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How to watch ‘Shōgun’: premiere date, streaming deals, and more

The wait is nearly over for one of our most anticipated shows of 2024. Prepare to be transported to 1600s feudal Japan once again in Shōgun, a historical epic adapted from the 1975 novel by James Clavell and reimagined from the 1980 Peabody- and Emmy-winning NBC miniseries.

“If you love getting lost in historical power plays and lavish production design, this one’s for you,” writes entertainment reporter Belen Edwards. Here’s everything you need to know to watch Shōgun.

What is Shōgun about?

A 10-episode miniseries, Shōgun centers on the powerful Lord Yoshii Toranaga (Hiroyuki Sanada, who also serves as a producer), who’s in the midst of being ousted from the Council of Regents. He must ally himself with unlikely suspects in order to maintain a shred of power — including a stranded English ship pilot named John Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis) and translator Toda Mariko (Anna Sawai) — even if that means sparking civil war.

While the characters and events in Shōgun are fictional, Clavell’s novel is loosely based on actual events. Blackthorne’s character is based on William Adams, the first Englishman to arrive in Japan, while Toranaga is comparable to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder and first shōgun of the centuries-long Tokugawa Shogunate.

Note: Much of the series is in Japanese with subtitles — a choice designed to bring non-Japanese speaking viewers closer to the Japanese-speaking characters.

Here’s a sneak peek:

When does Shōgun premiere?

Shōgun premieres on FX on Feb. 27 at 10 p.m. ET, kicking things off with two initial episodes. New episodes will then air weekly every Tuesday until the finale on April 23. You can expect each episode to clock in at just under an hour. New episodes also premiere on Hulu the same day. While FX usually airs the episode first and Hulu airs it the following day, the structure for Shōgun is reversed. Episodes will be available on Hulu first at 12:01 a.m. ET the day of their live screening on FX.

How to watch Shōgun without cable

If you have cable access to FX, you can tune into the live broadcast at 10 p.m. ET on Feb. 27 and every Tuesday thereafter. If you don’t have FX access, you have a few options. Since episodes go live on Hulu the same day as FX, a Hulu subscription is probably your best bet. However, you could also opt for a cable replacement service like Sling TV or Hulu + Live TV to get real-time access to FX (and many other networks). We’ve broken down all the nitty gritty details below — including the best Hulu deals — to help you make the best choice.

Best Hulu deal for new subscribers: Hulu 30-day free trial

If you’ve never signed up for Hulu before or haven’t been a subscriber in some time, you can secure a 30-day free trial. If you plan out your trial period around the second half of the season, you could very well watch every episode of Shōgun for free. The season finale is set for April 23, for reference. We’ll leave that planning up to you. If you decide to keep your subscription going after your 30-day trial, you’ll have to pay either $7.99 per month for the basic plan with ads or $17.99 per month for the ad-free plan. Don’t want to keep it going? Be sure to cancel before the 30 days are up if you want to avoid charges.

Best Hulu deal for T-Mobile customers: Hulu (with ads) included for one year

T-Mobile customers on the Go5G Next plan whose accounts remain in good standing can get Hulu with ads for free with their plan. Just head over to the promotion site, read over the terms and conditions, enter your T-Mobile login information and other details, and click submit. You’ll be directed to Hulu to redeem the offer.

Note: be sure to redeem within 30 days of receiving your redemption code. After your first year of streaming on Hulu, consumer action is required to continue your complimentary subscription. If you do nothing, you’ll end up having to pay full price to keep streaming ($7.99 per month).

Best Hulu deal for students: Spotify Premium for Students with Hulu

Students hoping to stream Shōgun have a couple of great options. Option one: Spotify Premium for Students gives verified students access to Spotify Premium and Hulu with ads for only $5.99 per month. Plus, you’ll get a free one-month trial to test things out. The only requirement is that you can prove you’re actually a student via SheerID.

Mashable Deals

Another option is signing up for a Hulu student account for only $1.99 per month. There’s no free trial to kick things off, but at $1.99 per month, we’re willing to forgive.

Best Hulu deal for everyone else: Hulu (with ads) annual subscription

If you’re not eligible for the Hulu free trial, your best bet for getting a deal is signing up for an annual subscription. Instead of paying $7.99 monthly, an annual subscription charges $79.99 per year. That knocks the monthly cost down to $6.67 per month and saves you about 17% by paying upfront. For those who are only interested in watching Shōgun and canceling, you may be better off simply subscribing for the months it airs and then canceling your subscription. However, if you plan to rewatch Shōgun as much as you want and explore the rest of the FX on Hulu catalog, then an annual subscription gives you much more bang for your buck.

Best bundle deal: Hulu + Disney+ (with ads)

Speaking of more bang for your buck, the Hulu-Disney bundle (which includes both Hulu and Disney+ or Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+) can save you up to 49%. You’ll pay more overall, obviously, but you’ll get access to two or three different streaming services for one discounted price. If you want Hulu and Disney+ (with ads), you’ll pay just $9.99 — that’s only $2 more than paying for Hulu on its own. Sports fan? You can throw in ESPN+ too for a total of $12.99 per month.

Best way to watch FX live: Sling TV Blue package

For those wanting to catch Shōgun episodes live as they air on FX, you’ll need a cable alternative. Sling TV is by far the most affordable option and essentially works as an a la carte cable replacement. You pick your package and channels depending on what you actually watch. In this case, you’ll need access to FX, which is included in Sling’s Blue base package. It’s usually $40 per month, but the current introductory offer slashes 50% off your first month of service. The Blue package also gives you access to your local Fox and CBS networks, Bravo, USA, E!, and more.

Note: Other live TV cable alternatives like Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, or FuboTV also give you live access to FX, but they’re significantly more expensive than Sling TV and less customizable.

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