It's set to debut in 2017, and based on the summary this series will be an even looser adaptation than the 1990 movie:
Adapted from Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale is set in the dystopian Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly part of the United States. Facing environmental disasters and a plunging birthrate, Gilead is ruled by a twisted religious fundamentalism that treats women as property of the state. As one of the few remaining fertile women, Offred is a Handmaid in the Commander’s household, one of the caste of women forced into sexual servitude as a last desperate attempt to repopulate a devastated world. In this terrifying society where one wrong word could end her life, Offred navigates between Commanders, their cruel Wives, domestic Marthas, and her fellow Handmaids – where anyone could be a spy for Gilead — all with one goal: to survive and find the daughter that was taken from her.
There's no word on how many episodes are planned, but from the escription Hulu could be planning to expand this book into several season's worth of tv.
Of course, that brings up the question: Will the author be able to see it?
Margaret Atwood is Canadian, and as a resident of Toronto she cannot subscribe to Hulu. It's a US-only service. That means that unless Hulu bought and decides to resell the Canadian rights, or if the production company sells them separately, the author won't be able to see her work on screen.
Instead she will have to either pirate the work or wait for someone to circumvent the geo-restriction by smuggling the DVD boxed set across the border.
Crazy, isn't it?