Roku to Develop Original Series Starring Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse, Christopher Kimball

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Roku is super-sizing its cooking entertainment lineup as part of its upcoming originals slate and new features for advertisers looking to reach streaming audiences.

The streaming platform announced co-production deals with Marquee Brands and Milk Street Studios to develop seven original series starring lifestyle and culinary personalities Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse and Christopher Kimball.

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The new programming was unveiled as part of Roku’s 2022 NewFronts presentation Tuesday for marketers. The shows, slated to premiere exclusively on the Roku Channel, are “Martha Cooks,” “Martha Holidays” (working title) and “Martha Gardens” from Stewart; “Emeril Cooks” and “Emeril Tailgates” from Lagasse; and “Milk Street’s Cooking School” and “Milk Street’s My Family Recipe” from Kimball.

In addition to the all-new original series, the deals will bring complete past seasons of Stewart, Lagasse and Kimball shows to the Roku Channel — comprising more than 3,000 episodes from the vault, available to stream for free. Roku said it also plans to create linear channels featuring the programming for its live TV guide.

“We are thrilled to bring our viewers this standout content from culinary and cultural powerhouses Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse and Chris Kimball — for free,” Rob Holmes, Roku’s VP of programming, said in announcing the deals. “These exciting first-of-their-kind partnerships for Roku with Marquee Brands and Milk Street Studios, showcase our unique ability to drive value across the streaming ecosystem.”

Last week, in its first-quarter 2022 earnings report, Roku teased other new originals coming to the Roku Channel, which it previewed at the NewFronts. Those include “Honest Renovations,” a home renovation series hosted by Jessica Alba and Lizzy Mathis, and “To Paris for Love: A Rom Com,” a feature-length film following three real-life single friends from Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and Zoë Saldaña’s Cinestar Pictures.

Roku also released a teaser trailer for “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story,” starring Daniel Radcliffe as the legendary parody recording artist, coming to the Roku Channel this fall.

In other announcements, Roku said “The Great American Baking Show,” with Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith as the hosts of the show based on the U.K. original, will be exclusive to the Roku Channel. It also is prepping a “celebrity holiday edition” of the show, in which celebs will compete head-to-head to benefit charity. After acquiring the production company behind “This Old House” last year, Roku is debuting a new series called “Idea House” this July (with a second season to hit in 2023).

Roku’s NewFronts presentation was hosted by Maria Menounos and Andrew “Hawk” Hawkins, hosts of weekly entertainment series “Roku Recommends.” The show will return for a second season on the Roku Channel this September. The company also revealed an exclusive partnership with Variety to share the top 10 Roku searches each month on “Roku Recommends.” In addition, Roku announced “The Short List,” produced in partnership with Hello Sunshine, which will provide brand sponsorships for 12 short-form films across four genres (drama, comedy, documentary and animation) created by up-and-coming creators.

At the NewFronts presentation, Roku announced a new program for retailers to pair shoppable ads with Roku Pay to sell products from on-screen ads and a partnership with Microsoft to “explore how TV advertising — both linear and streaming — impacts online searches.”

Martha Stewart, in a statement about her new deal with Roku, said: “I am so excited to bring new and engaging content and beloved episodes created by me and my team from throughout the years to the Roku audience.”

Lagasse added: “I’m thrilled to join the Roku family and connect with viewers on the powerful and joyful experience of cooking at home for your friends and family. Get ready for new dishes, recipes and techniques that will keep you inspired and happy!”

For his part, Kimball said in a statement: “The world of home cooking is going through a massive revolution as new combinations of flavors, techniques and recipes are being introduced to American kitchens. Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street is delighted to share this exciting new approach to putting dinner on the table with The Roku Channel’s huge audience as well as to introduce all-new Roku original series.”

Here’s a rundown of the new shows in development at Roku:

Marquee Brands – Martha Stewart Productions

  • “Martha Cooks”: Stewart cooks 100 of her favorite recipes, working with world-renowned chefs and dear friends, all from her home kitchen in Bedford, N.Y.

  • “Martha Holidays” (working title): Stewart is your host for everything holiday! From festive family dishes and dazzling desserts, from decorating tips to thoughtful gift ideas, Martha will share her secrets for a successful and joyous holiday season.

  • “Martha Gardens”: Over the course of a year in the life of Stewart’s 153-acre farm, she will share the tips, tricks and tools that gardeners of all skill levels need to be successful — and have fun.

Marquee Brands – Emeril Lagasse Productions

  • “Emeril Cooks”: Famous for bringing his creative take on Creole and Cajun cuisine to the masses, celebrity chef, author and restauranteur Emeril Lagasse is back with some of his favorite recipes. The show will fuse the traditions of New Orleans cuisine with brand-new dishes and techniques inspired by Emeril’s renowned restaurant menus and line of cookbooks.

  • “Emeril Tailgates”: Lagasse will add his signature “kick” to regionally specific dishes inspired by popular tailgate fare from across the country, from Buffalo wings to Kansas City BBQ.

Milk Street Studios Productions

  • “Milk Street’s Cooking School”: Kimball and his team of experts seek to inspire home cooks to try new techniques, ingredients, and tools that will make them more confident, more successful and more excited to get in the kitchen.

  • “Milk Street’s My Family Recipe”: Kimball and James Beard Award winner Cheryl Day will help home cooks recreate lost or forgotten cherished family recipes in this show about history, community, family and memories — and how food ties it all together.

Complete seasons of Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse and Milk Street series that will be coming to the Roku Channel are: “Martha Bakes” seasons 1-11; “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School” seasons 1-5; “Martha Stewart Living” seasons 1-11; “Essence of Emeril” seasons 1-11; “Emeril Live” seasons 1-19; and “Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Television” seasons 1-5.

In Q4 2021, the Roku Channel reached U.S. households with an estimated 80 million people. The Roku Channel was a top 5 channel on the Roku platform in the U.S. by active account reach and streaming hour engagement in Q1 2022.

The Roku Channel features a lineup of more than 80,000 free movies and TV programs and over 275 free live linear TV channels in the U.S, as well as premium subscriptions from more than 50 content partners. The Roku Channel is available in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

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