A library of 30 premium TV shows – from award-winning drama series to documentaries and reality shows – is coming to The Roku Channel on May 20, under the new “Roku Originals” brand.
The content will be available for free (with adverts) on Roku devices, as well as on NOW and Sky Q.
With the launch of Roku Originals, the streaming giant – which focused on building streaming devices until now – is stepping into the original content arena.
The new shows, that feature stars such as Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Hart, Chrissy Teigen and more, come from Roku’s acquisition of Quibi’s library.
Quibi was a short-lived streaming service that focused on short, “quick-bite” (hence Quibi) content, with episodes of up to 10 minutes each.
Despite a $1.7 Billion investment and a lot of Hollywood names, viewers did not flock to Quibi, and the service shut down late last year, with Roku later buying its content library.
What Shows Are Coming As ‘Roku Originals’?
Today, Roku announced the full list of shows – the first batch to come out of their Quibi purchase. The shows will launch simultaneously in the UK, US and Canada.
The launch lineup includes award-winning and scripted series, such as Die Hart, #FreeRayshawn and Reno 911!, documentaries such as Blackballed and Big Rad Wolf and alternative and reality programming, including Punk’d and Chrissy’s Court.
#FreeRayShawn is A “movie in chapters” that stars Laurence Fishburne and Stephan James, about a young Iraq War veteran who finds himself in a showdown with a New Orleans SWAT team and tries to talk his way out of the situation with the help of a sympathetic officer.
Chrissy’s Court is A judge-Judy style comedy that stars model Chrissy Teigen and her mother, where she judges real people and real cases.
Punk’d is a reboot of the celebrity prank show (once hosted by Ashton Kutcher), which is now hosted by Chance the Rapper.
The Fugitive is an action series starring Kiefer Sutherland (of 24 fame), which is based on the famous Harrison Ford film of the same name – but with new characters.
Murder House Flip – True Crime meets Home Improvement, in a reality series about flipping houses where a murder took place.
Here’s the full list of shows that are coming on May 20:
- About Face
- Bad Ideas with Adam Devine
- Big Rad Wolf
- Chrissy’s Court
- Cup of Joe
- Die Hart
- Fight Like a Girl
- The Fugitive
- Gayme Show
- Iron Sharpens Iron
- Last Looks
- Let’s Roll with Tony Greenhand
- Most Dangerous Game
- Murder House Flip
- Murder Unboxed
- Reno 911!
- Shape of Pasta
- Thanks a Million
- You Ain’t Got These
More shows from the Quibi library will be added later in the year – including 12 that were still in production when Quibi crashed, so haven’t been shown anywhere yet.
The shows will be kept in their original short-form format, with most episodes running at 10 minutes or less.
If you watch episodes consecutively, advert breaks will pop up between episodes – but Roku tell us there will be no more than one minute of adverts in between episodes.
Where Can I Watch The New Roku Originals?
The new shows will all be available on The Roku Channel, which is a free platform (with advert breaks) – it’s a streaming-only channel that provides free access to more than 25,000 films and TV episodes.
The Roku Channel is available on all the streaming devices sold by Roku in the UK:
- Roku Streaming Stick+ (see our review)
- Roku Premiere (see our review)
- Roku Express (see our review)
- The brand new Roku Express 4K (see our review)
- Roku Streambar (see our review)
In addition, The Roku Channel is available as a free app on NOW streaming devices (the NOW Stick and the older NOW Smart Box), and on Sky Q.
In the US, The Roku Channel is also available on mobile phones and via the web, but Roku told us there are no immediate plans to add ways to watch The Roku Channel in the UK.