The Roku Channel is doubling down on sweets.
Under a new deal with Love Productions, which produces “The Great British Baking Show” and its spinoffs, Roku has acquired 150 episodes from across the franchise. Additionally, Roku is launching a free ad-supporting streaming television (FAST) channel dedicated to “Baking Show” alone on Nov. 15, Variety has learned exclusively. This is the first-ever FAST channel for the franchise, and includes content that has never been aired in the U.S.
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Among the content now available on the Roku Channel is Seasons 1-7 of “The Great British Baking Show” (with Seasons 1 and 2 being U.S. debuts), the U.S. debut of Seasons 1-10 of “Celebrity Baking Show,” the U.S. debut of Seasons 1-3 of “Baking Show: An Extra Slice” and the U.S. debuts of “Paul Hollywood Bread,” “Mary Berry Cooks,” “Chronicles of Nadia” and “Liam Bakes.”
The acquisitions and channel launch come after Roku announced in August that it would produce a new season of “The Great American Baking Show,” which ran for five seasons on ABC as a spinoff of the beloved British series. The six-episode season will air in early 2023. Additionally, last week, Roku set a holiday special that will premiere on Dec. 2: “The Great American Baking Show Celebrity Holiday Special.” Ellie Kemper and Zach Cherry serve as co-hosts while franchise regulars Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith serve as judges. The contestants include Chloe Fineman, Nat Faxon, Marshawn Lynch, D’Arcy Carden, Joel Kim Booster and Liza Koshy. Executive producers include Richard McKerrow, Al Edgington, Joe LaBracio, Jeremy Finn and John Hesling.
“Our goal with the ‘Baking Show’ universe is to surprise and delight fans of this iconic franchise,” said Brian Tannenbaum, Roku’s head of alternative originals. “On the originals side, that began with an American version that honors all of the endearing elements of the original, with incredible new co-hosts in Ellie Kemper and Zach Cherry, iconic judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith, and the wonderful team at Love Productions. As our partnership evolved, we recognized an opportunity to enhance the viewing experience for our streamers and worked closely with our content acquisition team to turn that possibility into a reality.”
“Bringing such a wide breadth of Baking Show’ content to the Roku Channel, and programming it in different ways across the Roku Channel, exemplified the strength of our multipronged content strategy,” added Jennifer Vaux, head of content acquisition for the Roku Channel. “We’re uniquely positioned to drive audiences across content types – FAST, AVOD, and originals. Because of this, we can create synergies across the Roku Channel that not only drive audiences to programming but keep them engaged across our service. This multi-faceted approach both complements the launch of our original content and allows us to create more meaningful and holistic viewing experiences on the Roku Channel.”
See an exclusive first-look at “The Great American Baking Show Celebrity Holiday Special” below.
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