom for April, its garden of original series keeps blossoming over time.
The streaming service announced several content deals in March, including one with BBC America for the exclusive streaming rights to the sci-fi series "Orphan Black." It also picked up the rights to FX's "The Americans," an agreement that comes just before the show's return for season 2.
Amazon also recently green-lighted new pilots that will premiere this year and in 2015. They include crime drama "Bosch," starring Titus Welliver; apocalyptic drama "The After," by "The X-Files" creator Chris Carter; dysfunctional-family comedy "Transparent," with Jeffrey Tambor; and musician mayhem comedy "Mozart in the Jungle," starring Gael García Bernal. Amazon also announced that it will produce a second season of the John Goodman-led political comedy "Alpha House."
Other new content available now on Amazon Prime includes:
"How I Met Your Mother" (Seasons 1-8)
"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (Seasons 1-8)
"Louie" (Seasons 1-3)
New Shows on Yahoo: April 2014
Yahoo Screen isn't launching any new shows this month, but Yahoo offers up its share of comedic content from network and cable TV. The service is now available as a Roku channel following its rollout on Apple TV and iOS last year, which means the following Yahoo Screen content is easier to access:
"Saturday Night Live"
"Daily Shot with Ali Wentworth"
"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"
While Yahoo Screen has been exceptionally quiet of late, some reports say that this is merely the run-up to the launch of an all-new video service that will provide offerings similar to the best original shows on YouTube. (Yahoo may even try to steal some YouTube video producers, reports tech news site re/code.) But for now, it's just speculation.
New Shows on Crackle: April 2014
Video entertainment network Crackle offers up its own fresh content with the release of the entire six-episode new season of its own series – one that is very different from the network's popular Jerry Seinfeld-inspired "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."
"Chosen" (Season 3) April 15
Six new episodes from the American action-adventure show — starring Milo Ventimiglia ("Heroes") and directed by Ben Ketai — will be available to stream mid-April. The series centers on a small-time defense lawyer struggling to raise his daughter alone while discovering someone is trying to force him to become involved in a deadly game.
New Shows on YouTube: April 2014
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, April 11-13
If you can't fly out to the California desert this month (or don't want to sleep in a tent there), try YouTube instead. Broadcasts from the first weekend of the two-week music festival will include what sponsor T-Mobile calls "live webcasts of select performances, artist interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and performance highlights." The coverage will be anchored by Jason Bentley, host of KCRW's cult-favorite “Morning Becomes Eclectic” music show. The broadcasts will also be available for replay after the festival.
The plethora of content that comes and goes on the video-sharing site can often be overwhelming. So the following YouTube channel, which debuted earlier this year, continues to make the outlet's millions of videos a little more navigable.
The result of a partnership between DreamWorks Animation and YouTube, this channel constantly posts new clip compilations with voiceover commentary that can help the discerning YouTube viewer wade through the massive volume of content and spend his/her time on the more popular and stimulating content.