Roku is finally expanding its original content beyond a parade of Quibi shows. The company has revealed that its first original feature film (outside of purchased material) is Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas, a “holiday encore” for NBC’s canceled television show Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. It maintains the musical format and will preserve the original cast, which includes female lead Jane Levy, as well as Skylar Astin, Mary Steenburgen and Bernadette Peters.
Show creator Austin Winsberg will write and executive produce the show, while series pilot Richard Shepard will return to his role for the film. Lionsgate leads overall production. Like other originals, this will be available to watch for free on The Roku Channel (with ads) when it premieres sometime in the fall.
Roku is borrowing a familiar strategy: Like Amazon and Netflix, it’s rolling out a fan-favorite show that came to an untimely end on mainstream television. It is not a true original in that sense. However, this indicates a growing confidence on the part of Roku and suggests where the company could take its originals in the future.
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