Original Programming: 8 Series to Check Out on Netflix and Hulu
Original Programming: 8 Series to Check Out on Netflix and Hulu
Esther Gim
Esther Gim
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
What started on Netflix and Hulu as an offering of television shows (and movies) streaming online has grown into original shows produced exclusively for those services. Even household names like Kevin Spacey and Seth Meyers have their own shows, providing credibility. Here are eight of the top shows to stream online or to your television.

8. Up to Speed
Available: Now on Hulu
Starring: Timothy "Speed" Levitch

All about what your travel book won't tell you, Levitch is a quirky, disheveled tour guide who visits places that most tourists won't think about -- or know about -- going to. There's the San Francisco shoe garden, for one. He also visits Kansas, Virginia and Chicago.

7. East Los High
Available: June 3 on Hulu
Starring: Gabriel Chavarria, Noemi Gonzalez, Danielle Vega

Think Degrassi but with an all-Latino cast -- that's what you'll get with East Los High, a teen drama about inner city life in East Los Angeles. Dance! Sex! Romance! Mystery! is how the show's being billed.

6. Battleground
Available: Now on Hulu

Starring: Jay Hayden, Terri Reeves, Jack DeSena, Ben Samuel, Lindsey Payne
The first original series on Hulu, the mockumentary dramedy follows a campaign staff that tries to get a Senator elected for Wisconsin. The road is tough because not only is the candidate a distant third but there's the drama: financial mismanagement, a possible lesbian affair by the candidate's wife and a break-in at campaign headquarters.

5. Hemlock Grove
Available: Now on Netflix

Starring: Famke Janssen, Bill Skarsgard, Landon Liboiron, Dougray Scott, Penelope Mitchell
Based on the novel by the same name, the gory show -- there's a werewolf transformation that's particularly disgusting -- is about a Pennsylvania town looking for a teenage girl's murderer. Although it hasn't received great reviews, citing plot development, acting and style, it's likely to be picked up for a second season.

4. The Awesomes
Available: July 20 on Hulu
Voiced by: Seth Meyers, Kenan Thompson, Bill Hader, Rashida Jones, Steve Higgins

This animated series created by Meyers is about a group of the best superheros in history, aptly named The Awesomes, whose leader retires and the rest quit, leaving the son of the leader (Meyers) to find new superheroes. The ones he recruits aren't like the elders before them -- a sumo wrestler, a redneck and an 85-year-old.

3. Lilyhammer 
Available: Now on Netflix
Starring: Steven van Zandt, Trond Fausa Aurvag, Marian Saastad Ottese, Sven Nordin

The first original series on Netflix, this show follows a New York mobster who starts a new life in Lillehammer, Norway. If you miss The Sopranos, you might find this intriguing.

2. House of Cards
Available: Now on Netflix
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Kate Mara, Corey Stoll, Michael Gill

Kevin Spacey is brilliant in this show as a southern Congressman. He's pissed for getting passed over for Secretary of State, and he's out to get some blood. If he doesn't get at least nominated for an Emmy, it'll be a travesty. Robin Wright, as Spacey's wife, is equally vindictive yet captivating.

1. Arrested Development
Available: May 26 on Netflix
Starring: Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Portia de Rossi, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Michael Cera

The Bluths are back! It's been seven long years since this dysfunctional family appeared on our television screens, but they're being revived for a fourth season. Expect the familiar recurring jokes, handheld camera work, narration and all the other things that created a cult following. The original cast is back -- and it might almost feel like they never left.

(Image courtesy of Netflix)