Timed to today’s debut of original movie Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas, the Roku Channel has added a range of holiday programming and features.
Among the offerings is the new end-credit song from the Zoey’s movie called “North Star,” which was co-written by Mary Steenburgen and performed by Tori Kelly. Steenburgen is among the stars of the film, which continues the storylines established during two seasons on NBC, which canceled the show last summer.
The Lionsgate Television project was announced earlier this fall. It is the first original feature and the first scripted Roku Original as the streaming platform expands beyond its roster of former Quibi properties. Along with the new movie, all 25 episodes of the series will stream on the Roku Channel in the U.S. later this fall. Roku acquired dozens of Quibi titles last January, months after the mobile streaming startup imploded.
Original programming has become a meaningful complement to the 80,000-plus on-demand film and TV titles and 200 live, linear networks on the Roku Channel, which launched in 2017. Between May 20 and July 18, the company said, the top five TV programs in terms of unique views on the Roku Channel were all Roku Originals. As of earlier this year, the Roku Channel had reach to households with 70 million people, the company said.
Along with the film debut, the Roku Channel has introduced new music experiences, including new linear channels, playlists and karaoke. For New Year’s Eve, the free, ad-supported hub will offer a countdown clock and a “year in streaming” special under the recently established Roku Recommends banner. The Roku Channel is also partnering with iHeartRadio, Vevo and others to bring a wider array of holiday music to viewers.
Starting December 27 in the U.S., the weekly show Roku Recommends will count down to 2022 by reviewing its top 10 shows of 2021 with its first special, The Year in Streaming. The show will feature appearances by Ted Lasso producers Liza Katzer and Jamie Lee, plus streaming-associated talent like Amy Ryan, O.T. Fagbenle, Chrishell Stause and Karamo Brown.
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