New TV Series Based on the USPS's Award-Winning Documentary "Dear Santa" to Premiere on Hulu This Christmas

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Cover image for  article: New TV Series Based on the USPS's Award-Winning Documentary "Dear Santa" to Premiere on Hulu This Christmas

UM, the global media agency network of IPG Mediabrands, and indie development and production studio TRAVERSE32, have announced that Dear Santa, The Series, a six-episode spinoff of the agency's award-winning Dear Santa documentary showcasing the United States Postal Service's Operation Santa program, will appear on television screens nationwide this month via Hulu.

Every year as the holidays approach, hundreds of thousands of letters to Santa arrive at post offices all over America. Through its Operation Santa program, for the last 110 years, the USPS has made it possible for these letters to be adopted by generous "adopter elves" excited to spread holiday cheer.

Directed by Dana Nachman (Pick of the Litter, Batkid Begins) and produced by Christopher Karpenko, Chelsea Matter, TRAVERSE32's Brendan Gaul and Brett Henenberg, along with Nachman, the same team behind the documentary, Dear Santa, The Series shares the magic of this remarkable undertaking through the eyes of letter writers, USPS "mail elves" and the anonymous humans that help Santa meet his holiday delivery schedule year after year. The real stars are the children themselves, who pour their heartfelt wishes into the letters they place into blue boxes all over the country, from requests for toys to pleas for basic necessities, to wishes on behalf of loved ones, and more.

The critically acclaimed film, upon which the new series is based, maintains an 89% Fresh Rotten Tomatoes score and is currently available on Hulu. Originally released in theaters and on SVOD by IFC Films during the 2020 holiday season, Dear Santa won numerous filmmaking and brand marketing awards, including Best Documentary Premiere at the 2021 Heartland International Film Festival, the Tribeca X Award for Best Feature at the 2021 Tribeca Festival, and Best Use of Long-form Film at the 2021 Adweek Brand Storytelling Awards, among many others. The success of the film led to the announcement at Tribeca X in 2022 that Disney acquired the next iteration of the Dear Santa franchise, Dear Santa, The Series for broadcast on ABC's eight owned television stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh/Durham and Fresno as well as on ABC Localish. The heartwarming new television show has now received an expanded national release on Hulu.

"Dear Santa is really a celebration of the human spirit and the generosity and compassion that is at the heart of the holiday season," said Brendan Gaul, Global Chief Content Officer, Mediabrands and Global President, TRAVERSE32. "The evolution of Dear Santa from a film that appeared in theatres at the height of the pandemic to a new national docuseries, with distribution on Hulu, has been extraordinary. We cannot underscore how truly honored we are that the United States Postal Service has continued to entrust us to share just some of the many magical stories of all of those who annually make Operation Santa possible."

Dear Santa, The Series pan> was filmed during the 2021 holiday season in big cities and small communities all across the nation. The episodes feature a wide selection of stories from the good everyday people who adopt Santa's letters to the thousands of USPS employees who have been the foundation of this legendary program since 1912.

Said Christopher Karpenko, USPS Executive Director of Brand Marketing, "We love that America has embraced the story of our Operation Santa, a program that is powered by the hearts, efforts and dedication of the many postal workers and 'elves' who make magic happen for thousands of children and the underserved each year. People perform acts of kindness with no expectations. The Postal Service is proud that what started out as a handful of letters to Santa 110-years ago, is a widespread American holiday tradition."

Dear Santa and Dear Santa: The Series are both available to stream on Hulu.

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